Korean War Casualties

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Korean/Vietnam War Casualty Statistics Comparison*

The following statistics are based on the 1954 Department of Defense data base and the 37 month breakdowns reflect information based on the period of hostilities between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953 when the Armistice was signed. 


Months of combat 37
Battle Deaths 33,629
Other Deaths 20,617
Wounds 103,284
Total Casualties 157,530
Battle deaths per month 909
Other deaths per month 557
Wounds per month 2,791
Total per month 4,257


Months of combat 101
Battle deaths 47,321
Other deaths 10,700
Wounds 153,303
Total casualties 211,324
Battle deaths per month 469
Other deaths per month 106
Wounds per month 1,518
Total per month 2,092

*In 1994/95, the DOD added 22 more names to the hostile database (the total is now 54,268) and also made a number of corrections and reclassifications.  For an overview of the latest casualty statistics for the Korean War, continue reading this Statistics Web Page for Marty  O'Brien's "In a Nutshell."

Comparing the two wars, it is easy to see that the Korean War well earns its reputation as one of the bloodiest wars in American history.  And, keep in mind, Americans are still dying in Korea even today.

Here is a summary comparison of the 1954 figures, 1980 figures and the 1994/95 figures for hostile casualties, upon which my Nutshell is based in part:

Hostile Deaths 1954 1980 1994/95 Changes
KIA (Killed in Action) 23,300 24,242 23,835 +535
DOW (Died of Wounds) 2,501 2,464 2,535 +34
DWM (Died While Missing) 5,127 4,521 4,845 -282
DWC (Died While Captured) 2,701 2,415 2,436 -265
Totals: 33,629 33,642 33,651 22


Estimated Casualties of the Korean War

United Nations Forces


Dead Wounded
& Missing
Australia 265 1,387
Belgium 97  355
Canada 309 1,235
Colombia 140 517
Ethiopia         120 536
France         288 836
Greece 169 545
Netherlands 111 593
New Zealand 31 78
Philippines 92 356
Republic of Korea 416,004 428,568
South Africa (military & civilian) 20 16
Thailand 114 799
Turkey 717 2,413
United States 29,550 106,978
United Kingdom 670 2,692
Totals 447,697 547,904
Communist Forces
China 900,000
North Korea 520,000

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Korean Combat Jump Dates & Data

October 20, 1950
187th ARCT, 2nd Battalion
Operation: DZ Easy
Troopers: 1,203
Dropzone: Sukchon


October 20, 1950
187th ARCT, 1st & 3rd Battalions
Operation: DZ William
Troopers: 1,470
Dropzone: Sukchon


October 21, 1950
187th ARCT
Operation: DZ William
Troopers: 671
Dropzone: Sukchon


March 23, 1951
187th ARCT 2nd & 4th Airborne Ranger Co's.
Operation: Tomahawk
Troopers: 3,486
Dropzone: Munsan-Ni

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- 54,268 Worldwide deaths between June 25, 1950 and January 31, 1955 - Official period of the Korean War.

- 36,913 documented deaths in Korea and surrounding waters both hostile (33,651) and non-hostile (3,262).

The hostile deaths include 8,177 body-not-returned cases, a mix of KIA, MIA and POW, of which 47 remains have been identified to date by the department of the army and the department of the air force.

Official lists are maintained by the Department of Defense and the various services.

- 103,284 Surviving hospitalized wounded in action in Korea, undoubtedly there were a number of hospitalized WIA cases that did not get recorded; no records were kept for non-hospitalized wounded.

- 17,355 'Other' deaths worldwide, including hostile and non-hostile deaths - undoubtedly, a number of deaths in both categories in Korea were not attributed or recorded in official casualty lists for Korea.

The remainder occurred at other global locations.

The 17,355 figure is a 'historical' figure according to the Department of Defense. The DOD has stated that there is no list available for the 'other' category of deaths or wounded in action.

- 98 Hostile or hostile-related deaths in and over Korea and surrounding waters between February 1, 1955 and 1995 [Demilitarized Zone; USS Pueblo Incident; and Navy EC-121 shootdown].

131 Wounded in action in the DMZ insofar as it is known.

*A complete breakdown of casualty statistics can be found on pages 58-59 of O'Brien's book.

