Criteria The Purple Heart may be awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the Armed Forces, has been wounded, kill... The Purple Heart may be awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the Armed Forces, has been wounded, killed, or who has died or may die of wounds received in armed combat or as a result of an act of international terrorism. MoreHide
MIA 2 Nov 1950, Presumed Deceased 31 Dec 1953
Criteria The National Defense Service Medal is awarded for honorable active service as a member of the Armed Forces during the Korean War, Vietnam War, the war against Iraq in the Persian Gulf, and for service... The National Defense Service Medal is awarded for honorable active service as a member of the Armed Forces during the Korean War, Vietnam War, the war against Iraq in the Persian Gulf, and for service during the current War on Terrorism. In addition, all members of the National Guard and Reserve who were part of the Selected Reserve in good standing between August 2, 1990, to November 30, 1995, are eligible for the National Defense Service Medal. In the case of Navy personnel, Midshipment attending the Naval Academy during the qualifying periods are eligible for this award, and Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipmen ae only eligible if they participated in a summer cruise that was in an area which qualified for a campaign medal. MoreHide
Criteria The Korean Service Medal was awarded for service between the outbreak of hostilities (June 25, 1950) and the date the armistice was signed (July 27, 1953); Been on permanent assignment or on temporary... The Korean Service Medal was awarded for service between the outbreak of hostilities (June 25, 1950) and the date the armistice was signed (July 27, 1953); Been on permanent assignment or on temporary duty for thirty consecutive days or sixty non-consecutive days, and Performed duty within the territorial limits of Korea, in the waters immediately adjacent thereto or in aerial flight over Korea participating in actual combat operation or in support of combat operations. MoreHide
Criteria The United Nations Korean Medal was generally awarded for any period of service while assigned as a member of the Armed Forces dispatched to Korea or adjacent areas for service on behalf of the United... The United Nations Korean Medal was generally awarded for any period of service while assigned as a member of the Armed Forces dispatched to Korea or adjacent areas for service on behalf of the United Nations. Service in qualifying organizations had to be certified by the United Nations Commander-in-Chief as having directly supported military operations in Korea. In the case of the United States, such certification was issued in General Orders 31 (June 20, 1955); General Orders 33 (July 11, 1955); and General Orders 36 (July 13, 1955). MoreHide
Criteria Criteria for award of the Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal (ROK KWSM) have been established by the ROK government. To qualify for the medal, the veteran must have: Served between the outbrea... Criteria for award of the Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal (ROK KWSM) have been established by the ROK government. To qualify for the medal, the veteran must have: Served between the outbreak of hostilities, June 25, 1950, and the date the armistice was signed, July 27, 1953, Been on permanent assignment or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days Performed his / her duty within the territorial limits of Korea, in the waters immediately adjacent thereto or in aerial flight over Korea participating in actual combat operations or in support of combat operations MoreHide
Description On 25 October at 10:30, the ROK 1st Infantry Division attacked north with its 12th Regiment on the western bank of Samtan River while the 15th Regiment was trying to reach the eastern bank. But when tOn 25 October at 10:30, the ROK 1st Infantry Division attacked north with its 12th Regiment on the western bank of Samtan River while the 15th Regiment was trying to reach the eastern bank. But when the 15th Regiment was about to cross the river, the PVA 120th Division intercepted the South Koreans with heavy artillery fire. The South Koreans first believed the resistance to be the last remnants of the KPA, but the perception soon changed with the capture of the first Chinese prisoner in the Korean War. The prisoner revealed that there were 10,000 Chinese soldiers waiting to join the fight north of Unsan.
Faced with the sudden appearance of the overwhelming Chinese forces, the ROK 1st Infantry Division tried to establish defensive positions by capturing the hills around Unsan. The South Koreans soon found themselves in a seesaw battle with the PVA 360th Regiment during the night of 25 October. The next day, the PVA 39th Corps arrived at the west of Unsan while cutting the road between Unsan and Yongsan-dong, completely surrounding the ROK 1st Infantry Division. Aided by airdrops, the US 6th Medium Tank Battalion and the US 10th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group, the ROK 1st Infantry Division reopened the road on 27 October. Several more attempts to advance north by the Koreans made little progress, and the fighting stopped by 28 October.
Despite the warnings given by Brigadier General Paik Sun Yup, commander of the ROK 1st Infantry Division, a general feeling of optimism about the outcome of the war prevented the warnings from being taken seriously. With the fighting reached a stalemate at Unsan, General Walton Walker of the Eighth United States Army ordered the US 8th Cavalry Regiment of the US 1st Cavalry Division to resume offensives north by relieving the ROK 12th Regiment. By the time the US 8th Cavalry Regiment reached Unsan on 29 October, the ROK 11th Infantry Regiment of the ROK 1st Infantry Division was also pulling out of Unsan. At the same time, the Chinese had destroyed the ROK 6th Infantry Division on the east of Unsan. Unsan had now became a northern salient in the UN line containing only the US 8th Cavalry Regiment and the ROK 15th Infantry Regiment.
Still believing that the ROK 1st Infantry Division was tied up at Unsan, PVA Commander Peng Dehuai gave the go ahead for the 39th Corps to destroy the Unsan garrison on 1 November. The Chinese plan called for the PVA 117th Division to attack from the northeast, the 116th Division to attack from the northwest and the 115th Division to attack from the southwest. At the same time, the US 8th Cavalry Regiment had taken up positions around the town, with its 1st Battalion defending the north of Unsan by the Samtan River, while its 2nd and 3rd Battalions defending the areas west of the Unsan by the Nammyon River. The lack of UN manpower, however, created a 1 mi (1,600 m) gap between the 1st and 2nd Battalions. The ROK 15th Infantry Regiment, on the other hand, had dug in northeast of the Unsan, across the river from the US 1st Battalion.
