Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
Login

Military Photos



Online
There are 167 users online

You can register for a user account here.
Library of Congress

Military Quotes

When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard.

-- General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

USAF Fighter Interceptor Organizations in Korea

(2005 total words in this text)
(3211 Reads)  Printer-friendly page
4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing
The 4th FIW, moving from the United States, arrived in Japan in late November with its F-86 Sabres aboard aircraft carriers. The primary mission of the wing was air superiority, and the Sabre was capable of battling the Soviet-built MiG-15 on equal terms. From Johnson AB, Japan, detachments deployed in mid-December to bases in South Korea, rotating between South Korea and Japan through February 1951. Then, the 4th FIW moved in stages to Korea, with all elements rejoined by May 1951. The 4th FIW was the deadliest interceptor wing of the Korean War. Wing, group, and squadron personnel accounted for 516 air-to-air victories, representing more than half of the enemy aircraft for which USAF credits were awarded. The wing boasted twenty-five aces by the end of the war.

Combat Components

4th Fighter-Interceptor Group: duration.
77th Squadron, RAAF: attached August 23, 1951-.

Stations

Johnson AB, Japan November 28, 1950; Suwon AB, South Korea, May 7, 1951; Kimpo AB, South Korea, August 23, 1951-.

Commanders

Brig. Gen. George F. Smith, -May 1951; Col. Herman A. Schmid, May 1951; Col. Harrison R. Thyng, November 1, 1951; Col. Charles E. King, October 2, 1952; Col. James K. Johnson, November 11, 1952-.

Campaign Streamers

CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea, Summer-Fall 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953.

Decorations

Two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for periods November 1, 1951-September 30, 1952 and October 1, 1952-March 31, 1953.

4th Fighter-Interceptor Group
A portion of the 4th FIG entered combat with F-86 Sabrejets from Taegu AB, South Korea, between December 15, 1950 and January 2, 1951. Another group detachment operated from Taegu, January 17-February 1. The entire group began operations in March 1951 from Suwon AB, South Korea. The 4th FIG's pilots primarily conducted counter air patrols, destroying enemy aircraft whenever possible. During April 1952, they confronted 540 MiG-15s and destroyed twenty. Besides combat air patrol and bomber escort missions, the group's Sabres attacked targets spread across the northwestern Korean landscape from airfields at Sunuiju and Uiju on the Yalu to marshalling yards further south at Kunu-ri. Its pilots also flew armed reconnaissance sorties and provided close support for ground forces.

Combat Components

334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: duration, except detached May 1- June 26, 1951.
335th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: duration, except detached September 20-November 3, 1951.
336th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: duration, except detached June 27-September 19, 1951.

Stations

Johnson AB, Japan, December 13, 1950; Suwon AB, South Korea, March 30, 1951; Kimpo AB, South Korea, August 23, 1951-.

Commanders

Col. John C. Meyer, -May 8, 1951; Lt. Col. Glenn T. Eagleston, May 8, 1951; Lt. Col. Bruce W. Hinton, July 1, 1951 (acting); Lt. Col. Glenn T. Eagleston, July 10, 1951; Col. Benjamin S. Preston, Jr., July 26, 1951; Col. Walker M. Mahurin, March 18, 1952; Lt. Col. Ralph G. Kuhn, May 14, 1952; Col. Royal N. Baker, June 1, 1952; Col. Thomas D. DeJarnette, March 18, 1953-.

Medal of Honor Recipient

Maj. George A. Davis, Jr. (334th FIS) for actions on February 10, 1952.

Campaign Streamers

CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea, Summer-Fall 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953.

Decorations

Two Distinguished Unit Citations for actions in Korea during periods April 22-July 8, 1951 and July 9-November 27, 1951.
Two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for periods November 1, 1951-September 30,1952 and October 1, 1952-March 31, 1953.

35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing
At the outbreak of the Korean War, the 35th FIW was flying F-80s on air defense missions from Yokota AB, Japan. Less its group and two squadrons detached for combat in Korea, the wing continued its air defense mission until 1 December. It then moved without personnel and equipment (on paper) to Yonpo, North Korea, assuming the resources of the inactivated 6150th Tactical Support Wing. Almost immediately the 35th FIW moved again to Pusan AB, South Korea. On May 25, 1951, it moved without personnel and equipment to Johnson AB, Japan, to resume an air defense mission.

Combat Components

35th Fighter-Interceptor Group: duration, except detached c. July 9-Dec 1, 1950 and May 7-24, 1951.
77th Squadron, RAAF: attached December 1, 1950-April 6, 1951.
339th Fighter-All Weather (later, 339th Fighter-Interceptor) Squadron: attached -December 1, 1950 and May 25, 1951-.

Stations

Yonpo, North Korea, December 1, 1950; Pusan AB, South Korea, c. December 7, 1950-May 25, 1951.