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West Point Graduates as Korean War Casualties

Including its war classes and those who returned to active duty during the Korean War, a total of 10,726 West Point graduates served on active duty during the Korean War.  Of those, 157 died battle deaths at a death rate of 14.6 per 1000.  Basis for this information are the career data listed for graduates in the 1950-55, 1960, 1970, 1973, and 1979 West Point Register of Graduates.  Below are the names of the West Point graduates who were killed, missing in action, or died of battle wounds in the Korean War:

Gen. Walton H. Walker
MG Bryant E. Moore
Col. John R. Lovell
Col. Frank H. Forney
Col. Allan D. MacClean
Ltc. William H. Isbell Jr
Col. Thomas B. Hall
Ltc. James L. McBride, Jr.
Maj. Donald L. Driscoll
Maj. Frank B. Howze
Maj. William T. McDaniel
Maj. John E. Roberts
Maj. Boone Seegers
Maj. William J. Greene
Maj. William P. Hunt Jr.
Cpt. John H. Nelson
Ltc. Lewis F. Webster
Cpt. Dean G. Crowell
Cpt. George A. Davis Jr.
Cpt. Louis W. Howe
Cpt. James T. Milam
Cpt. John A. Bruckner
1Lt. Taylor K. Castlen
lLt. William B. Crary
1Lt. Milton H. DeVault
1Lt. Ralph A. Ellis Jr.
Cpt. William J. Glunz
1Lt. Alfred H. Herman II
1Lt. Robert M. Horan
1Lt. John H. Jones
1Lt. Thomas A. Lombardo
Cpt. Raymond J. McCarrell
Cpt. Edward R. McElroy
Cpt. Harry R. Middleton
1Lt. Jared W. Morrow
Cpt. Donald E. Myers
Cpt. Edmund D. Poston
Cpt. Charles W. Pratt
1Lt. Clarence V. Slack Jr.
Cpt. Robert E. Spragins
Cpt. Robert I. Starr
Cpt. James L. Treester
Cpt. Arthur H. Truxes Jr.
1Lt Dirck deR. Westervelt
Cpt. Peter G. Arend
1Lt. James M. Becker
Cpt. Frank A. Doyle
Cpt. Loren G. duBois
1Lt. John N. Munkres
Cpt. Fred B. Rountree
1Lt. Carl P. Schmidt
1Lt. Ronald W. Skilton
1Lt. David B. Spellman
Cpt. Frank B. Tucker
Cpt. Marshall McD. Williams III
1Lt. Jerome B. Christine
1Lt. Robert B. Coleman
1Lt. Stanley W. Crosby Jr.
1Lt. Robert M. Garvin
1Lt. David W. Gibson
1Lt. Frederick G. Hudson III
1Lt. Leon J. Jacques, Jr.
1Lt. Henry T. MacGill
Cpt. LeRoy E. Majeske
Cpt. Lee G. Schlegel
1Lt. Gordon M. Strong
1Lt. Louis L. Anthis
1Lt. David W. Armstrong
1Lt. Raymond U. Bloom
Cpt. Charles E. Coons
1Lt. Raymond C. Drury, Jr.
1Lt. Patteson Gilliam
1Lt. Rufus J. Hyman
1Lt. Charles F. McGee
1Lt. John M. Nelson
1Lt. William T. O'Connell Jr.
1Lt. Tenney K. Ross
1Lt. Richard J. Sequin
1Lt. James A. VanFleet Jr.
1Lt. Richard L. Warren
1Lt. John E. Watkins
1Lt. Edward A. White
1Lt. David P. Barnes
1Lt. Ralph M. Buffington
1Lt. William D. Bush Jr.
1Lt. Samuel S. Coursen
1Lt. Bernard Cummings Jr.
2Lt. Courtenay C. Davis Jr.
2Lt. Frederic N. Eaton
2Lt. Roger L. Fife
1Lt. Joseph A. Giddings Jr.
1Lt. Thomas G. Hardaway
1Lt. William S. Kempen Jr.
1Lt. Leslie W. Kirkpatrick
2Lt. Roger R. Kuhlman
1Lt. Munro Magruder
2Lt. Herbert E. Marshburn Jr.
1Lt. Wilbur J. Mueller
2Lt. Cecil E. Newman Jr.
2Lt Fenton McG. Odell
1Lt. Jerome J. Paden
1Lt. William R. Penington
1Lt. John J. Ragucci
1Lt. Robert B. Ritchie
1Lt. Floyd A. Stephenson Jr.
2Lt. George W. Tow
1Lt. William McC. Wadsworth
2Lt. Harry W. Ware Jr.
2Lt. William H. Wilbur Jr.
2Lt. Courtenay L. Barrett Jr.
1Lt. John O. Bates Jr.
2Lt. Thurston R. Baxter
1Lt. Medon A. Bitzer
1Lt. Warner T. Bonfoey Jr.
1Lt. Thomas W. Boydson
2Lt. Howard G. Brown
2Lt. Willard H. Coates
2Lt. Frank P. Christensen Jr.
1Lt. Gene A. Dennis
1Lt. George B. Eichelberger Jr.
1Lt. Charles K. Farabaugh
1Lt. George E. Foster
1Lt. John H. Green
1Lt. Thomas P. Greene
2Lt. Carter B. Hagler
2Lt. George E. Hannan
2Lt. Edmund J. Lilly III
2Lt. Warren C. Littlefield
2Lt. Frank R. Loyd, Jr.
1Lt. John M. McAlpine
1Lt. James D. Michel
1Lt. Peter H. Monfore
1Lt. William F. Nelson
1Lt. Stanley D. Osborne
2lt. William E. Otis Jr.
1Lt. James R. Pierce Jr.
1Lt. Robert W. Robinson
2Lt. Harry E. Rushing
1Lt. William B. Slade
1Lt. Kenneth A. Tackus
2Lt. John C. Trent
1Lt. John L. Weaver
1Lt. Warren Webster III
1Lt. Roland E. Cooper
1Lt. Maynard B. Johnson
1Lt. Samuel A. Lutterloh
2Lt. Richard R. McCullough
1Lt. Edward J. Mueller Jr.
1Lt. Robert F. Niemann
1Lt. Kenneth V. Riley Jr.
1Lt. Louis J. Storck
1Lt. John R. Wasson
2Lt. Thompson Cummings
2Lt. Richard G. Inman
1Lt. Karl G. Koenig Jr.
2Lt. Kennis E. Lockard Jr.
1Lt. Richard T. Shea Jr.

