Korean War: The 14th Infantry in Korea
The Korean War has been called the "Forgotten War", historically overshadowed by World War II and Vietnam, though it figures prominently in the development of events. The Korean War was one of the first episodes of the Cold War and involved many of the great personalities of the era...Truman, MacArthur, Mao and Stalin.
The Korean War began in the early hours of 25 June 1950, when North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea. The war featured some of the most intense fighting ever experienced by American soldiers... and some of the worst conditions. 34,000 American servicemen lost their lives in three years... the majority of losses concentrated in the first year....a significantly higher figure per year than the 58,000 American casualties spread over ten years in Vietnam. There were both great trials and epic accomplishments during the war: the humiliating retreat of inexperienced U.S. soldiers in the opening days of he war; the brilliant Inchon landings masterminded by MacArthur; and the grittiness revealed in Chosin by the 1st Marine Division surrounded by a massive Chinese force.
The 14th Infantry in Korea
In responding to the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950 the U.S. Army found itself desperately short of units to halt the Communist advance. Continental U.S. (CONUS) units were stripped of personnel and equipment and sent to Korea on a priority basis. On 21 July 1950 the 3rd Battalion, 14th Infantry was reassigned to the Far East Command and then to the 1st Cavalry Division where it was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment. Unlike other units that had been cobbled together at the last minute, the 3rd Battalion, 14th Infantry was at full strength and due to it's rigorous training in mountain warfare, was in excellent shape to fight in the Korean mountains.
On 23 July 1951, the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry was transferred to Fort Benning where it was assigned to and redesignated as a battalion in one of the 3rd Infantry Division's regiments. The 3rd Division was initially sent to Japan, then to Korea. The remaining personnel and equipment of the 14th Infantry at Camp Carson were reassigned to other CONUS units. On 1 August 1951 the 14th Infantry less personnel and equipment was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division then fighting in Korea. To man and equip the 14th Infantry the assets of the 34th Infantry Regiment of the 24th Division, then conducting infantry training in Japan, were used. The 14th Infantry moved to Korea where it replaced the 24th Infantry Regiment, which was being inactivated as part of the integration of the Army.
The next two years found the Regiment in almost constant combat along the 38th Parallel occupying defensive positions like Heartbreak Ridge, Punchbowl and Pork Chop Hill and conducting aggressive combat patrols. The 14th Infantry's service in Korea earned the Regiment five campaign streamers and a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for gallantry at Munsan-Ni. Three Golden Dragons were awarded the Medal of Honor: PFC Bryant E. Womack, Medical Co, SGT Donn F. Porter Co G (both posthumously) and PFC. Earnest E. West, Co. L
Excerpted from history researched and organized by John Keliher at the 25th Infantry Division Association website.