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|Lt Kameron Ince
G2 Staff, CIC Liaison
1953 - 1954
Brig HQ Camp Bayonet
|4th Turkish Brigade
25th Infantry Division
The first Turkish contingent arrived in Korea during October 1950
The Turkish Brigade had a full turnover of personnel after a period of one years service.
Although only a single brigade served in Korea, it became a practice to number it according to
the year of service. Consequently, the brigade, which served in Korea for a 10 year period, was
numbered 1 through 10, according to its year of service. Of these, the first three saw action.
During the service of the 3rd Brigade in 1953, the Korean Armistice was signed. Thereafter,
Turkey continued maintaining forces at full Brigade level for another seven years, in accordance
with United Nations agreements.
The Turkish Brigade pulled out of Korea in 1960, but a reinforced Company remained until 1966.
Although I can find no official records stating so, it appears that a numbering system also was
applied to the company as we have both the 15th and 16th companies being at Camp Amahie
during 1965 and 1966, a 16 year span of service in Korea.
After the company departed Korea a small honor guard remained until 1971
|15th and 16th Turkish Co
1st Cav Div / 2nd Inf Div
THE TURKISH BRIGADE(s) IN KOREA
Following the invasion of South Korea by North Korean forces on 25 June 1950, the United Nations decided
to send UN troops to South Korea to oppose this act of aggression. The Turkish government offered to
contribute a full division to this multi-national force, but at the request of the U.S. Government, the Turks agreed
to downsize their unit to brigade strength. This made Turkey the third-ranking nation in the number of troops
contributed, after the United States and Great Britain.
The 1st Brigade arrived in Korea in October 1950. When the Chinese launched their offensive from across the
Yalu River in November 1950, IX Corps sent the Brigade up the Kunuri road to guard the US 2nd Division's
flank. Near Wawon, the main strength of the Chinese burst over them. The ensuing days saw some of the
bloodiest fighting of the war. Although inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy, the Turks' own losses reached
20% and they had to fall back to regroup, before being assigned other missions during the withdrawal of the
The 2nd Brigade arrived in Korea in September 1951 and replaced the 1st Brig. They participated in combat
operations during November and December, and in January 1952 were pulled back as Division reserve. In
March they were redeployed again to the front, but by this time operations had slowed down and the battle lines
had become more or less static, except for small-unit skirmishes and constant patrolling.
The 3rd Brigade arrived in Korea in August 1952, and following a training period was sent to the front in
December. In the meantime, truce talks were continuing in Panmunjom and a cease-fire seemed in the offing.
To break the stalemate and capture as much ground as possible before the cessation of hostilities, the CCF
launched massive attacks. Suddenly the front lines erupted in fierce battle once again, such as the famous
fight for Pork Chop Hill... Also under attack nearby were outposts such as Vegas,
Carson and Elko, defended by the 3rd Turkish Brigade. The fighting reached a desperate pitch, with the
Chinese determined to seize these outposts at any cost. The Turks fought them hand-to-hand, while the enemy
kept attacking right through their own artillery barrage... For the two-day battle the enemy paid a forbidding
price: 2,200 killed, while the Turks lost 104 men.
Finally, the Armistice was signed and went into effect on 27 July 1953 - and the guns fell silent along the
front lines in Korea.
For gallantry in action during the Korean War the Turkish Brigade was awarded the Army Meritorious Unit
Commendation and Legion of Merit by the United States, and a Presidential Unit Citation by the Republic of
Korea, in addition to other decorations, including Silver Stars received individually by many Turkish soldiers.
The 4th Brigade arrived in Korea in July 1953, during the final Chinese offensive. Elements of the Artillery
Battalion and AAA were immediately rushed to the front and put under the operational control of the 1st Marine
Div. and engaged in combat until the Armistice. After further training at Camp North Star near Uijongbu, the
Brigade, as part of the 25th Div., replaced the 7th Division along the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) in the Chorwon
sector north of Seoul, between to 1st Marine Div to the west and US 40th Div to the east. The new mission was
to secure the DMZ and interdict enemy infiltration, particularly at night. To this end, security of positions and
camps was increased and the entire sector was patrolled round-the-clock, as there was no guarantee as to the
permanence of the Cease-fire. There were reports of infiltrators coming in by sea behind the lines, then mixing
in with the local populace, and engaging in sabotage. Vehicles could not be left unattended in urban areas, as
there were cases of bombs planted in them (early IEDs?).
In the spring of 1954 the Brigade was moved into reserve along with the 25th Div. In July, with the arrival of
the 5th Brigade, the 4th left Korea from the port of Inchon. For a number of years afterwards Turkey continued
to send replacement brigades on an annual rotation basis, then this was reduced to Company strength.
Eventually, with the political and military situation stabilized in Korea, the Turkish participation came to an end.
The official figures of Turkish casualties in Korea: KIA 721, MIA 168, WIA 2,111
2nd BN 72nd Armor
2nd Inf Div
1Lt Ken Leighty
Platoon Ldr, Maint Officer
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