FORCE TO  KOREA (1950-1955)

By  Art Villasanta

For the Republic of the Philippines, the Korean War became a reality of blood and bone on 19 September 1950 when the first Filipino soldier set foot on the South Korean port city of Pusan. This man and the more than 7,000 other Filipino soldiers who followed him belonged to the PHILIPPINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE TO KOREA or PEFTOK.

"Five Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs) of the
Philippine Army served in Korea from 1950 to 1955 as part of PEFTOK. The first BCT arrived in September 1950 while the last left Korea in May 1955. All five BCTs served under the United Nations Command (UNC), the military arm of the United Nations during the conflict. The men of PEFTOK fought bravely to uphold the UN Charter and preserve South Korea’s freedom against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the People’s Republic of China (PROC)."

PEFTOK Homage to the Forgotten War (Korean War)

Inspired by Art Villasanta's PEFTOK (The Philippine Expeditionary Force To Korea 1950-1955) historical website. Specifically, my image of what a Filipino from the 10th Battalion Combat Team (Motorized) went thru from when he shipped out from the Philippines through the Battle of Yultong which pitted British, Filipino, American, Puerto Rican and Belgian UN forces against the massed Communist Chinese who had the surrounded the British Gloucestershire (or Gloster) battalion.

Arrival and First Actions

Originally equipped with Sherman and Chaffee tanks, the men arrived in Korea with no tanks and were re-organized into a heavy weapons company.

Image1 depicts a Filipino soldier as he first arrives in Pusan, Sept.1950, equipped more the tropical weather of the Philippines, not the cold climes of Korea.

Getting some additional clothing, helmet, and a weapon, he finally heads out for battle (image2). The 10th BCT crossed the 38th Parallel in Oct. 1950 and were involved with actions against North Korean battalions that month thru Nov.1950. (image3)




See more images of Pinoy Action Figures in KOREA...

Korean War Project: Philippine Battalions - United Nations Forces
Post a mesage, ask a question, give an answer.

[A Moment, Please!] Filipinos in the Korean War
By Pedro B. Bernaldez

PEFTOK 1950-1955 The Philippine Islands was among the first UN countries to send its forces to fight in Korea.

Throughout the war it contributed five 1,500-man Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs), which together constituted the Regimental Combat Team promised by the Philippine government to the United Nations in August 1950. Collectively known as the "Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea or PEFTOK," these BCTs served in Korea from September 1950 to May 1955.

These BCTs, which were reinforced infantry battalions, generally consisted of three rifle companies backed by an artillery battery. The exception was the 10th BCT (Motorized), whose Reconnaissance Company was equipped with M24 Chaffee light tanks. The PEFTOK battalions were mainly attached to American divisions such as the US 25th Infantry, 3rd Infantry, 45th Infantry and the 1st Cavalry Division.

10th Battalion Combat Team (Motorized) Sep 50-Sep 51

20th Battalion Combat Team Apr 51-Apr 52

19th Battalion Combat Team Apr 52-Mar 53

14th Battalion Combat Team Mar 53-Apr 54

2nd Battalion Combat Team Apr 54-May 55

Casualties 92 KIA 356 WIA

Five BCTs served in Korea. Only the 10th was designated a Motorized battalion. The Americans promised, but did not deliver, its Sherman tanks. Instead, its Recon Company received the Chaffees.

The ACG/SZO Discussion Forums - Philippine Expedionary Forces to Korea


The Korean War

PEFTOK in combat

9. CAPTAIN CONRADO D. YAP “ For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty against superior enemy forces at Yultong, North Korea, on 222-23 April 1951. Serving as part of the PEFTOK mission in North Korea, Captain Yap led his unit in reinforcing the beleaguered squad of 1st Lt. Jose M. Artiaga jr. who had been hit in the defensive action in the in the battle of Yultong. Cap Yap personally retrieved the body of Lt. Artiaga and three enlisted men in a counter attack intended to regain the hill portion and rescue the unit. He also assaulted an enemy fire emplacement 800 yards away inspite of enemy fire and was killed in the process. PEFTOK Medal of Valor awardee

RP troops’ bravery in Korean War chiseled on Eerie Hill

Korean War Veterans of the Philippines, Memorial Day... September 7.

