Korean War Casualty Information

 
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"Deadliest" Statistics for the Korean War

 
This information was found on pages 22 and 23 of the June/July 2003 VFW Magazine.

Deaths by Combat Arms Branch:
 
Branch Number % of Total
Infantry 22,765 82%
Artillery 2,332 8%
Combat Engineers 850 3%
Army Medical Service 830 3%
Armor 530 2%

Note: These branches account for 98% of all 27,731 Army hostile deaths.

Source: Micheal Clodfelter, Warfare & Armed Conflicts. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2002, p. 735.


10 Deadliest Battles of the Korean War:
 
Battle Combat Fatalities* Dates
Pusan Perimeter 3,603 Aug 4-Sep 16, 1950
Chosin Reservoir 1,641 Nov 27-Dec 9, 1950
Kunu-ri 1,194 Nov 29-Dec 1, 1950
Naktong Breakout 834 Sep 16-27, 1950
Hoengsong 773 Feb 11-13, 1951
Taejon 638 Jul 19-20, 1950
Heartbreak Ridge 616 Sep 13-Oct 15, 1951
Kum River 490 Jul 13-16, 1950
Unsan 454 Nov 1-2, 1950
Soyang River 406 May 17-20, 1951

*This includes killed in action, died of wounds, died while POW and MIAs later declared KIA.

Source: Korean War veteran Dick Ecker of Illinois compiled these statistics from a database he developed. Ecker notes that, while there is always a margin of error in historical research, this is the only known compilation of its kind. The fatalities include killed in action, died of wounds, died while prisoner of war, and missing in action later declared killed in action. It should further be noted that in the first battle of Pork Chop Hill on April 16-18, 1953, there were 112 Americans killed in action. Ecker drew heavily on Army records for this casualty study.


Miscellaneous

Total U.S. Wounded (not mortal, hospitalized):
103,284

Prisoners of War:
7,140 (4,418 returned; 2,701 died in captivity; 21 refused repatriation)

Deadliest U.S. Week (KIA):
November 26-December 2, 1950 = 3,567 fatalities

Deadliest U.S. Day (KIA):
November 30, 1950 = 799 fatalities

Peak U.S. Fatality Month:
November 1950 = 3,627

Medal of Honor Recipients:
131

Black Participation & Deaths:
13% of troops & 8% of total deaths = 3,075

 

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