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The following information is quoted and paraphrased from Richard A. Gabriel's book, "No More Heroes," copyright 1987.  Gabriel is a professor of politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH.  A West Point man, he served 22 years active duty as an intelligence officer.

From page 75:

"The Korean War produced fewer psychiatric casualties than either World War I or World War II.  Initially the rates. . . were greater than the rates in both world wars; in the early days of the war, as the front collapsed, there were few medical facilities to deal with the problem.

In the first year of the war, the rate of psychiatric casualties was 250 per 1000 men, or almost 7 times higher than the average rate for World War II." 

Paraphrasing: 70 per 1000 by 1951; 22 per 1000 in '51; 21 per 1000 in first six months of 1953; average rate of 32 per 1000 slightly lower than WWII.  1,587,040 served in Korea; 33,629 KIA; 103,284 WIA; 48,002 admitted to psychiatric care, a number larger than the KIAs.  143% greater chance of being a mental casualty than being KIA.  Of the 1,587,040 who served in Korea, only 198,380 saw combat.  17% of these were KIA, 24.2 became psychiatric casualties. 

Vietnam combatants: 2.8 million served in Vietnam; only 280,000 actually engaged in direct combat.

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The Plea:

"...furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security to the area."

The Response:

Countries which furnished combat units & their peak strength in Korea -

Australia - 2,282

Belgium/Luxembourg -944

Canada - 6,146

Colombia - 1,068

Ethiopia - 1,271

France - 1,119

Greece - 1,263

Netherlands - 819

New Zealand - 1,389

Philippines - 1,496

Republic of Korea - 590,911

Republic of South Africa - 826

Thailand - 1,294

Turkey - 5,455

United Kingdom - Great Britain - 14,198

United States - 348,000


Countries that furnished medical units -








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