5th Infantry Regiment (United States) - Korean War

Korean War

The 5th Infantry performed occupation duty in Austria for a year after the war, and was deactivated in November 1946. The regiment reactivated in South Korea on 1 January 1949, with personnel and support units from the departing 7th Infantry Division. It constituted the core of the 5th Infantry Regimental Combat Team (RCT) with the mission to provide security while all U.S. troops were withdrawn from the country. The 5th RCT left Korea effective 31 June 1949 and was transferred to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where it was when the Korean War began.

It deployed to Korea on 25 July 1950 to reinforce Eighth Army in the shrinking area of United Nations control known as the Pusan Perimeter. In July and August it reinforced the 25th Infantry Division, then the 1st Cavalry Division on the Naktong River line. In September the RCT was attached to the 24th Infantry Division, replacing the 34th Infantry Regiment. It remained with the 24th Infantry Division until January 1952 when it officially became a separate RCT again and was assigned to IX Corps.

The 5th Regimental Combat Team consisted of:

  • 5th Infantry Regiment
  • 555 Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm) (The "Triple-Nickel")
  • 72nd Engineer Company
  • 5th Tank Company
  • Heavy Mortar Company
  • 5th Medical Company
  • 5th Aviation Section

Fought in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter.

Two 5th Infantry soldiers received the Medal of Honor for service in Korea:

  • Second Lieutenant Carl H. Dodd, Company E, 30–31 January 1951, near Subuk
  • Master Sergeant Melvin O. Handrich, Company C, 25–26 August 1950, near Sobuk-San Mountain (posthumous)

On 11 October 1953, Company A, 1st Section, Machine Gun Platoon, Company D, and Forward Observer Team, 555th Field Artillery Battalion were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, for actions in the vicinity of Songnae-dong, Korea on 12 June 1953. On 18 November 2005 the award was amended to include the following units:

2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th Squads, 2d Section Machine Gun Platoon
Recoilless Rifle Platoon
Forward Observers, 81 MM Mortar Platoon, Company D

Actor James Garner (The Rockford Files) served in the 5th RCT during the Korean War, when he was awarded two Purple Hearts.

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