PEFTOK website has new home

December 16, 2009 9:09 am 

MANILA, Dec. 16 — The only website honoring the Philippines’ role in helping defend South Korea during the Korean War has moved to a new home at www.peftok.blogspot.com.

The updated website features more photos of the five battalion combat teams (BCTs) that served in Korea from 1950-55 as the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea or PEFTOK. The text has also been updated but remains a concise history of PEFTOK’s deeds in the Korean War (1950-53), and its role in rebuilding South Korea from 1954-55.

Website creator and Korean War historian Art Villasanta said the move to Blogspot was made necessary by the shutting down of Geocities, the website’s home since April 2000, in October 2009. The new website’s name is “The Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea.”

“The heroism of our Korean War veterans and our country’s role in rescuing South Korea from communism should be remembered, especially by younger Filipinos, and the move to Blogspot will continue to do this,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have been able to tell the world the story of PEFTOK without Geocities,” Villasanta added. He noted the many emails he received from PEFTOK veterans, their families and from soldiers in some of the 15 other UN countries that fought beside PEFTOK who read the Geocities website.

Villasanta continues his mission of keeping alive the memory of PEFTOK. He was editor of two magazines about the Philippines’ role in the Korean War: Honoring Democracy’s Forgotten Heroes (2006) and Significant Filipino Battles of the Korean War (2008).

Villasanta's father, the late Johnny F. Villasanta, was a war correspondent for the Manila Evening News, the Philippine News Service, DZRH and the Agence France Presse during the Korean War.

He was conferred the Philippine Legion of Honor in October 1954 for his coverage of the war, one of the first war correspondents to receive the country's highest civilian award . The website is based mostly on the elder Villasanta's memoirs.

PEFTOK consisted of the 10th, 20th, 19th, 14th and 2nd BCT. Some 7,200 officers and men of the Philippine Army served in Korea under the United Nations Command that defeated communist North Korea’s and China’s attempt to conquer South Korea and turn it into a communist state.

Counted among the Filipino victories in the Korean War are the Battle of Miudong/Syngue, the Battle of Yuldong, the Battle for Combat Outpost No. 8 and the Battle for Christmas Hill.

Some 110 Filipinos died in the Korean War. About 300 were wounded while 16 remain missing-in-action. Less than 3,000 PEFTOK veterans remain alive today. (PNA) V3/PR/utb

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