An opinion from the "Other" side...

Further Reading:

More Information on Featured Stories Korean Vignettes: Faces of War: 201 Veterans of the Korean War Recall That Forgotten War by Arthur W. Wilson, Norman L. Strickbine

50th Anniversary Commemoration US Army: Korean War Home Page

US Navy Korean War Web Sites

US Marine Corps Korean War Commemoration

US Army in Korea: 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Home Page

History US Army Center for Military History: Korean War

The Korean War - Offers a bibliography and complete details on the period's weaponry, including photographs.

Project Whistlestop and the Harry Truman Presidential Library - Korean War for Educators

U.S. - Korea 2000 Foundation - Dedicated to Korean War veterans. Facilitates their participation in 50th anniversary commemorative activities, and educates the government and the general public about the legacy of the Korean War.

Korea Today

US Army in Korea Home Page

Department of Defense Special Report on Korea: "The Land of Morning Calm"

Museums and Memorials

The War Memorial of Korea - Seoul Korea

The War Memorial of Korea - Flash Intro

The War Memorial of Korea - English Page

Korean War Veterans Memorial - Washington, DC

Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library - Includes an oral history project and access to items of interest -- information on reunions, unit histories, support groups, and chronology.

USAF Museum - Korean Conflict - View photos of the bombers and fighters from the Korean War, as well as specification and performance information.

National Museum of Health & Medicine -Blood, Sweat and Saline: Combat Medicine in the Korean Conflict


Korean War Project :Offers bulletin boards, recollections, POW information, and updates.

The Forgotten War...Korea Offers veteran resources, related links, and photograph galleries.

- Military Research Room Offers a search feature that lists the 33,627 US Military personnel who died as a result of the conflict.

- Books: General History

This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History (Brassey's Five-Star Paperback Series) by T. R. Fehrenbach

The Korean War: An International History (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics) by William Stueck


Mash: An Army Surgeon in Korea by Otto F. Apel, Pat Apel

The Nisei Soldier: Historical Essays on World War II and the Korean War, 2nd ed. by Edwin M. Nakasone


The Sea War in Korea by Malcom Cagle, A. Brurke, Malcolm W. Cagle, Frank A. Manson, Arleigh A. Burke

Air Force

Air War Korea 1950-1953 by Robert Jackson

Officers in Flight Suits: The Story of American Air Force Fighter Pilots in the Korean War by John Darrell Sherwood


Breakout: The Chosin Reservoir Campaign, Korea 1950 by Martin Russ

The Last Parallel: A Marine's War Journal by Martin Russ

Other Nations

Battleground Korea: The British in the Korea by Charles Whiting

Enter the Dragon: China's Undeclared War Against the U.S. in Korea, 1950-51 by Russell Spurr

Oral History

The Korean War: Pusan to Chosin: An Oral History by Donald Knox

The Korean War: Uncertain Victory: An Oral History by Donald Knox, Alfred Coppel (Editor)

Korean Vignettes: Faces of War: 201 Veterans of the Korean War Recall That Forgotten War by Arthur W. Wilson, Norman L. Strickbine


Truman by David McCullough

Acheson: The Secretary of State Who Created the American World by James Chace

Mao: A Life by Philip Short

Stalin: The Man and His Era by Adam Bruno Ulam

Syngman Rhee: The Man Behind the Myth by Robert Oliver

Kim Il Sung by Dae-Sook Suh, Dae Suk Suh

Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur by Geoffrey Perret

MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Hero by Stanley Weintraub

Mathew Ridgway: General Matthew B. Ridgway by Jonathan M. Soffer