Colombia, as the sole South American nation to support the United Nations Command during the Korean War provided an infantry battalion and three navy frigates on a rotational basis.
Starting on May 7, 1951, a total of three navy frigates, The Almirante Padilla, Captain Tono, and Almirante Bryon,
rotated into theater throughout the Korean War. Operating under UNC, the Colombian Navy conducted inshore patrols, escorted convoys, and defended islands off Korean shores. The first frigate, the Almirante Padilla, spent four weeks in Hawaii training with elements of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. After it's arrival in local waters, it was assigned to the Patrol and Escort Group in the Yellow Sea.
Colombian Infantry Battalion arrived in Busan on June 16, 1951. It was an all-volunteer force. The 1st
Colombian Infantry Battalion was attached to the U.S. 24th Infantry Division and later the U.S. 7th Infantry Division. They were renowned for their stand at outpost Old Baldy and the Battles of Hill 180 and Kimhwa Hill 400. This was the Colombian Army’s first overseas military operation.
Between 1951 and 1954 close to 5,100 Colombian soldiers served in Korea. Most were between 18 and 21 years of age. The last Colombian Infantry Battalion returned home on October 24, 1954. The Colombian Navy frigate, the Almirante Padilla,
returned with its sailors on October 11, 1955.
Colombian casualties included 131 killed in action, 689 wounded in action, and 69 disappeared in combat.
Colombia continues to contribute personnel to support the UNC mission both at UNC Headquarters and another at UNC Military Armistice Commission-Secretariat.