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Pinoy UnderGround >> Filipino Valor...The Battle of Yultong, Korea


3/10/09 4:49 AM
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El_Varaco
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With the US, British and Puerto Rican forces routed, all that remained between the communists and the US led UN force were the 900 Filipino soldiers (cooks and clerks included)  of the 10th Battallion Combat Team.  The Pinoys ignored orders to retreat and withdraw, and were subsequently written off by the Americans.  Surrounded by thousands of Chinese and North Koreans, the 10th held their ground and beat the enemy back in one of the fiercest battles of the war.

b-a-d-a-s-s
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from: www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Battle-of-Yultong

On September of 1950 a Filipino military contingent landed in South Korea , in fulfillment of the Philippines pledge of assistance to the United Nation’s effort to stem North Korea ’s Communist invasion of South Korea . The Philippines is a tropical country, but in Korea , the Filipinos faced the reality of a winter war. Raid after successful raid against the enemy gave the Filipinos a fighting reputation. The entry of China into the war, however, would give them the chance to sew into the fabric of the Philippine flag the meaning of valor to its highest possible degree.


When Allied forces neared the Yalu River , the boundary between Korea and Manchuria ( China ), Chinese troops attacked. The UN forces withdrew. Except the Filipinos. Not having received the order to withdraw, they remained, determined to fight to the last man. They were finally ordered to retreat, the last to leave the battlefield full of dead enemies. Operation after operation, the Filipinos shone that even Gen. MacArthur was mightily impressed. They were, on several occasions, became the unit farthest north among the UN forces. The story behind the Filipino defense of Yultong Ridge is a tale to be told in details. When the Chinese attack came, all UN forces retreated, except the Filipinos, who, rallying under the flag and defying orders, remained and engaged the Chinese in a bitter close quarter fighting. Considering the strength of the Chinese, UN Command wrote off the Filipino forces. Later, they were surprised to learn that the Filipinos were still fighting the enemy. They were immediately ordered to disengage. That order was ignored. They fought on and inspired the whole UN effort to stem the Communist attack. It would be an understatement to say that they prevented the UN front from collapsing.


And so it was that the whole world, again, saw the Philippine flag waving gallantly in Korean sky. No doubt, the ultimate standard of courage.


Peter Jaynul V. Uckung, Senior History Researcher, National Historical Institute

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If any of you guys have more sources on this particular event (or similar events), post the link I'd like to read more on this

3/10/09 5:36 AM
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El_Varaco
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Edited: 03/10/09 5:39 AM
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 a more detailed account:

Directly opposite of the Filipino positions were four Chinese division numbering about 40,000 men. The 10th BCT did not receive contact from these Chinese units until just after midnight on April 23rd. The Chinese opened their attack with a heavy artillery barrage before advancing on the Filipino defenders in the darkness of the night which they preferred to fight in. Once the artillery barrage ended it was clear an assault on the 10th BCT’s fortified ridgeline was coming because of the loud noises from the Chinese’s bugles, gongs, and drums that they used to communicate between their units. The first Chinese assault on the 10th BCT position was from the east side of the ridgeline. Baker Company of the 10th BCT successfully defended the east side of the ridgeline and inflicted heavy casualties on the Chinese aided with mortar and artillery support from the Filipino artillery battery.

However, during the massive Chinese assault on the east side of the 10th BCT the Chinese were able to push the Turkish Brigade from their positions and began to envelope the eastern flank of the Filipino battalion. LTC Ojeda was aware of the danger to his flank by the Chinese trying to surround Baker Company. To fortify his flank Ojeda organized and led a makeshift unit of the battalion’s clerks and cooks to form a defensive line on Baker Company’s flank. This makeshift unit with help from the M24 light tanks and the battalion’s own internal artillery support, was able to hold off the Chinese.

However, the situation only got worse for the 10th BCT as the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment on their western flank began to fallback from the Chinese attack on their exposed flank because of the withdrawal of the Turks. The Chinese attackers had gone behind the 10th BCT’s lines and attacked the Puerto Ricans. As the Puerto Ricans began to fall back to reconsolidate another defensive line to fight the Chinese from, the Chinese then turned their attention towards the Filipinos. The Chinese began to advance up the exposed Filipino flank and Lieutenant Colonel Ojeda used the men of his tank company that were supposed to receive tanks from the US but didn’t, as infantrymen to stop the Chinese advance. The Chinese began to attack a platoon of soldiers from the Tank Company that had just positioned themselves on a small hill on the 10th BCT’s flank overlooking the Korean village of Yultong.

