TURKISH CONTRIBUTION TO THE U.N. FORCES IN THE KOREAN WAR
KOREAN WAR PROJECT Excerpt :
Turke in the War
On Mon, 12 May 1997 A.M. Sabuncu wrote:
I am really impressed with your Korean Project web site. I am an American, but my father is a Turkish veteran of the Korean War. He in fact has an Air Medal, with seven oak leaf clusters, awarded to him by the American military. His photograph is on your site, taken during the dedication of the memorial! Turkish Bn at Korean War Veterans Memorial 1995. He is the second one from the left, w/ sun glasses.
It made me very happy to see this page, and to see my father's picture. I congratulate you on all the hard work that is so obvious in this well designed site.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to facilitate communication w/ the Turkish Veterans groups; my father is very active in these organizations in Turkey.
He does not have access to the Internet, so I am printing the pages now to mail it to him!
Thanks again for such a useful site.
Todd Sabuncu firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thu, 09 Oct 1997
A.M. Sabuncu email@example.com wrote:
Turkey contributed to the United Nations military effort in Korea between 1950 and 1966. For the first 10 years of this period, a full Brigade was in service; thereafter, Company sized units were contributed for the remaining 6 years. Turkey maintained an Honor Guard Unit in Korea until 1971.
The Turkish Brigade totalled approximately 5,450 personnel. The Brigade had a full turnover after a period of one year service. The Brigades that served for the 10 year period were numbered 1 through 10. Of these, the first three saw action. During the service of the 3rd Brigade, the Korean Armistice was signed in 1953. Thereafter, Turkey continued maintaining forces at full Brigade level for another 7 years, in accordance with United Nations agreements.
The Turkish Brigade that served as part of the United Nations effort in the Korean War was specifically formed for this purpose by the Turkish military, composed of selected units from the Turkish Army. The following was its composition:
- 1. 241st Infantry Regiment, composed of three Infantry Battalions.
- 2. 105mm Motorized Field Artillery Battalion, composed of three Howitzer Batteries and a Headquarters Battery. Each Howitzer Battery in turn consisted of 6 guns.
- 3. One Motorized Engineering Company.
- 4. One Motorized Anti-Aircraft Battery.
- 5. One Transportation Truck Company.
- 6. One Motorized Signal Platoon.
- 7. One Motorized Anti-Tank Platoon.
- 8. One Medical Company.
- 9. One Repair and Maintenance Unit.
- 10. One Military Band.
- 11. One Replacement Company, composed of various branch and non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, such as Infantry, Artillerary, Signal, Engineering, etc.
Some of the Important Battles Fought by the first three Turkish Brigades:
The Battle of Kunuri:
It is recognized that the efforts of the Turkish Brigade in the Battle of Kunuri allowed the U.N. forces to make a safe retreat to Pyon-Yang out of a situation where they were taken by surprise by an outranked Chinese force.
At the time, the Turkish Brigade, located at Kunuri, was acting as the reserve for the 9th U.S. Corps. The Brigade participated during the worst of the fighting, from November 26th through 29th. The Chinese overcame the U.N. forces in Kunuri, and were about to block them from all sides. The Turkish Brigade saved the eastern flank of the U.N. forces and gave it a chance to make a retreat to the North Korean capital of Pyong-Yang.
An example of the fierce and unpredictable nature of the Kunuri battle is the fact that only half a day prior to the battle of Kunuri, the Turkish Brigade had received orders to help in the Central Front at Tok-Chon against the Chinese attack and was on route. It then received a second order to head back to the Kunuri area.
The Battle of Kum-Yang-Jang-Ni:
This battle marks the first offensive action of the U.N. forces under the leadership of General Ridgeway after he took power over from General McArthur. As a result of this battle, the U.N. Forces were able to gain the upper hand. The Turkish Forces were instrumental in this success, a fact also recognized by the citations it received afterwards:
- 1. Distinguished Unit Citation from the U.S. Congress.
- 2. Presidential Unit Citation from the President of Korea.
A personal account of teamwork between the U.S. and Turkish Forces during the Battle of Kum-Yang-Jang-Ni:By Ret. Col. Ertugrul Sabuncu
I was Army Pilot Lieutenant flying for artillery reconnaisance and spotting. Lt. Chapman of the U.S. 25th Division Artillery was the Liason Officer to the Turkish Artillery. During the Battle of Kum-Yang-Jang-Ni, the Turkish forces were tasked with taking three locations, the town of Kum-Yang-Jang-Ni, and Hills 156 and 185 in the western front. During the Infantry attack, the Turkish Artillery was moving, and therefore was unable to fire. I saw this from the air, and radioed Lt. Chapman. I asked him for help, and gave him a target on Hill 156. As a result, a fire using 155mm Howitzer was made by the 90th Field Artillery Battalion, the General Support Artillary of the U.S. Division. This proved crucial in the period until the Turkish Artillary settled in place and was able to start firing. The Direct Support Artillary of either the Turkish or the U.S. Artillary would have been unable to reach the target Hill, as they had the shorter range 105mm guns. The General Support Artillary of the U.S. forces was therefore the only solution available in this situation
Korean War Project :koreanwar.org/html/units/un/turk.htm
Léon ROCHOTTE FRANCE-CORÉE 04/2005