This memorial in Osan is dedicated to U.S. Forces that fought in the first battle of the Korean War. The first direct engagement between the U.S. and North Korean forces occurred at Osan on July 5, 1950—a week after the war broke out. Dubbed “Task Force Smith” after Lieutenant Colonel Charles B. Smith, the U.S. Forces were severely outnumbered, with only 540 American soldiers fighting against 5,000 North Koreans.
In total, Task Force Smith lost 40% of its soldiers, with 21 wounded, 60 dead, and 82 captured. While defeated, Task Force Smith delayed the North Korean army units from further advancing south.
The memorial displays the names of the 540 Task Force Smith soldiers and is located next to a museum that features videos, interactive displays, and pictures from the Battle of Osan. There is a plan underway to build a Memorial Park with 540 pine trees planted in their honor.