Thailand's Main Activity during the Korean War

English 2013.07.01 08:50

1. Activity of the Ground Force


The troops moved to Pyeongyang in December 5th of 1950, and covered the withdrawal of UN Forces in the Gaeseong area. They then moved to Suwon on December 13th as the reserve of the 8th Army. As the CCA attacked on New Years, they marched towards Sindoon-ri, which is located North of Seoul, and were attached under the 29th Brigade. When a company size CCA infiltrated the Brigade Command Post on January 3rd, they fought against the CCA for the first time and defeated the enemies with the help of Brigade Main Force. Shortly after, they crossed the Han River and withdrew back to Suwon.


The Battalion was later attached to U.S. 1st Cavalry Division and conducted a Counter Offensive Operation on March 7th and marched towards the Hwacheon Reservoir on April 3rd. They took 22 CCA hostages and rescued 4 U.S. POWs, but also suffered a loss of one dead and eleven injured.


As the CCA launched the Spring Offense and marched towards Seoul, the Thailand Ground Troops frantically fought against the enemies in the Changdong area. As a result of the night-long battle, the Battalion was able to kill 32 CCA soldiers and march towards Yooldong-ri area in July 31st in the process of chasing the enemy. Meanwhile, the 2nd Company laid a surprise attack against the enemy assembly area near 346th Highland, located south of Yeokgok-cheon. In the end, they killed 70 enemy soldiers and destroyed massive amounts of supplies.


Afterwards, the Battalion formed a defensive position South of the T-bone Highland, which is located West of Cheorwon. On November 13th, two company-size CCA troops attacked the GOP Platoon with their tank forces, but the platoon conducted a hand-to-hand combat to defeat the enemies and kill 30 enemy soldiers. At the same time, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division returned from Japan, and thus the Battalion got attached to U.S. 2nd Division 9th Regiment on December 15th.


During the First half of 1952, they continuously reconnoitered and ambushed the Galhwa-dong and Western Tapgol area but did not engage in major combat. On October 22nd, they reorganized the troop and was positioned along the main line if resistance in Homak-ri. Near midnight of October 27th, the platoon-size troop conducted a surprise attack on Bokgae Highland located near the main line of resistance. 20 CCA soldiers were killed and three were taken hostage. In order to recover the loss, CCA launched a two company-size attack on 21:00 of November 1st after launching a converging fire in the Porkchop Highland. This was the fiercest battle the Ground Troops had experienced since their participation. More than 50 enemy soldiers were killed, and the Battalion also suffered 8 deaths and 14 injuries. Acknowledging the Thailand soldiers' intrepidity, the 8th Army named them "The Little Tigers."


Right before the Armistice Negotiation, the CCA intended to capture the Sadong area located North of Gimhwa. Thus on July 17th 1953, they laid a concentrated fire on the Battalion area after shortly after sunset and marched across the Hantan River at 22:00 with two company-size troop. Yet, they suffered another defeat against the Thailand Ground Troops.


2. Activity of the Naval Force


The Frigates Prasae and Bangpakong attached to the Far East Naval Forces and the transport Sichang were committed to the operation of covering the waterway of U.S. Naval Base Sasebo until late December of 1950.


Frigates Prasae and Bangpakong were dispatched to the East Sea on January 3rd of 1951. Yet, the tempest drove the Prasae on the rocks in the Sokcho area 16 kilometers North of the 38th Parallel Line on January 17th. In the process of trying to save the broken ship, two soldiers were killed and 23 were injured. The Commander of the 95th Maneuvering Fleet considered repairing the Prasae as worthless, and thus sank the frigate on 18:00 using naval gunfire.


As the transport Sichang returned home on July 15th upon the request of the Thailand Government, frigate Bangpakong was the only Thailand fleet remaining. Thus, U.S. supplied two frigates on October 29th and named them HMTS(Her Majesty's Tuvaluan Ship) Prasae II and HMTS Tachin respectively. The frigates concentrated on naval training until December 20th. Afterwards, no special occasions troubled the Thailand Naval Troops. Thus, they devotedly aided the UN Naval Operations by repeating the maintenance and supply of fleets and transports covering operations until July 27th of 1953, when the Armistice Agreement was signed.


3. Activity of the Air Force


On June 13th of 1951, Thailand entered the war after three of their C-47 transport planes were attached to U.S. 135th Air Division, 374th Troop Transport Wing, and 21st Squadron respectively. The C-47 transport planes U.S. possessed at the time weren't equipped with sickbed or medical equipments. Also, the C-54 transport planes were hard to utilize on Korean Airfields which had short landing strips. Yet, Thailand's transport planes were small and equipped with medical supplies, which made them possible to carry out the emergency transport mission. The transport plane battalion mainly evacuated the patients from ROK to Japan.


The U.S. Far East Air Force replaced the former C-54 transport planes to C-124 in order to enhance the transporting capability. Yet, there were only four strips in South Korea where a C-124 could land and take off. Thus, the activity of Thailand's transport planes was actually increased.


Starting from February of 1953, the Greek Transport Battalion stationed in Gimpo Airfield took charge of the transport missions within the peninsula. Thus, the Thailand Air Force transported troops and supplies within Air Force Bases in Japan until the Armistice Agreement was signed.


Thailand dispatched a total of 3,650 soldiers in the Korean war and suffered 129 dead and 1,139 injured. After the Armistice Agreement, the Ground Force withdrew in 1954 with only one company remaining. The Naval Force withdrew in January of 1955 and the Air Force on November of 1964. The final remaining troops withdrew on June of 1972.


Posted by LG Innotek

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