Regiment van Heutsz

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Regiment van Heutsz
Cap badge of the Regiment van Heutsz with backing
Country Netherlands
Allegiance United Nations
TypeLine infantry
RoleAir Assault Infantry
Size1 battalion
ColorsBlack and Orange
Marchvan Heutsz Mars
EngagementsHill 325, Iron Triangle 1951
Koje-do Island POW revolt 1952
Hill 340, Iron Triangle, 1953
DecorationsUS Presidential Unit Citation,
Dutch Cross for Justice and Freedom
Battle honoursHoensong-Wonju
Lt. Col. M.P.A. den Ouden [1]
Lt. Col. W.D.H. Eekhout[1]
Lt. Col. G.H. Christian[1]
Lt. Col. C.M. Schilperoord[1]

The Regiment van Heutsz is a line infantry regiment of the Royal Netherlands Army. The regiment was named after J.B. van Heutsz, a former Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, and was formed on July 1, 1950. It is notable for its service as part of the United Nations force sent to fight during the Korean War. It is still operational and has served tours as part of the ISAF Afghanistan Mission.


From 1832 to 1950 a substantial colonial army was maintained in the Dutch East Indies under the title of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL). Following Indonesian independence the Dutch and indigenous personnel of this force were demobilised but with the establishment of the Regiment van Heutsz on July 1, 1950 the traditions and distinctions of the KNIL were transferred to the new regiment. These included the inscription 'Military Operations Royal Dutch East Indies Army 1832-1950', still carried on the banner of the regiment.

Korean War[edit]

See also Battles of the Korean War involving the Netherlands (Category)

The van Heutsz Regiment was incorporated into the Nederlands Detachement Verenigde Naties (NDVN) (English: Netherlands Detachment United Nations), which also included the Dutch Naval component sent to Korea. While 16,225 people volunteered for service in Korea, only 3,418 men were accepted and sent. 2,980 of those participated in the actual war, as the units that arrived after the armistice (July 27, 1953) did not participate in any fighting.[2]

The van Heutsz regiment had only recently been raised when the Korean War battalion was formed on October 26, 1950, but took the detachment as its first battalion. The regiment has the battle honor Korea 1950–1954 on its colors. In Korea, the van Heutsz troops (being understrength) were re-enforced by South Korean "KATCOM" troops. The Dutch served at three key battles, all around the Iron Triangle sector between 1951 and 1953.

Since the Regiment van Heutsz did not have its colors in 1950, a Dutch flag that was used in Korea as the battle flag of the Nederlands Detachement Verenigde Naties became the regimental colour. This flag now has official status and is shown on every parade and function of the regiment. American and Korean battle streamers, representing the US Presidential Unit Citation, are attached to this flag.[3]

The Regiment suffered 116 Dutch and 20 attached-Korean soldiers killed in action, three soldiers are still MIA, while one Dutchman was taken prisoner and died in a North Korean POW camp. The Dutch casualties are buried at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, including their commander, Lt. Col. Marinus Petrus Antonius den Ouden, who was killed in action during the Battle of Hoengsong in February 1951. (Posthumously, den Ouden was received Netherlands' highest military award, the Military Order of William.) A total of 381 soldiers were wounded.[2] A total of 115 Surinamese soldiers also fought together with the Dutch, at least two died.[4][5]

Post Korean Service and ISAF Deployment[edit]

The traditions of the Regiment van Heutsz are currently maintained by one battalion serving as part of 11 Luchtmobiele (Airmobile) Brigade:[6]

  • 12 Infanterie Bataljon is one of three air assault infantry battalions within the air mobile brigade

From 2006 till 2010, the battalion formed the basis of the battlegroup attached to Task Force Uruzgan, the primary Dutch component of the multi-national forces in Afghanistan. The regiment maintains the traditions of the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d National Archives from
  2. ^ a b Netherlands from
  4. ^ ""Pilletjes om te blijven vechten"" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Ex-Koreastrijders herdenken 61ste jaardag oorlog" (in Dutch). StarNieuws. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  6. ^ "11 Luchtmobiele Brigade" (in Dutch). Dutch Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2011-03-10.


External links[edit]