Korean War Facts and Figures

A Deeper Look Into the War

KoreanWarHeader A column of troops and armor of the 1st Marine Division move through communist Chinese lines during their successful breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. The Marines were besieged when the Chinese entered the Korean War November 27, 1950, by sending 200,000 shock troops against Allied forces. (Source)

The Korean War is often seen as the "forgotten" war, primarily due to it being sandwiched in between a global world war, and another war that was controversial to many. (It should also be noted that, while considered a “tie” by most, the spread of communism was stopped on the Korean peninsula, thus making it a technical success.) Those who served in it, however, should never be forgotten, as they fought with valor and purpose, all while bringing our military into the modern age.

The following are some key facts and figures about the Korean War and those who fought it.

Key dates

  • July 27, 1953: The day hostilities actually ended
  • Jan. 31, 1955: The date Congress extended the war period to so that some troops could earn key benefits
  • March 2013: North Korea declares the armistice invalid

Into the wild blue yonder

  • Sept. 8, 1950: Date of the world’s first all-jet dogfight
  • 16: Number of planes shot down by Air Force Captain Joseph McConnell, America’s top ace of the war
  • 3: Number of MIG-15s Capt. McConnell shot down in one day
  • 635,000: Tons of bombs dropped on Korea, surpassing those dropped in the Pacific theater during WWII

Those who served

  • 86,300: Number of Korean War veterans who are women
  • 7%: Estimated number, out of all female veterans, that served in Korea
  • 1,500: Number of dogs used during the war
  • 0: Number of official horse-mounted cavalry units during Korea
  • 1: Number of horses from the war with their own statue—Sgt. Reckless  
  • 131: Number of Medals of Honor awarded
  • 5.7 million: Number of troops on active duty during the Korean War
  • 404,000: Number of troops that served in both WWII and Korea
  • 273,000: Number of troops that served in both Korea and Vietnam
  • 171,000: Number of troops that served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam 

In culture

  • 7: Number of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units that served in Korea
  • 11: Number of years the TV show M*A*S*H was on the air
  • 105.0 million: Number of people who tuned to the final episode of M*A*S*H, the highest rated non-sports program ever

Thank you to all of our Korean War veterans!

Mark Dye

About the author: Mark Dye

Mark Dye has been writing articles, recording podcasts, and putting together books on personal finance for nearly a decade. His work has been recognized by the American Bankers Association and the Institute for Financial Literacy, and received an 2011 APEX Grand Award for Writing. Follow Mark on Google+.

Contact: Mark Dye


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