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Filipinos Korean War Military Service

Guest webpage: Peftok

Names A-E
Names F-Z
Useful Info
Guest webpage: DNA Project of the Barkers
Guest webpage: Peftok
Guest webpage: Peftok Memorial
Guest webpage: Peftok & the Media
Guest webpage: Peftok Project of the Barkers
Guest webpage: Filipinos in Korea
Guest webpage: Koreans in the Philippines

                   Motto: “Steady On”


Philippine Army Battalion Combat Teams (BCT):


10th BCT Tank Co Motorized .AKA "The Fighting Filipinos" Award:U.S. Gallantry Award for 4/22-4/23 Battle of Yultong Bridge where 10th BCT suffered KIA (10), MIA (14), WIA (26) & KIA (5) in rescue efforts for UN.10th BCT total tally in the war KIA (43) MIA(9) captured (58) Served 9/1950- 9/1951

14th BCT Awards: S. Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. Served 3/1953-4/1954

19th BCT  “Bloodhound” Awards:S. Korean Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation, U.S. X Corps Battle Citation. Served 4/1952-3/1953

20th BCT suffered KIA (13) WIA (100) MIA(1). Served 4/1951-4/1952

2nd BCT served 4/1954-5/1955


112 Peftok officers & enlisted died in the Korean War




Philippine Medals & Decorations:

   MV-Medal of Valor

   DCS-Distinguished Conduct Star

   MMM-Military Merit Medal

   GCM-Gold Cross Medal

   WSM-Wounded Soldier's Medal


Partial Lists of Officers & Enlisteds


Fortunato Abat future Defense Secretary


Ricardo Albano- Award:MMM


Salvador Abcede- Col. 20th BCT, also in  WW11


Gregorio D. Acebu born 1927 SSgt 14th BCT


Ponciano Agno-SSgt


Ramon Z. Aguirre- Col. 19th BCT commander 6/16/1952 prevailed in Battle of Hill Eerie Filipino casualties 24 (died-8; wounded-16); Chinese casualties:500


Aquilino AgustinPfc Award: Silver Star (US)


Manuel “Manny” Aquino born 8/13/1917 Philippines; died 8/5/2008; later served in the Philippine Navy until retirement; also WW11 veteran USAFFE Death March



Jose M. Artiaga, Jr. 4/23/1951 KIA Battle of Yultong Bridge Korea 1st Lt.10th BCT Tank Co.  Awards: Philippine Distinguished Conduct Star; United States DSC


Victorino Azada 2nd BCT


Mariano Azurin Col. 10th BCT


Jesus Balauro Award:MMM


Arturo Baldonado Award MMM


Federico Bautista, Sr. from San Jose Nueva Ecija; retired from military 4/15/1967; died 4/15/2006TSgt 10th BCT Baker Co


Hernando M. Beltran Pfc


Norberto Blanco  Award:MMM


Ciriaco Bumanlag Pvt Award:WSM (posthumous)


Juanito Labita Cabayao Sr 10th BCT retired 1980 died 4/23/1995 Duenas Iloilo father of

        Brig Gen Juanito P. Cabayao, Jr


Bienvenido R. Castro 2nd Lt. 20th BCT born 1924 died of leukemia 8/17/2007 Philippines Vice President of International Federation of Korean War Veterans Associations (IFKWVA); also WW11 guerrilla  & Vietnam War (Philcag) veteran; Brig Gen


Alfredo Cayton  Award: MMM


Alipio Ceciliano Pvt KIA (1st)


Florencio Dela Cruz Award: MMM


Irenio Desamito 2nd Lt 19th BCT died 2/21/1996; served Phil Army 30 yrs


Jose O. Diangson 10th BCT Charlie Co.


