During the Korean War, the United States military fought alongside the Republic of Korea (South Korea) against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and its communist allies in China and the Soviet Union. U.S. Army Generals played an important leadership role in the war, which lasted from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. According to the Department of Defense, 54,246 American soldiers lost their lives during the Korean War.

General MacArthur

The most well-known American general from the Korean War is General Douglas MacArthur. He was responsible for leading the 1st Marine Division into Inchon Korea to fight the Battle of Inchon. The Armed Forces Museum called General MacArthur’s amphibious invasion “an incredible feat” and a “risk,” adding that it proved to be a turning point of the war in favor of the United Nations forces, which included the U.S. and South Korea. Inchon was a surprising place for an attack because it was so heavily defended.

Lieutenant General Ridgway

Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway took command of Eighth Army on December 26, 1950, after General Walker was killed in a jeep accident. The third phase of the Korean War had begun one month earlier on November 26 when a force of 300,000 Chinese soldiers forced the Eighth Army south. Beginning in November 1951, during a period of hopeful peace talks, General Ridgeway led the Eighth Army in a strategy of “active defense” with limited objective attacks meant to bolster the front line.

Major General Dean

Major General William Dean was commanding general of the 24th Infantry Division. He won a Medal of Honor Recipient for what the U.S. Army called his “heroic leadership, courageous and loyal devotion to his men, and his complete disregard for personal safety.” Leading troops that had come over from Japan and were yet to see any combat, Maj. General Dean fought alongside his troops in the town of Taejon, Korea in July 1950. Dean was the highest ranking member of the military to be captured by enemy forces in the Korean War.

Brigadier General Church

General MacArthur chose Brigadier General Church to lead a team of staff officers to work with the Korean Military Advisory Group and John Muccio, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea. His team’s job was to communicate with the Republic of Korea's Army to find out how the U.S. could most effectively help their cause. Brigadier General Church took command of the 24th Infantry Division after the capture of its previous commander, Major General William Dean.