9th Infantry Division (South Korea)

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9th Infantry Division
ROKA 9th Infantry Division Insignia.png
9th Infantry Division insignia
FoundedOctober 25, 1950; 72 years ago (1950-10-25)
Country South Korea
Branch Republic of Korea Army
TypeInfantry division
Part ofI Corps
Garrison/HQGoyang, Gyeonggi Province
Nickname(s)Baekma (White Horse)
Maj. Gen. Kim Dong-Ho
Maj. Gen. Kim Chon O
Maj. Gen. Roh Tae-woo
White Horse on blue background

The 9th Infantry Division (Korean: 제9보병사단, Hanja: 第九步兵師團), also known as White Horse Division (Korean: 백마부대; hanja:白馬師團) 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[edit]

The 9th Division was hastily created in late 1950 during the Korean War and operated in the mountainous terrain of Seorak 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 Cheorwon, South 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[edit]

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 Hòa area, the 29th Regiment at the division headquarters at Ninh Hòa Base 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 Hòa north to Qui Nhơn, and as far north of that city as the foothills of the mountains in southern Bình Định Province.[3]

Significant operations and actions involving the Division include:

Commanders during Vietnam War[edit]

Maj. Gen. Yi So-dong

Maj. Gen.Cho Chun-sung

Order of battle during Vietnam War[edit]

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 (Commanded by future ROK President Chun Doo-hwan, 1970-71.)
30th Infantry Regiment

Unit statistics for the Vietnam War[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]


  1. ^ South Korean Army Archived 2010-11-25 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ ROK Army and Marines prove to be rock-solid fighters and allies in Vietnam War Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Larsen, Stanley; Collins, Lawton (1985). Allied Participation in Vietnam. Department of the Army. p. 131. ISBN 9781410225016.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-02-23. Retrieved 2010-04-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-02-23. Retrieved 2010-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-07-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-10-17. Retrieved 2010-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)