Korean War Medals Home Page

General Information - A Catalgoue of Decorations and Campaign Medals
Issued By Belgium To United Nations Forces
For The Korean War 1950 - 1954

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General Information about Belgium's involvement in the Korean War

 

The Belgium Government offered and had excepted an infantry battalion, composed entirely of volunteers, reinforcements and air transport. The forces provided by Belgium (with which was amalgamated a 44 person contingent from Luxembourg) formed the Groupe de Liaison pour la Belgique et la Luxembourg. This group was certified as directly supporting military operations in Korea. Initially the Belgium government sent several contingents to Korea totalling more than 3,500 men.

The 1st Belgian Battalion (Bataillon Belge) departed Antwerp on the 18 December 1950 aboard the troop ship Kamina (AP907), comprising a Headquarters, HQ company, and heavy weapons company (all mixed Walloon/Flemish); A and B [rifle] Companies (Walloon), and C Company (Flemish), which arrived at Pusan on the 31 January 1951. The battalion fought magnificently at the Imjin River, supporting British 29th Brigade; it was relieved on 21 August by the 2nd Battalion, which was then assigned to US 7th Infantry Regiment (3rd Division). In October this unit defended a forward position at Haktang-ni for three days against a heavy Chinese attack. In April 1953 the unit fought off Chinese attacks at Chatkol.

The first 450 Belgium volunteers were due to disembark from Korea along with the first Dutch contingent on 1 October 1951 at Amsterdam.  The Ministry of National Defence were late to learn that the Dutch Government were going to present their troops with a Korean campaign ribbon on arrival at Amsterdam. Because of this the Royal decree of creation of the 'Medaille Commemorative des Theatres d'Operations Exterieures' was hastily drawn up and eventually signed by King Baudouin while he was on vacation in Austria on 26 September 1951. There was insufficient time to have the ribbon manufactured, but the ribbon from the 'Medaille privee de l'oeuvre National des Anciens Combattants (O.N.A.C.) was used as the base colours matched, and the two 2mm white stripes were woven on separately. The ribbon broaches were all finished in time and the 450 Belgium volunteers received their ribbon at the same time as the Dutch on the quayside.

The Belgium’s rotated their forces throughout the war and the following Units were involved :- 

1st Belgium Battalion  -  12.50 to 08.51

2nd Belgium Battalion  -  08.51 to 06.55

3rd Belgium Battalion  -    ?  to 06.55

In June 1955 the last Belgians left Korea, having lost 101 dead and 478 wounded.

The following web sites contain very good information on the ‘Bataillon Belge’ and their medals for Korea:-

  http://users.skynet.be/hendrik

  http://www.belgian-volunteercorps-korea.be

  http://www.belgian-medals.com