Armando Dizon 2nd Lt. 20th BCT


Jovencio Dominguez


Cipriano Drapeza Sgt 20th BCT


Mauro R. Escano 19th BCT from Cagayan


Vicente Evidente Cpt


Ildefonso Tayoba Garcia 20th BCT retired 1984 died 8/2002 Phil


Delfin Gella


Ramon Ibarra 10th BCT


Bartolome Antonio Jacob 20th BCT


Temistocles Javinez 19th BCT died 11/2005


Nicanor Jimenez Col


Neil Labrador 10th BCT


Rodolfo Maestro Lt, 20th BCT


Nicolas Mahusay  SSgt.10th BCT


Prudencio P. Medrano


Ruben Montoya Award:WSM


Guillermo Moreno  Award: MMM


Bonifacio Muit Award:WSM


Dionisio Ojeda Col. 10th BCT


Agripino J. Orbida 19th BCT


Crispin S. Paciente Sr 10th BCT


Jose Palis Cpl 20th BCT


Antonio Z. Prima, Sr. 10th BCT died 1992 from Cagayan de Oro


Fidel V. Ramos born 3/18/1928 Lingayen Pangasinan, Philippines, Lt. 20th BCT one of the heroes of the Battle of Hill Eerie (5/21/1952). Military Awards: Philippine Legion of Honor, the Gold Cross, Philippine Military Merit Medal, the Legion of Merit (U.S.), Legion of Honor (France) and the U.S. Military Academy Distinguished Award, West Point grad (1950), also served in Vietnam War as Philcag Chief of Staff (1966-1968) Elected Philippine President (1992-1998)


Juanito Recio Award:MMM


Pedro Safra 2nd Lt


Aurelio R. Sagun Lt 2nd BCT


Venancio "Bonny" Serrano Lt. 10th BCT


Maximo Severa Award: GCM


Felizardo Tanabe Major 20th BCT


Monico Palencia Terano born 5/4/1932 Nabua Camarines Sur; died 1/25/2006 Houston, Texas; was w/ Peftok 1951-1952 (info provided by youngest daughter Leni)


Jesus Villamor 1st Lt


Conrado D. Yap 4/23/1951 @ the Battle of Yultong Bridge Korea KIA (while trying to help one of his soldier) buried @ the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, Capt 10th BCT Tank Co. Awards: Philippine Medal of Valor: United States Distinguished Service Cross


Maximo Young- Award:GCM





Primary Source: by Art Villasanta, Korean War Historian


Secondary Sources:  9/2/2006


Notes: Sep. 7- Philippines "Korean War Veterans Memorial Day"



PEFTOK Veterans Association Inc. Logo
Source: Wikipedia

Tribute to Col Dionisio S. Ojeda & Peftok by Col Romy Monteyro, Ret AFP
Source e-mail
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2009, 11:58 PM

*This is great news!  Israel if my recollections are correct would be the
second country where there is a memorial dedicated to Filipinos in
recognition of a heroic deed.
The first one is Korea where the PEFTOK is so honored... the most
famous of which was the 10 BCT, commanded by none other than Colonel Dionisio S. Ojeda, our next door neighbor in Singalong, Manila, who fired my aspiration for
a military career.
If South Vietnam was not overrun by the Communist, there would be a
memorial there to the PHILCAG or Philippine Civic Action Group.  Fidel
Ramos, then a Major was the Executive Officer of the First PHILCAG batallion sent there.  A total of two saw action in South Vietnam but mostly in civic
action operations such as building bridges and rendering medical and dental care in the far flung hamlets of South Vietnam.

In 1996 I was one of those present when the Vietnamese community of
Little Saigon in California honored then Senate President Blas Ople who
represented the Philippine government.  The FilVets of San Diego and I were attending the American Legion convention in nearby Anaheim where Ople was also honored for his guerrilla activities.  He invited all the FilVets to accompany him
in Little Saigon.

500-peso note may tribute Filipino heroes in Korean War


By Art Villasanta
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:24:00 04/20/2008

MANILA, Philippines—When the 500-peso bank note was first issued in 1987, my late father, Johnny Villasanta, noted with pride that here at last was a tribute to the Filipino soldier who fought in the Korean War (1950-53), and who helped rebuild and protect Korea between 1954 and 1955.

The reverse side of the original bank note was replete with Korean War imagery: Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. in war correspondent garb, his portable typewriter inscribed with his initials.

Also reproduced was one of the many stories he wrote for The Manila Times while covering the 10th Battalion Combat Team (BCT), the first of five BCTs comprising the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (Peftok).

But as my father—who was also a war correspondent in the Korean War for the Evening News—noted with disappointment, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had selected a story written by Ninoy that glorified the American instead of the Filipino fighting man.

The Ninoy story was headlined, “1st Cav knifes through 38th Parallel.”

The 1st Cav is the United States 1st Cavalry Division, one of seven US Army divisions that fought in the Korean War.

