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9th Infantry Division (South Korea)

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Title: 9th Infantry Division (South Korea)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Vietnam War, I Corps (United States), U.S. Eighth Army Korean War order of battle, Republic of Korea Army, IX Corps (United States), 38th Army (People's Republic of China), III Corps (South Korea), Battle of Triangle Hill
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9th Infantry Division (South Korea)

9th Infantry Division

Active 25 October 1950 - present
Country  Republic of Korea
Branch Republic of Korea Army
Type Infantry division
Part of I Corps
Garrison/HQ Goyang, Gyeonggi Province
Nickname Baekma (White Horse)
Engagements Korean War
* Battle of White Horse
Vietnam War
Maj. Gen. Kim Chon O
Maj. Gen. Roh Tae-woo
White Horse on blue background

The 9th Infantry Division (제9보병사단), also known as White Horse (백마) after the victory of Battle of White Horse, is an infantry division of the Republic of Korea Army. The unit is composed of the 28th, 29th and 30th Regiments.[1]


Korean War

The 9th Division was hastily created in late 1950 during the Korean War and operated in the mountainous terrain of Sorak and Odae in the northeast, not far from the 38th parallel. The North Korean II Corps cut it off in late 1950 and the Division suffered heavy casualties.

During October 1952, all three 9th Division regiments, the 28th, 29th and 30th (12,000 men) held Hill 395, northwest of Chorwon, North Korea, known as White Horse Mountain. The Division prepared for a Chinese assault. A captured North Korean officer who knew of the impending attack and did not want to be in the fight betrayed his comrades and told the ROKs about it. Many support units helped the 9th Division, but at the end of the day, it was the 9th Division pitted squarely against the Chinese 38th Army. The 9th Division was renamed after the battle and is known as the White Horse Division.

Three 9th Division men received the US Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for their service in the Battle of White Horse Mountain, near Chatkol. The DSC is the second highest military decoration of the United States Army, awarded for extreme gallantry and risk of life in combat with an armed enemy force. The ROK recipients were Major General Kim Chon O, 9th Division; 2nd Lt. Chung Nak Koo, 11th Co., 28th Regiment; and Sergeant Kim Man Su, 9th Co., 29th Regiment.[2]

Vietnam War

The 9th Division arrived in Vietnam between 5 September and 8 October 1966 and was positioned in the Ninh Hòa District at the junction of Route 1 and Route 21. The 28th Regiment was stationed in the Tuy Hoa area, the 29th Regiment in and around Ninh Hoa, adjacent to division headquarters, and the 30th Regiment on the mainland side to protect Cam Ranh Bay. With these three areas under control, the 9th Division could control Route 1 and the population along that main road all the way from Tuy Hoa down to Phan Rang, from Tuy Hoa north to Qui Nhon, and as far north of that city as the foothills of the mountains in southern Binh Dinh Province.[3]

Significant operations and actions involving the Division include:

  • Operation Ma Doo I (마도의 작전), an operation by the 28th Regiment in Phu Yen Province from 21 January to 7 February 1967 results in 160 NVA killed and 167 weapons captured[4]
  • Operation Baek Ma I (백마의 작전), a search and destroy operation in Khanh Hoa Province by the 29th and 30th Regiments from 29 to 31 January 1967 results in 390 NVA killed and 302 weapons captured for no friendly losses[5]
  • Operation Oh Kak Kyo (오작교 작전), to link up the Division's tactical area of responsibility with the Capital Division in Phu Yen Province from 8 March to 18 April 1967 results in 831 VC killed and 659 weapons captured for the loss of 23 ROK[6]
  • Operation Hong Kil Dong (홍길동 작전), with the Capital Division in Tuy Hoa Province from 9 July to 21 August 1967, kills 638 NVA for the loss of 26 ROK. 98 crew-served and 359 individual weapons were captured[7]

Commanders during Vietnam War

Maj. Gen. Yi So-dong

Maj. Gen.Cho Chun-sung

Order of battle during Vietnam War

9th Infantry Division

Armored Company
Direct Control Company
Reconnaissance Company
Engineering Battalion
30th Field Artillery Battalion
51st Field Artillery Battalion
52nd Field Artillery Battalion
966th Field Artillery Battalion
28th Infantry Regiment
29th Infantry Regiment
30th Infantry Regiment

Unit statistics for the Vietnam War

Start Date End Date Deployed Combat KIA WIA
Officer Non-officer Total Large Small Total Officer Non-officer Total Officer Non-officer Total
September 22, 1966 March 11, 1973 6,445 98,891 105,336 478 211,236 211,714 78 1,250 1,328 160 2,250 2,410

Coup d'état of December Twelfth

In 1979, the 9th Division was involved in the Coup d'état of December Twelfth, when its commander, Major General Roh Tae-Woo led the unit to Seoul without orders, away from its normal position near the DMZ, and supported the take-over of the South Korean government by Lt. General Chun Doo Hwan.

See also


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