25th Infantry Division
Tropic Lightning
All Links Open In A New Window
3rd BN 27th Inf
4th Turkish Brigade
2nd BN 35th Inf
(Tropic Lightning)
14th Inf Regt, 27th Inf Regt, 35th Inf Regt, Turkish Brigade
Following a successful campaign in the Philippines, the 25th Division was moved to
Japan in September 1945 to assume the status of occupation forces.  When North
Korean forces invaded South Korea in June 1950, the services of the 25th were
urgently needed in an effort to halt the aggression.  Under the command of Maj Gen
William B Kean, elements of the Division landed at Pusan, Korea, in July 1950.  The
battle in Korea at his stage was to fight against time and terrain until more
reinforcements could be brought in.
For having stopped the enemy at Masan and for its counterattack against 3 North
Korean divisions in the Chinju area, the 25th Division was awarded the ROK Presidential
Unit Citation.
Following the Inchon landing of US forces on 15 September 1950, the general offensive
to break out of the "Pusan Perimeter" was launched on 16 September, with the 25th
racing nearly 200 miles to reach the coast and repel the North Korean People's Army.  In
quick succession, Seoul was retaken by UN Forces, and by 19 October the 8th Army
entered Pyongyang, and continued to advance toward the Yalu River.  On 17 November
the Division was ordered to move to positions north of Pgonggang, accompanied by the
Turkish Brigade.
Suddenly the UN Forces were confronted by a new and fresh army of invaders, as CCF
units were rushed across the Yalu River against the "Liberators".  In a swift reversal of
the fortunes of war, this onslaught by overwhelming numbers of enemy troops from
Manchuria drove back the 8th Army along the entire front in northwestern Korea.  The
UN Forces were ordered to withdraw and Pyongyang was abandoned.
The 25th yielded ground to protect its exposed right flank and to elude envelopment by
CCF.  The Division was ordered to occupy defensive positions on the south bank of the
Chongchon River on 30 November, to cover the withdrawal of other UN units.  On 14
December another defense line was established south of the Imjin River.  But this was
abandoned when on 1 January 1951 the CCF penetrated the lines of the 1st ROK Div on
the right flank of the 25th.  Successive phase lines were occupied to delay the enemy
advance, as new defensive positions were being prepared south of Osan.  This line held,
and the Chinese were halted.
On 15 January 1951 a limited objective offensive was launched in the vicinity of Suwon,
dislodging the enemy and forcing him to take refuge on the north side of the Han River.  
Inchon harbor and Kimpo Air Base were secured by 10 February.  A total of 18,223 POWs
had been taken by elements of the 25th Div.
On 15 February the Division was ordered to the vicinity of Kumyangjang to relieve the
1st Cavalry Div and drive the enemy back across the Han River.  Operation RUGGED
was followed by Operation DAUNTLESS, when the 25th drove to the Chorwon valley,
but later withdrawing to Line Golden, northeast of Seoul.  In Operation DETONATE it
seized Line Topeka, then crossed the 38th Parallel into the Kumhwa area.  Operation
PILEDRIVER and other offensive operations in the Chorwon, Kumhwa and the Iron
Triangle area were continued until the Division went into reserve in the Uijongbu area.
In November it moved to occupy positions on Line Wyoming, southwest of Chorwon.  
The Division was then released from I US Corps and attached to IX US Corps.  In
February 1952 it relieved the 7th Inf Div on Line Minnesota, and on 22 October moved to
the vicinity of Kapyong, assuming the mission of 8th Army reserve.
In January 1953 the Division became IX US Corps reserve near Yongp-Yong,
undergoing intensive training.  In May the 25th assumed the responsibility of guarding
the approaches to Seoul, in the vicinity of Munsan-ni and Chang-dan.  Operational
control again passed to I US Corps.
On 28-30 May 1953 the CCF hurled a good part of a division in repeated attacks against
the 25th's right flank at Outposts Carson, Vegas, Elko, Berlin, and East Berlin.  The CCF
suffered heavy casualties.  Eventually the Armistice went into effect and in July 1953 the
Division was relieved of frontline duty and moved to Camp Casey as I Corps reserve.
In August 1953 the 25th relieved the 7th Inf Div on the new DMZ in the Taegwang-ni
sector of the Imjin Valley, between the 1st Marine Div to the west and the 40th Inf Div to
the east.  The next few months were spent in accomplishing 3 main missions:  
Construction of new Main Battle Positions, the beginning of an intensive training
program, and a construction & winterization program, which gave the troops of the
"Tropic Lightning" the best winter quarters since the Division landed in Korea ......
1Lt Kameron Ince
4th Turkish Brigade

Operations Center