In the early afternoon of 1 November, a combat patrol from the US 5th Cavalry Regiment, rear guard of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, was intercepted by PVA 343rd Regiment of the 115th Division at Bugle Hill. With the trap discovered, the Chinese immediately launched their attacks at 17:00. Supported by rocket artillery, the 117th Division attacked the ROK 15th Infantry Regiment in full force while four Chinese battalions from the 116th Division struck the gap between the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the US 8th Cavalry Regiment. By 23:00, the heavy fighting destroyed the ROK 15th Infantry Regiment while the US 1st and 2nd Battalions were running out of ammunition. As the UN forces began to buckle around Unsan, Milburn finally ordered the garrison to withdraw after learning the destruction of the ROK 6th Infantry Division on the right flank.
Before the withdrawal could be carried out, however, the PVA 347th Regiment of the 116th Division had already entered the town of Unsan through the gap between the American battalions. Soon afterward, several roadblocks appeared behind the US 1st and 2nd Battalions. With the attacks gaining momentum, the PVA 348th Regiment of the 116th Division advanced southward from Unsan, ambushing the UN forces at the road junction. With all the roads blocked, the US 8th Cavalry Regiment's 1st and 2nd Battalions had to escape by infiltrating the Chinese lines in small groups, abandoning most of their vehicles and heavy weapons along the way. The surviving US and ROK soldiers reached UN lines by 2 November.
While the US 8th Cavalry Regiment's 1st and 2nd Battalions were under heavy attack, its 3rd Battalion was left alone for most of the night, but by 03:00, a company of Chinese commandos from the 116th Division managed to infiltrate the battalion command post disguised as ROK soldiers. The following surprise attack set many vehicles on fire while causing numerous casualties among the Americans, most of whom were still sleeping. By the time the confusing fighting had ended, the 3rd Battalion was squeezed into a 200 yd (180 m) wide perimeter by the PVA 345th Regiment of the 115th Division. The US 5th Cavalry Regiment made repeated attempts to rescue the 3rd Battalion by attacking the PVA 343rd Regiment at Bugle Hill, but after suffering 350 casualties, the 5th Cavalry was forced to withdraw under orders from Major General Hobart Gay, commander of the US 1st Cavalry Division. The trapped 3rd Battalion endured days of constant attacks, and the surviving soldiers managed to break out of the perimeter by 4 November. By the end of the battle, less than 200 survivors from the 3rd Battalion managed to return to the UN line.
Immediately after the success at Unsan, the rest of the Chinese forces advanced across the US lines, intending to push the US forces back across the Ch'ongch'on River and into Pyongyang. But food and ammunition shortages soon forced the Chinese to disengage on 5 November, thus ending the Chinese First Phase Campaign. Besides the victory at Unsan, the Chinese First Phase Campaign also destroyed the ROK 6th Infantry Division and one regiment from the ROK 8th Infantry Division at the Battle of Onjong. In return, the Chinese had suffered 10,700 casualties by the end of the Chinese First Phase Campaign. The Battle of Unsan has been considered to be one of the most devastating US losses of the Korean War.
The Chinese victory at Unsan was as much of a surprise to the Chinese leadership as it was to the UN forces. The accidental encounter between the Chinese and US forces at Unsan eased the fear of the Chinese leadership about intervening in Korea, while the performance of the US 1st Cavalry Division was studied in great detail by Chinese commanders. For the UN forces, on the other hand, despite the heavy losses suffered by the US Eighth Army at Unsan, the unexpected Chinese withdrawal made the United Nations Command believe that China did not intervene in Korea on a large scale. PVA Commander Peng Dehuai incorporated the lessons from Unsan for the upcoming Second Phase Campaign, while General Douglas MacArthur launched the Home-by-Christmas Offensive under the assumption that only a weak Chinese force was present in Korea, resulting in the decisive battles at the Ch'ongch'on River and the Chosin Reservoir later that year.... More
Description The Korean War; 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) began when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea. China came tThe Korean War; 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) began when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea. China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union gave some assistance.
Korea was ruled by Japan from 1910 until the closing days of World War II. In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, as a result of an agreement with the United States, and liberated Korea north of the 38th parallel. U.S. forces subsequently moved into the south. By 1948, as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was split into two regions, with separate governments. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither side accepted the border as permanent. The conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—moved into the south on 25 June 1950. On that day, the United Nations Security Council recognized this North Korean act as invasion and called for an immediate ceasefire. On 27 June, the Security Council adopted S/RES/83: Complaint of aggression upon the Republic of Korea and decided the formation and dispatch of the UN Forces in Korea. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing 88% of the UN's military personnel.
After the first two months of the conflict, South Korean forces were on the point of defeat, forced back to the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Inchon, and cut off many of the North Korean troops. Those that escaped envelopment and capture were rapidly forced back north all the way to the border with China at the Yalu River, or into the mountainous interior. At this point, in October 1950, Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war. Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951.
After these reversals of fortune, which saw Seoul change hands four times, the last two years of conflict became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel. The war in the air, however, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, and Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty has been signed, and the two Koreas are technically still at war. Periodic clashes, many of which are deadly, have continued to the present.... More