United Kingdom

The United Kingdom made the second largest contribution of troops to South Korea (81,084). Within days of hostilities commencing, the British government committed to deploying air, ground, and naval forces to the Korean War.


The Royal Navy already had ships deployed in the Eastern waters, and joined forces with the U.S. Navy on June 30, 1950. During the Korean War the British Naval Forces provided aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, a hospital ship, and a logistics support ships. By August 1950, the 41st Marine Independent Commando unit had arrived on the Peninsula. The Royal Navy provided British fighter aircraft.

Close to 17,000 Navy sailors participated in the Korean War, and 50 British warships took turns to carry out naval operations until the end of the war.


The Royal Air Force contributed a wing of flying boat patrol bombers based out of Japan.

The 27th British Infantry Brigade arrived in Korea on August 28,1950, including the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and the Middlesex Regiment. They immediately joined the U.S. 8th Army at the Busan Perimeter lines and additional British troops followed shortly after. The 29th British Independent Infantry Brigade Group arrived in December 1950. The 29th Brigade included the 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles, 1st Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment, and the 1st Battalion The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. 

As additional British Commonwealth troops arrived in July 1951, units were organized into the 1st Commonwealth Division. This Division included troops from the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

The 27th Brigade was awarded a ROK Presidential Unit Citation and the 41st Marine Independent Commandos were awarded a U.S. Presidential Unit Citation. The Gloucestershire Regiment and C Troop of the 170th Mortar Battery of the 45th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, were both awarded the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation for their actions at the Battle of the Imjin River. The Gloucestershire Regiment fared the worst in battle and lost 622 men, one quarter of their full strength on April 25, 1951.


More than 90,000 Britons served in Korea. The British Brigades provided ground support from August 1950 to March 1953. The British ground troops departed Korea in September 1956. 

The U.K. suffered casualties that included 1,078 killed in action, 2,674 wounded in action, and 254 missing in action.

 
The U.K. has two officers currently serving in the Republic of Korea in the United Nations Command.