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Saturday, December 12, 2009

14th BATTALION COMBAT TEAM

Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea
"Avenger"


Named the Avengers by then Secretary of National Defense Ramon Magsaysay because of its splendid record in the anti-Huk campaign, the 14th BCT under Col. Nicanor Jimenez stepped onto Korean soil on 26 March 1953.

From Pusan, the Avengers proceeded to Chuncon by train and were trucked to the Injo Valley where it bivouacked as a reserve. On 15 May, the battalion hit the front lines. Its sector was astride the State-re Valley, one of the main invasion routes in the west central front.

The battalion’s mission was to deny the enemy use of the valley and secure commanding terrain at “Sandbag Castle” and Heartbreak Ridge. A rifle company and a platoon of tanks defended the valley floor. Perched above them, on Sandbag Castle and Heartbreak Ridge, were two companies.

Aggressive patrols into enemy territory sparked short but vicious close quarter combats. During one such patrol, a squad under Staff Sgt. Ponciano Agno of “C” Company rescued another squad trapped by the Chinese.

14th BCT CO Col Nicanor Jimenez receives the South Korean Presidential Streamer from Pres. Syngman Rhee.

One of the men rescued, Pfc. Aquilino Agustin, was captured by the Chinese and only escaped by selflessly exploding two grenades in the face of his captors. The explosion killed the Chinese and riddled Agustin’s armored vest and helmet with shrapnel. Agustin received the US Silver Star for this heroic act.



After two months at the front during which it lost four men KIA and 27 WIA, the battalion was relieved by units of the US 45th Infantry Division.

On its return to the front, the 14th took part in the rescue of the ROK 20th Division being heavily attacked by the CPV. The battalion was designated a counter attack force and established blocking positions to cut off the CPV. On the evening of 14 June, the CPV bombarded the battalion’s blocking position for 12 hours with massive artillery fire killing two men and wounding six others.

Heavily armed combat patrol at briefing before moving out for the DMZ.

The following morning, “A” and “B” Companies counterattacked at Christmas Hill, which the CPV had taken from an American company. After being delayed by rain and sleet, the counterattack made good progress and regained Christmas Hill. CPV casualties totaled over 200 killed in this action. In the afternoon, the battalion deployed to new positions.

 Sgt Ponciano Agno receives the Gold Star from Brig Gen PD Ginder, CG, US 45th Infantry Division.

On 18 July, the battalion beat off an enemy company that was probing its defenses. At Hill 500 on the State-re front, the Chinese tried to persuade the 14th to “go home.” “We are not your enemies,” the Chinese screamed over their loudspeakers. They were ignored.

Filipinos at a listening post on the lookout for enemy movement.

On the 24 July, “A” Company was hit by heavy enemy artillery fire that continued for the next three days. Thousands of rounds were hurled at the battalion disrupting communications and re-supply. The battalion’s artillery returned fire and expended thousands of rounds against the Chinese artillery and infantry positions.

Mail call.

In late July, the 14th was pulled out of the front line and moved to the Yanggu Valley. In this new base, the battalion embarked on an intensive training program and joined in efforts to rebuild villages along the Yanggu Valley.

14th BCT man takes a South Korean bride.

For its efforts, the 14th received the South Korean Presidential Unit Citation in December 1953, and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation upon its return home in March 1954.

The Avengers cheer the Armistice, 27 July 1953.

14 comments:

  1. an incredible feat achieved by our country, considering that the philippines was still economically unstable, its government threatened by communist insurgency, and the entire country still recovering from the ashes of the second world war.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is an incredible feat, isn't it.

      But Filipinos of today can reclaim our country's status as Southeast Asia's greatest economic and military power.

      "Philippines First."

      Our Motherland Above All.

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  2. my father is a member of BCT 14 Sgt. Benigno Havana Sr. were proud!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please visit the new PEFTOK KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL HALL located along Bayani Road at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (beside Heritage Memorial Park).

      The Memorial Hall has a Museum and among the displays inside are six large panels on which are written the names of all the Filipino soldiers who served under PEFTOK.

      You can look for your father's name in the 14th BCT panel, and view the other parts of the Museum.

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  3. Anyone among sons and daughters of Avenger 14 "Crush`em" who has in possession copy of the 14th BCT Book? I wish I could have a reprint of that book. I lost in 1973 that record complete with pictures in Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School Campus when I brought that for viewing with my peers. That book contains all the document which speaks of the 14th BCT. My dad was still Corporal then and he was close to Col. Nicanor Jimenez. Their troop was under the Corps of General Ginder. My dad topped the scholarship of the Anmerican school of standards being placed number 2 since Americans favor fellow Americans who preferred the tExan to be number 1. Dad had to go home without having to enjoy the scholarship since Col. Jimenez did not apporve of his going to Japan. He later transferred to the 19th BCT which opened for him an opportunity to advance to the School for Reserve Commission (Now OCS) Under the PATC (Phil. Army Training Center) where he graduated number 4 to serve in the regular Army service as 2nd. Lieutenant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can contact Rina Jimenez David of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Her father, who was an officer in the 14th BCT, write the Avengers' book.

      The PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. has only one badly worn out copy of the book.

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  4. Hello. I had just posted a blog about me being a son of an "Avenger" on my wordpress blog. My father is also from the 14th BCT. I would also love to have more information about their stint in Korea, as well as their tour of duty in the Philippines.

    http://swrphome.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/son-of-an-avenger/

    PS: I used this blog as one of my sources of information (historical reference).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, swrphome. I've just read your blog and it's August. My apologies for this very late reply. Congratulations on keeping alive the memory of your hero-father. He should be very proud of you. I hope the other sons and daughters of PEFTOK veterans also write about their fathers and grandfathers who served under the PEFTOK flag.

    The 14th BCT is unique among all five PEFTOK BCTs in that they are the only one that published a book about their service in the Philippines and Korea.

    Their book is entitled, "These are your boys, The Avengers." It was written by Captain Jimenez.

    The only copy of this book that I know about is located at the office of the PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. at Fort Aguinaldo. Their phone is 911-2579. Ask for the person in charge of the 14th BCT.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am also a proud avenger's daughter. My late father was in 14th BCT. What would be the country/area code for the contact number for the person in charge of the book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 14th BCT Chapter of the PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. or PVAI has a copy of the Avengers' book. The telephone number of PVAI is 911-2579. If you're abroad, the complete dialing sequence is 632-911-2579.

      Cherish your father's memory by keeping alive the memory of PEFTOK.

      Delete
  7. My father was a peftok veteran 19 bct? Agripino J. Orbida....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am always glad to hear from the families of our PEFTOK heroes. God bless you all.

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  8. Do you have a listing of members of the PEFTOK? Is there a Capt. Adolfo Estrada Castillo in the list (purportedly of the 4th BC? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. There is list of all the names of the men who served in the 14th BCT at the PEFTOK Museum located at the PEFTOK Korean War Memorial Hall along Bayani Road inside Fort Bonifacion in Taguig City.

      The list can be found on the floor panel depicting the story of the 14th BCT. You can visit the Museum.

      If you can't you can call the office of the PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. at 911-25-79 to inquire.

      Delete