Motto: We Lead
A veteran unit in the anti-Huk campaign, the 20th brought 1,400 men to the Korean War. Its battalion commander was Col. Salvador Abcede.
The 20th inherited a new kind of war from the 10th. Both the UNC and the Communists opened armistice negotiations to end the war beginning July 1951, first at the town of Kaesong then at Panmunjom. As a result, the great attacks and counterattacks of the war’s first year gave way to a stalemate on the battlefield.
The war became akin to the Western Front in France during World War 1. A deadly "No Man’s Land" studded with land mines, fenced by barbed wire and defended by thousands of machine guns developed between the two sides The war turned into a series of patrols, raids and small scale but vicious actions in which each side tried to “improve” its line by seizing vital terrain. Artillery took on a dominant role in the constricted battlefront.
|Battlefields of the 20th BCT along the Demilitarized Zone or DMZ.|
During the Allies’ autumn offensive, the 20th attacked and forced the Chinese from Hills 277, 321, 300 and 313. In its forward drive, the 20th penetrated the farthest north (towards Pyongyang) than any UNC unit.
|Men of the 20th attack a communist Chinese held hill.|
|Commanding Officer Col Salvador Abcede|
It was part of the UNC force that established the truce demarcation line and beat off repeated CPV attacks on this line. With the US 67th Infantry Regiment, the 20th repelled the CPV 64th Army that attacked the UNC line east of the Imjin River.
|North Korean army officer taken prisoner by the 20th.|
Offensive patrols raided CPV positions to the north. In March and April, the 20th was committed east of the Imjin. Patrol actions continued with the battalion knocking out several CPV tanks and self-propelled guns and inflicting close to 400 casualties on the enemy. The battalion took part in the action to rescue a Greek battalion attacked by the CPV in mid-March.
|.30 cal. machine gun crew awaits the communist Chinese enemy.|
At the town of Karhwagol, west of Chorwon, the battalion fought the CPV in nine combat actions, seven of which were close quarter fights at Hills Eerie, 191, 200, 198, Yoke and Old Baldy.
Later on, the 20th fought at Pork Chop Hill and at the Alligator Jaw, a terrain feature so named because its hills and ridges formed the letter V. Hill Eerie, a particularly infamous hill that had changed hands many times, was attacked and taken for the last time on 21 May by a platoon commanded by Lt. Fidel Ramos, who became President of the Philippines in 1994.
|Pfc Dalmacio Ligada receives the Philippine Wounded Soldier's Medal from BGen Thomas Cross.|
In 350 days of combat, the 20th lost 13 men killed in action, 100 wounded in action and one man missing in action. The battalion’s combat experience from the anti-Huk campaign helped keep casualties low, as did the introduction of body armor.
|Filipinos test the new body armor that was later to save many lives.|