Dutch Volunteers fighting in the Korean War

written by Elie van Schilt, veteran NDVN soldier

Chapter XX : Tanggok Military Cemetery, Pusan; Conclusion

On August 21st 1951 the entire battalion is lined up, in pouring rain, at the military cemetery in Pusan, to salute the 63 fallen comrades for one last time. While the Dutchman stand in that pose, a wreath is laid down by the U.N. flagpole, and another one by the Dutch flagpole.
Colonel Eekhout, in a fitting eulogy, remembers the fallen men, and in the name of the Dutch residents of Tokyo a bouquet of white chrysanthemums is laid on every single grave.
At every wooden cross, on which the name of the fallen soldier is written in black lacquer, the commander of A Company says a last farewell, and he remembers the fallen men, as they arrived in Den Haag.
The military cemetery in Pusan is situated in one of the most beautiful locations in Korea, in a valley, around it sawa's which, at this time of the year, are deep green, also the surrounding mountains are green because of the overgrowth which here still is.
It is inopportune to mention all names of all men who fought in the first detachment. I do not want to mention ranks, just a number of names which have frequently been mentioned in the description of the Korean War

v,d. Veer
den Ouden
v.d. Vrande
de Jong
de Roos
de Vries
de Haan
Bos brothers
v. Veen

Between the begin of the Korean War and the armistice signed on July 27th 1953, the United Nations lost 447.700 dead, of them 415.000 South Koreans. The non-Korean U.N. forces still lost 32.700 men dead. There were 548.000 wounded or missied in action, among them 428.500 South Koreans. For non-Korean U.N. forces, the number of wounded and missed still amounted to 119.500.

The opponent had 900.000 dead or wounded Chinese. The number of dead or wounded North Koreans is 520.000.
These numbers include only military personnel. The civilian population had to suffer even more, their numbers of casualties are even higher.

This was my account of the first detachment of Dutchmen that moved out to Korea. Hereby I want to point out that the later detachments have their own stories and their own battles, thus their own fallen and wounded.
The ultimate numbers of losses of the Netherlands Detachment United Nations, at the time of the armistice, was : 121 fallen, 500 wounded, 3 missed in action. On may 21st, we will commemorate them at Schaarsbergen.

This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on February 15th 2002

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