Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea

The Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) (Filipino: Puwersang Expedisyonarya ng Pilipinas sa Korea or PEPK, Spanish: Fuerza Expedicionaria Filipina a Corea or FEFC) was the Philippine Army contingent of the United Nations forces that fought in the Korean War (1950–1953). The unit arrived in Korea in August 1950. It was composed of 1,468 troops, and was the fifth largest force under the United Nations Command. The PEFTOK took part in the Battle of Yultong and the Battle of Hill Eerie. The unit operated alongside the United States 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, and 45th Infantry Division.

Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK)
Puwersang Expedisyonarya ng Pilipinas sa Korea (PEPK)
Fuerza Expedicionaria Filipina a Corea (FEFC)
PEFTOK Veterans Association Inc. Logo
PEFTOK Veterans' Association logo, incorporating the insignia of the different Filipino units that fought in Korea
Country Republic of the Philippines
Allegiance United Nations
Type5 Battalion Combat Teams (BCT) incorporating Infantry, Artillery and Reconnaissance elements
Sizec.7,500 over duration of the war [1]
Nickname(s)"Fighting Filipinos"
EngagementsOperation Tomahawk 1951,
Battle of the Imjin River 1951,
Battle of Yultong 1951,
Battle of Heartbreak Ridge 1951,
Battle of Eerie Hill 1952
DecorationsVarious American Presidential Unit Citations,
Filipino Presidential Unit Citation


2nd Battalion Combat Team (BCT)Edit

2nd BCT served in April–May 1954.[2][better source needed]

10th Battalion Combat Team (BCT)Edit

10th BCT Tank Co Motorized ("The Fighting Filipinos") received the U.S. Gallantry Award for the April 22–23, Battle of Yultong, where it suffered 10 Killed in action (KIA), 14 Missing in action (MIA), 26 Wounded in action (WIA), and 5 additional KIA in rescue efforts for UN. The Tank Company of the 10th BCT was at the frontline, under the command of Captain Conrado Yap. In that Battle of Yuldong, the biggest battle that the Filipino soldiers fought in the Korean War, he was given the authority to withdraw because they were severely outnumbered. Captain Yap’s problem was that one of the platoons under his command was being destroyed and he wouldn’t leave his men behind. Instead, he counterattacked recovered the dead and rescued his wounded men. Unfortunately, he lost his life in the process. He was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Philippines, the Distinguished Service Cross by the U.S.A. and the TAEGEUK Order of Military Merit by South Korea, making him the only Filipino hero decorated by three countries with the most prestigious medal that they could possibly give. The total 10th BCT casualty tally for the war was 43 KIA, 9 MIA, 58 captured. It served from September 1950 to September 1951.[2]

14th Battalion Combat Team (BCT)Edit

The 14th BCT ("Avengers") received the following awards: South Korean Presidential Unit Citation and Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. It served from March 1953 to April 1954.[2]

19th Battalion Combat Team (BCT)Edit

The 19th BCT ("Bloodhounds") received the following awards: South Korea Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation and U.S. X Corps Battle Citation. It served from April 1952 to March 1953.[2]

20th Battalion Combat Team (BCT)Edit

The 20th BCT suffered 13 KIA, 100 WIA, and 1 MIA. It served from April 1951 to May 1952.[2] Over a four-day period, from May 18 to 21, 1952, this team of Filipino soldiers saw action in the epic Battle of Hill Eerie. Six officers and 22 enlisted men were honored for meritorious services by the Philippine and American governments.

Gold Cross Medals were conferred to three officers: Lt. Benjamin G. Santos, Lt. Cesar Batilo and Lt. Rodolfo Maestro. The latter also received a Bronze Star medal(with 'V'{valor}Device) from the US military for leading the first successful assault on May 18. Lt. Leopoldo Regis received a Distinguished Conduct Star and US Silver Star medal for leadership in the assault on May 19. Lt Fidel Ramos, who led the assault on May 21, was conferred the Military Merit medal. Capt. Rodrigo Sarmiento of the medical detachment was also given the Military Merit medal for meritorious services for the period September 12, 1951 to May 15, 1952.[3]

112 Filipino Soldiers were Killed in Action during the Korean War.

Prominent membersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Korean War". Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e PEFTOK
  3. ^ Juan F. Villasanta , "6 20th BCT Brass, 22 EMs Recommended For US Awards", June 16, 1952.

External linksEdit