Nikos Deja Vu - The Greeks in Korea - Part 5 of 5 with English subtitles
ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΕΚΔΟΣΗ ΚΕΙΜΕΝΟΥ ΔΕΙΤΕ ΣΤΟ ΠΡΟΗΓΟΥΜΕΝΟ VIDEO
Greek Expeditionary Forces
Korean War Anniversary
15/10/1950 - 15/12/1953
The Greek Expeditionary Force (GEF) in Korea (Greek: Aeoonaoaooeeui O?ia AeeUaio, abbreviated AEOA) was formed in response to the United Nations appeal for assistance in the Korean War. It comprised a reinforced Army infantry battalion and a RHAF flight of 7 transport planes.
The Transport Flight
The seven C-47s of 13th Flight, with 67 Air Force officers and personnel, departed from Elefsis air base at 08.30 of November 11, 1950. They belonged to the 355 Transport Squadron, known for its participation in the recent civil war. The majority of the officers and NCOs of this first mission were experienced airmen, veterans of the Middle East campaigns of WWII and the Greek Civil War.
At noon of 3 December 1950, the first Greek aircraft landed on Korean soil. Immediately the Greek flight was attached to the 21st Troop Carrier Sq. (later renamed 6461 TC Sq.) of 374th Wing of the USAF, based initially at Daegu. From May 14, 1951, the flight was based at Kimpo air base. Until 23 May 1955, when it left, the Greek flight, which distinguished itself for the boldness and determination of its crews, carried out 2,916 missions, under exceptionally unfavorable conditions, comprising air evacuations, transports of personnel, prisoners and every kind of material, drops of supplies and ammunition, replenishment of allied bases and collection of operational information. In total, its planes carried 70,568 passengers, 9,243 wounded, totaling 13,777 flight hours, losing 12 officers and NCOs as well as 2 C-47s.
The Army Component
Originally, the Greek government intended sending a brigade to Korea, but with the quick UN victories in autumn 1950, the expeditionary force was downgraded to a battalion. The unit, sent in November 1950 under Lt Colonel Dionysios Arbouzis, was composed of 849 men and 6 vehicles in an HQ company and three rifle companies with one MG/mortar platoon and three rifle platoons each. The men were all volunteers from the 1st, 8th and 9th Infantry Divisions.
From August 23, 1951 it was expanded to 1,063 men, at which strength it remained until the armistice, in December 1953. It was subsequently increased to the level of 2,163 men until April 1955, to be gradually withdrawn afterwards, with only 191 men remaining by December 1955. A representative section of one officer and 9 men remained further until May 1958.
Battalion Events Timeline
November 15: Embarkation at Piraeus.
December 9: The Greek battalion arrives at Busan.
December 16: The Greek battalion moves to Suwon, attached to the US 1st Cavalry Division as the "4th Battalion (GEF), 7th Cavalry Regiment".
January 16: Remnants sweeping operation at Wolaksan, Haseoksan, Munsusan and Sinseol summits.
January 29: Battle with 3,000 Chinese at Hill 381, west of Icheon.
February 8: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 489, north of Gonjiam-ri.
March 7: Attack on Hill 326, east of Yongdu-ri.
April 7: Advance to Geumhaksan, north of Hongchen.
April 27: Defence of Hongje-dong area of Seoul.
May 26: Advance to Imjingang via Nogosan and Gamaksan.
June 9: Advance to Wyoming line, north of Yeoncheon.
August 4: Battle with the Chinese Army near Churadong area.
October 3-10: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 313 ("Scotch Hill"). The hill was captured on October 5, with 28 KIA.
December 30: Deployed at Imjingang S-curved area.
January: patrol duties attached to the 15th Infantry Regiment, US 3rd Infantry Division.
March 17: Battle over Kelly, Nori, Betty outposts.
May 23: The 1st company guards Kohe-do island prisoner camp.
July 23: Advance to Imjingang S-curved area again after improving the corps for 4 months.
August 7: Surprise attack at Hill 167 near Imjingang.
September 28: Battle with the Chinese Army near Nori Hill area.
October 29: Return to the US 9th corps, move to Cheolwon area.
December 14: Entice and destroy 1 Chinese company at Yujeong-ri.
December 27: 14 soldiers are killed in a transport aircraft crash in Jinhae.
March 11: Battle between reconnaissance squads at Hill 438.
May 16: Deployed at Junggasan, north eastern sides of Cheolwon.
June 16: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 420 (Outpost Harry).
July 16: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 495, south of Bukjeongryeong.
July 25: Battle with the Chinese Army at Hill 492, north of Seungam-ri.
Awards and Recognition
The 13th Flight received a U.S. Presidential Citation for its participation in the evacuation of US Marines at Hagaru-ri in December 1950. The GEF battalion received its first U.S. Presidential Citation in February 1952 for the capture of Scotch Hill.
The Greek company involved in the defence of Outpost Harry received the following U.S. Presidential Citation:
"DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY Washington D. C., 10 March 1955 GENERAL ORDERS 18
DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION Company P Greek Expeditionary Forces Battalion (Second Award) is cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Surang-Ni, Korea during the period 17 June to 18 June 1953. Assigned the defense of a vital outpost position (Harry), the company encountered a major enemy assault on the evening of June 17. After an intense concentration of enemy mortar and artillery fire, the hostile forces, which had taken up an attack position on the northeast and northwest side of the outpost, moved rapidly through their own and friendly artillery fire to gain a foothold on the northern slope of the position. Refusing to withdraw, Company P closed in and met the attackers in a furious hand to hand struggle in which many of the enemy were driven off. The aggressors regrouped, quickly attacked a second time, and again gained the friendly trenches. Immediately, the Greek Forces launched a series of counterattacks, simultaneously dispatching a diversionary force to the east of the outpost which successfully channeled the enemy thrusts. After 2 hours of close in fighting, the aggressors were again routed and the friendly positions restored. The outstanding conduct and exemplary courage exhibited by members of Company P, Greek Expeditionary Forces Battalion, reflects great credit on themselves and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and the Greece."
(The Greeks won six U.S. Distinguished Service Crosses, 32 Silver Stars, 110 Bronze Stars. 19 members of 13th Flight received the U.S. Air Force Air Medal for the Hagaru-ri evacuation operation in December 1950)
Documentary/footage from the "Time Machine" TV - In Greek language with English subtitles
Nikos Deja Vu