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Presidential Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg
Ribbon of the Presidential Unit Citation
Awarded by  South Korea
Type Unit Citation award
Eligibility Military units of South Korea, as well as all units who participated as part of the UN force in the Korean War
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Presidential Unit Citation streamer
Please see "Presidential Unit Citation" for other nations' versions of this award

The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation is issued by the government of South Korea to both Korean military and foreign units. The last major issuance of the decoration was during the Korean War when the decoration was bestowed to several U.S., U.K., and Commonwealth military units. By order of the Korean government, the award was also retroactively authorized to every unit of the United States Army which had deployed to Korea between 1950 and 1954. The award was also awarded to Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea for service between 09 December 1999 to 24 April 2002.

  • Also awarded to all who served in the 7th Infantry Division while that division was deployed in Korea from any time frame between 1953 - 1971.
  • The 1st. Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, British Army and Troop C. 170th Independent Mortar Battery, Royal Artillery, attached, were cited for exceptionally outstanding performance of duty and extraordinary heroism in action against the armed enemy near Solma-ri, Korea on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of April 1951. The 1st. Battalion and Troop C were defending a very critical sector of the battle front during a determined attack by the enemy. The defending units were overwhelmingly outnumbered. The 63rd Chinese Communist Army drove the full force of its savage assault at the positions held by the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment and attached unit. The route of supply ran southeast from the Battalion between two hills. The hills dominated the surrounding terrain northwest to Imjin River. Enemy pressure built up on the battalion front during the day, 23 April. On 24 April, the weight of the attack had driven the right flank of the battalion back. The pressure grew heavier and heavier and the battalion and attached unit were forced into a perimeter defense on Hill 235. During the night, heavy enemy forces had by-passed the staunch defenders and closed all avenues of escape. The courageous soldiers of the battalion and attached unit were holding the critical route selected by the enemy for one column of the general offensive designed to encircle and destroy I Corps. These gallant soldiers would not retreat. As they were compressed tighter and tighter in their perimeter defense, they called for close-in air strikes to assist in holding firm. Completely surrounded by tremendous numbers, these indomitable, resolute, and tenacious soldiers fought back with unsurpassed fortitude and courage. As ammunition ran low and the advancing hordes moved closer and closer, these splendid soldiers fought back viciously to prevent the enemy from overrunning the position and moving rapidly on the south. Their heroic stand provided the critically needed time to regroup other I Corps units and block the southern advance of the enemy. Time and again efforts were made to reach the battalion, but the enemy strength blocked each effort. Without thought of defeat or surrender, this heroic force demonstrated superb battlefield courage and discipline. Every yard of ground they surrendered was covered with enemy dead until the last gallant soldier of the fighting battalion was overpowered by the final surge of the enemy masses.
  • One Canadian unit holds this battle honour. The 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry were awarded this citation in the Korean war, at Kapyong. The unit, with 800 soldiers, held the line as American forces and other UN forces withdrew. They were attacked by an estimated 10,000 Chinese soldiers.
  • One Italian unit, the "Ospedale da Campo n° 68" (Field Hospital no. 68) of "Corpo Militare della Croce Rossa Italiana" (Military Corp of Italian Red Cross), was awarded this battle honour twelve: October 6, 1952 and December 30, 1954.
  • One Puerto Rican National Guard unit, the 65th Infantry Regiment (United States) was also awarded this battle honour twice during the Korean War. Among the battles and operations in which the 65th participated was the Operation "Killer" of January 1951, becoming the first Regiment to cross the Han River. On April 1951, the Regiment participated in the Uijonber Corridor drives and on June 1951, the 65th was the third Regiment to cross the Han Ton River. The 65th was the Regiment which took and held Cherwon and they were also instrumental in breaking the "Iron Triangle" of Hill 717 on July 1951. On November 1951, the Regiment fought off an attack by two Regimental size enemy units, with success. Colonel Juan Cesar Cordero Davila was named commander of 65th Infantry on February 8, 1952.
  • One South African unit, the 2 Squadron SAAF was also awarded this battle honour. It was presented on November 1st, 1951. It reads "This unit was dispatched form South Africa in support of the United Nations Forces in Korea. It was equipped with P51 air-crafts and has functioned continually in support of operations of the Eighth Army. Through all gallantry and devotion to duty of its personnel it has earned high praise and its losses in pilots have been heavy. It continued to meet cheerfully all tasks allotted to it, and gives a higher performance than is normally expected."
  • February 1951 a Dutch battalion (Van Heutsz) embedded into the US 2nd Infantry Division was awarded the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation for the capture oh Hill 325, north of Manjong Station. The under-strength A Company, reinforced by personnel from B and heavy weapons companies, was ordered to recapture Hill 325 on the 15th of February 1951. At 0230 hrs the next morning, the Dutch were beaten back by heavy machinegun fire; at 0345 hrs they tried again and this time advanced to within 300 metres of the crest before again being repulsed. Just before dawn the exhausted Dutch, their ammunition almost expended, fixed bayonets and, shouting their battle cry, gained their objective. For these actions the Van Heutsz received its first U.S. Presidential Unit Citation. This came at a cost, however, as the battalion had suffered over a hundred casualties.

See also

References

  • [1] Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual
  • [2] Secretary of the Navy Instruction for awards
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