The Battle of Yultong

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3 years ago

Years after World War II, peace was restored throughout the globe, nations began to rebuild what was lost, but this period at that time when tensions between the East - The Communists of the Soviet Union, and the West - The United States and its allies. It marked the beginning of the Cold War.

After Japan's surrender, Korea is divided at the 38th Parallel into 2 zones of occupation. The northern half is controlled by the Soviets, while the southern half is controlled by the Americans. But the North Korean People's Army with support from China & the Soviet Union plans to invade the South. On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began.

Most of us are now getting hooked into Korean-Pop Culture, but there's one particular story during the Korean War where only hundreds of Filipino troops managed to hold the line against thousands of invading forces from the Chinese, and the first battle won on foreign soil.

The Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK)

Also known as the 10th Battalion Combat Team. This was the Expeditionary Force sent to fight in the Korean War. Composed of 1,468 troops, and the fifth largest force under the United Nations Command. The battalion was attached to the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion to retake South Korea, but the battalion had heavy losses, only 900 remained alive.

As they prepare for the offensive, the U.S. 65th Infantry Regiment deployed 2 Battalions facing the Imjin River, the 10th BCT held the regiment's right flank, next to them was the Turkish Brigade in the east where the Filipinos were stationed at.

How did the Battle start?

Battle Map of the Battle of Yultong

It began on April 22, 1951, at 8:00 pm (20:00), when the Chinese hit the Turks' position with an artillery barrage. After midnight, an artillery and mortar barrage followed by small-arms & machine gunfire struck the 3rd Division of the 65th Regiment. At 11:00 pm (23:00) the assault began in waves and fought a series of close combat engagements within its positions.

The line for the 65th Regiment was disconnected by enemy artillery but was restored at 12:30 a.m. (00:30). The Turks were ordered to reposition south of the Hantan River, while the 2nd Battalion of the 65th Regiment was forced to fall back a hundred yards to regroup since the attack from the Chinese was intense.

April 23, 19511:00 a.m. (01:00), the Chinese have surrounded the 65th Regiment so no one could escape. As for the 10th BCT, they remained in their position to hold their ground: drivers, typists, clerks, medics, cooks, and a chaplain joined the fight. They were pinned down but still managed to launch a counter-attack driving the enemy away.

Capt. Conrado Yap learned that some members of his battalion were killed, and wounded so he led a counter-attack towards the hill to rescue any survivors and recover his men. But Capt. Yap was killed in the fight. They succeeded in their objective and recovered a squad of survivors.

The Fighting Filipinos held their positions until early morning and covered the 3rd Division's retreat. 12 Killed in Action, 38 were wounded while 6 were missing. While the invading force suffered a lot of casualties, more than 500 Killed in Action, and 2 were captured.

The Aftermath

Capt. Conrado D. Yap

The late Capt. Conrado Yap was a decorated Filipino serviceman of the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the following medals and to honor his legacy, he was commemorated in various ways provided below:

  • The Philippine Medal of Valor

  • U.S. Distinguished Service Cross

  • First Class Taegeuk Cordon / Order of Military Merit

  • Camp Conrado Yap, a Philippine National Police camp in Iba, Zambales.

  • The Philippine Military Academy's mess hall called Yap Hall was named in his honor.

  • BRP Conrado Yap, a corvette naval ship of the Philippine Navy

  • Capt. Conrado Yap Day is a non-working holiday every April 23 in CandelariaZambales.

Filipino - Korean Soldier Monument

A monument was erected during its 15th Anniversary of the Battle of Yultong on April 22, 1966, in YeoncheonSouth Korea. If you'll visit Luneta Park in Manila, there's a monument called the Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic ties of the Philippines & South Korea on September 6, 2010.

This story shows us how we Filipinos are resilient and would do anything on their part for their love of our country, and to their fellow brothers in battle. Still, both North & South Korea are not on good terms after the war, but I'm hoping for both countries to ease the tensions and may bring peace & prosperity for both nations.

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Avatar for rapsantos
3 years ago


I didn't know about this, but the Korean War reminds me of my high school year where my teacher mentioned the war because fellow Filipinos participate in the war, such a great article.

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3 years ago

Did your mentor mention this battle? They only discuss the important parts, not the achievements/contributions of our country to the world.

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3 years ago

Yes, not the achievements, my teacher/mentor mentioned about the Korean war, only the point that Filipino warriors participate in the war and not the achievements of Filipinos.

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3 years ago

At my age for i am 44 years old. i never know the story about this. The history about war that i always heard bavk when i was in elementary and highschool days is the war between F.Magellan and Lapulapu. But now the history is clear for. And i think you for this unexpected time that i read your articles. Keep writingand God bless. .

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3 years ago

Even for me back when I was studying, the stories shared by our teachers are the most important ones. But you'll realize once you grew older, you would never expect that our country done a lot of achievements. Will continue to write more,

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3 years ago