Korean War

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The Korean War was an armed conflict between South Korea (supported by expeditionary forces of several UN members) and North Korea (supported by the People's Republic of China).

It commenced when North Korean troops invaded the South on June 25, 1950 and ended with the ceasefire of July 27, 1953.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the North Korean invasion of the Republic of Korea, with United Nations Security Council Resolution 82. On June 27, 1950, it passed Resolution 83 recommending member states provide military assistance to the South Korea.

Of sixteen nations who did so, the United States provided roughly 80% of the military personnel. Others were:

  • The United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • The Philippines
  • Turkey
  • The Netherlands
  • France
  • Greece
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
  • Ethiopia
  • Colombia
  • Belgium
  • South Africa
  • Luxembourg

In addition, the following nations provided medical personnel:

  • Italy
  • India
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Sweden

Greece and the Korean War

In response to UN resolution 83, the Greek government, under Prime Minister Sophocles Venizelos, sent the 13th Flight of the Greek Royal Air Force and the "Sparta" Battalion of the Hellenic Army to Korea in November 1950. All men were volunteers.

The 13th Flight consisted of seven C-47 "Dakota" transport planes, flight crews and ground personnel. In September 1951 an additional two aircraft were sent.

The Sparta Battalion consisted of 849 men under the command of Lt Col Georgios Koumanakos. On August 23, 1951, it was expanded to 1,063 men and, in the Autumn of 1953, further expanded to 2,163 in response to the withdrawal of the French contingent.

In total, taking into account replacements, 10,823 Greeks served in Korea.

During its time in Korea, the 13th Flight carried out 2,916 missions, comprising air evacuations, transports of personnel, prisoners drops of supplies and ammunition, replenishment of allied bases and collection of operational information. In total, its planes carried 70,568 passengers, including 9,243 wounded. They carried 11,104,550 lbs. of supplies and 17,000 lbs. of weaponry and ammunition. They logged 13,777 flight hours.


The Greek Expeditionary Force to Korea suffered the following casualties:

Air Force

  • Four C-47 aircraft were destroyed (one of them on the ground) with the loss of 12 men including 7 officers.


  • 174 dead, including 14 officers
  • 610 wounded, including 33 officers


"Greek wings in the Korean War"

To be continued