Manila liberators

The 1st Cav also took part in the Liberation of the Philippines in 1945, and helped wrest Manila from the Japanese Occupation forces. But the 1st Cav is an American unit.

My father felt the BSP should have chosen a story about the 10th BCT, which was the unit that both he and Ninoy covered. Ninoy wrote extensively about the 10th BCT and I have photocopies of some of his stories that were published by the Manila Times.

“Troops given big send-off,” (Sept. 3, 1950); “Ojeda leads Xth in heroic assault; Filipinos gain glory” (April 17, 1951) and “PI Xth recrosses ’38; Ojeda recalls retreat; morale up” (April 13, 1951) are but a few of the stories that Ninoy wrote about our boys that the Times published. [Then Col. Dionisio Ojeda was the 10th BCT’s commander.]

The BSP could have selected any one of these stories, or indeed any of the many other stories about the Filipinos that Ninoy wrote, when it designed the 500-peso bank note.

My father believed that this could only have happened because, regrettably, BSP historians know precious little about our country’s involvement in the Korean War.

What made the BSP’s choice of the 1st Cavalry story all the more perplexing to my father is that ironically Ninoy wrote hardly any stories about the US Army in Korea.

A check through the old issues of the Times will bear this out.

Due for redesign

The P500 bank note is now 20 years old. It was redesigned in 2002 and is probably due for another redesign.

If this is the case, I would like to suggest that the BSP replace the story about the 1st Cavalry with one that honors the Filipino 10th BCT.

The “Fighting Tenth” fought magnificently in the greatest battle of the Korean War—the Communist Chinese Spring Offensive, April 1951.

The excellence of the Filipino as a fighting man was proven at the famous Battle of Yuldong on April 23, 1951.

At the village of Yuldong in North Korea, the 900 men of the 10th BCT withstood the massive night attack of a 40,000-man Chinese army and, in so doing, helped prevent the total collapse of the western front of the United Nations Command (UNC).

The 10th BCT was one of the few UNC units on the western front not to have been overrun in the first hours of the immense Chinese assault. The Americans, South Koreans, British, Turks and Puerto Ricans all gave way before the Chinese attack.

But not the Filipinos who took up their hasty defensive positions only the day before the Chinese attack.

Unlike the doomed zoo

Comparisons with the historic Battle of Thermopylae and its famous 300 are tempting, but unlike the doomed 300, the survivors of our 900 lived to fight again another day.

(Thermopylae is the pass in central Greece where 300 Spartan warriors held back a massive invading Persian army in one of history’s famous last stands. The Persians succeeded in taking the pass but sustained disproportionately high losses. And the extraordinary bravery of the small force of Spartans bought time for the Greeks who went on to defeat the Persians.

The performance of the defenders at the Battle of Thermopylae has become a symbol of courage against overwhelming odds.)

The 10th BCT was among the units that spearheaded the ferocious UNC counterattack that finally forced the communists to negotiate an armistice to end fighting in the Korean War.

Recognizing the great defensive victory won by the 10th BCT at Yuldong will not only honor the men of this battalion, and the four other BCTs (the 20th, 19th, 14th and 2nd) that served in Korea, but will also pay tribute to all Filipinos.

‘Forgotten War’

The Filipino deserves to be honored for volunteering to fight for democracy in Korea. We were the first Asian country and the third United Nations member country to send combat troops to defend South Korea.

Over 110 Filipinos died in this “Forgotten War” that saved South Korea from being conquered by North Korea and Communist China. More than 400 Filipinos were wounded, some disfigured for life or mentally damaged.

Of the 7,150 officers and men who served in Korea, only about 2,000 are alive today. Many of these heroes remain poor, and their number decreases every month.

There will be no Filipino Korean War veteran left alive by 2040. By then, the youngest will be 103 years old.

Only two monuments

Only two monuments in the entire country pay homage to the Philippines’ forgotten role in the Korean War: The Korean War Memorial Pylon at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the Marikorea Monument in Marikina (built in 2005).

The 500-peso bank note can be considered the third monument to Filipino greatness in the Korean War.

Let the 500-peso bank note be an accurate reflection of our history by making it completely, and proudly, Filipino.

PEFTOK Veterans Association Inc. Logo
Source: Wikipedia

the government was committed to deploying troops to Korea.

Lieutenant Colonel Mariano Azurin Parades the 10th BCT passed Filipino President Elpidio Quirino