The platoon was commanded by Lieutenant Jose Artiaga who refused to have his men abandon their positions despite the overwhelming Chinese numbers advancing up the hill at them. The platoon stood and fought heroically against the Chinese. This stubborn stand by Lt. Artiaga and his men bought time for his company commander Captain Conrado Yap to mount a counterattack to save the platoon of soldiers from the Chinese onslaught. Captain Yap led the counterattack against the Chinese and would die in the fight. Likewise his platoon leader Lt. Artiaga would also go down fighting, but the counterattack proved successful in saving the platoon from total annihilation by extracting them from the hill and stopping the Chinese advance from reaching the exposed flank of the battalion.

At first light Lieutenant Colonel Ojeda used his light M24 tanks to launch another counterattack against the Chinese who were trying to regroup on the hill they had just ceased from the Filipino defenders at great cost. The Chinese were surprised by the sudden counterattack and the 10th BCT was once again able to drive the Chinese back off the ridgeline.

Despite the success of the counter attack LTC Ojeda found himself with a major problem on the morning of April 23rd; his unit was completely surrounded by the Chinese due to the withdrawal of the units positioned to his left and right flanks that night. Being a soldier from an island nation can’t help but think that LTC Ojeda must have found it a tad bit ironic that from his battalion’s fortified ridgeline position they found themselves as literally a Philippine island in the middle of a sea Chinese infantry swarming past them. However, to hold this Filipino island, the 10th BCT had 10 soldiers killed, 14 missing, and 26 wounded in action after the battle that night, which wasn’t to bad of a result considering how out manned the battalion had been.

  .....Overall the Chinese Spring Offensive was a failure and the allies ultimately reclaimed the lost territory with an offensive operation that Lieutenant Colonel Dionisio Ojeda’s 10th Battalion Combat Team participated in. After the battle the allies estimated that 75,000 enemy soldiers died during the Spring Offensive with 50,000 of them dying in the Seoul corridor where the Battle of the Imjim occurred.

The Chinese would never truly recover from this defeat and after their failed second spring offensive two weeks later the communists initiated ceasefire negotiations after even more heavy losses. The ceasefire negotiations caused the war to turn into a hill top war for the next two years until a final ceasefire had been declared. Without the heroic fighting of LTC Ojeda’s 10th BCT along with the rest of the allied forces that fought tenaciously in the Seoul corridor, the ceasefire may have come much sooner with the communist controlling Seoul and in a position of strength to dictate the terms of the ceasefire. As history turned out the position of strength the allies ended up negotiating from during the ceasefire negotiations was in part due to the actions of what the US command began calling the “Fighting Filipinos” of the 10th BCT.

from:  rokdrop.com/2008/05/08/heroes-of-the-korean-war-lieutenant-colonel-dionisio-ojeda-part-2/

 


 
3/10/09 6:32 AM
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El_Varaco
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I knew the Philippines was involved in Korea, I didn't know that it was this extensive, I thought our involvement was more logistical instead of operational.
3/10/09 2:29 PM
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khd29
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My grandfather's brothers were in Korea. At his funeral, I overheard them tell a story how they were in a hill, pinned down and radioed for backup. Machines gun fire were evreywhere and their anteana was shot off. I wish I knew more more but they were telling stories of my grandfather and his assigments in Mindanao.
3/10/09 9:27 PM
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PTM2020
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Edited: 03/10/09 9:27 PM
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 Awesome Post!!!!

I never knew about this battle.

It's like our own Battle of Thermopolye
 
3/10/09 11:07 PM
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El_Varaco
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It's like our own Battle of Thermopolye


yep except we didn't lose everyone
3/11/09 2:58 AM
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PTM2020
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El_Varaco - 
It's like our own Battle of Thermopolye


yep except we didn't lose everyone

 :   )
3/11/09 9:34 AM
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1ne8ightse7en
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My grandfather fought also in Korea. He was a scout/sniper during the war. He said he fought alongside President Fidel Ramos.

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