The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs hosted Dutch Veterans(Regiment van Heutsz) as part of the 2016 Revisit Korea Programs.
The veterans arrived in Seoul on May 9 and departed on May 14. The May visit includes the 65th Anniversary of Dutch participation in the Korean War, Tribute Ceremony of Lt. Col Marinus Petrus Antonius den Ouden, Burial Ceremony for the late Nicolaas Frans Wessels, and the Thank-You Luncheon.
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.
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.
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 "KATUSA" 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.
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 Operation Roundup in 1951. (Posthumously, den Ouden was received Netherlands' highest military award, the Military Order of William.) A total of 381 soldiers were wounded. A total of 115 Surinamese soldiers also fought together with the Dutch, at least two died.