Commanders

Col. Frederic C. Gray, December 1, 1950; Col. Brooks A. Lawhon, February 18, 1951-May 25, 1951.

Campaign Streamers

CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive.

Decorations

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for period September 7, 1950-February 7, 1951.

35th Fighter-Interceptor Group
In July 1950, the 35th FIG commenced combat from a base in southwestern Japan. It quickly converted from F-80s back to the rugged and longer-range F-51 Mustangs it had given up only a short time before. Group headquarters and the 40th FIS moved to Pohang AB on South Korea's eastern coast in mid-July, and the 39th Squadron followed on August 10. The precarious ground situation in Korea forced the 35th Group to return to Japan only days later, where it remained until early October. Attached to the 6131st Tactical Support Wing from August 1, then to the 6150th Tactical Support Wing from September 6, it supported UN ground forces moving north of the 38th parallel. The 35th FIG focused its attacks on fuel dumps, motorized transport, and enemy troop concentrations until it moved in mid-November to a forward airstrip at Yonpo near the North Korean port city of Hungnam to provide close air support to the U. S. Army X Corps. When communist Chinese forces surrounded the 1st U.S. Marine Division at the Changjin Reservoir, the group provided close air support to the marines. Relocating to Pusan AB, South Korea in early December 1950, it continued supporting UN ground forces, eventually staging out of Suwon in March 1951 and Seoul Airport in April. The 35th FIG was attached to the 18th FBW, May 7-24, then rejoined its parent wing in Japan, leaving the 39th FIS behind, first with the 18th FBW and then the 51st FIW.

Combat Components

39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: -May 7, 1951.
40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: duration.

Stations

Yokota AB, Japan, -July 8, 1950; Ashiya AB, Japan, July 8, 1950; Pohang, South Korea, July 14, 1950; Tsuiki AB, Japan, August 13, 1950; Pohang, South Korea, October 3, 1950; Yonpo, North Korea, November 18, 1950; Pusan AB, South Korea, c. December 3, 1950-May 25, 1951.

Commanders

Lt. Col. Jack D. Dale, Jr., -February 22, 1951; Col. William P. McBride, February 22-May 1951.

Campaign Streamers

UN Defensive; UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive.

Decorations

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for period September 7, 1950-February 7, 1951.

51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing
In September 1950, the 51st FIW moved from Okinawa to Japan. Flying F-80 Shooting Stars, pilots provided combat patrols, close air support, and armed reconnaissance missions in support of UN ground forces in Korea. The wing moved to South Korea in October only to return to Japan in December, leaving combat elements behind. In May 1951, the 51st FIW moved to Suwon AB, southwest of Seoul, but retained maintenance and supply elements at Tsuiki AB, Japan, to provide rear echelon support. Transitioning in late 1951 to the F-86 Sabrejets, the wing assumed an air superiority mission for the rest of the war.

Combat Components

51st Fighter-Interceptor Group: duration except detached September 26-October 12, 1950.

Stations

Itazuke AB, Japan, September 22, 1950; Kimpo AB, South Korea, October 10, 1950; Itazuke AB, Japan, December 10, 1950; Tsuiki AB, Japan, January 15, 1951 (operated detachment of wing elements at Suwon from May 1951); Suwon AB, South Korea, October 1, 1951-.

Commanders

Col. John W. Weltman, -April 24, 1951; Col. Oliver G. Cellini, April 24, 1951; Col. William P. Litton, c. November 1, 1951; Col. George R. Stanley (interim), November 2, 1951; Col. Francis S. Gabreski, November 6, 1951; Col. John W. Mitchell, June 13,1952; Col. William C. Clark, May 31, 1953-.

Campaign Streamers

UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea, Summer-Fall 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953.

Decorations

Two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for periods September 20, 1950-June 30, 1951 and July 1, 1951-March 31, 1953.

51st Fighter-Interceptor Group
In September 1950, the 51st FIG and its 16th and 25th Squadrons moved to Japan under operational control of the 8th FBW. Within hours of arrival, group pilots began flying F-80s on combat air patrol, armed reconnaissance and close air support missions over Korea. The 51st FIG moved to Kimpo AB, located just south of Seoul, in October. In December, it flew 763 sorties, including close air support for the 2nd Infantry Division, cut off by the enemy in the vicinity of Kunu-ri. The 51st FIG helped protect the division's flanks and destroyed enemy roadblocks halting southward movement. In early January 1951, it rejoined its parent wing in Japan but continued to fly missions over Korea, staging first through Taegu and then through Suwon Air Base. Returning to Korea in late July, the 51st FIG supported ground forces and its pilots flew patrol, escort, interdiction, and armed reconnaissance missions. In September and October, the group devoted its major combat effort against railroads and other main supply routes in North Korea. After the 51st FIG transitioned to F-86 Sabrejets in November-December, its primary mission became air superiority.

Combat Components

16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: duration.
25th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: duration.
39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: attached June 1, 1952-.
68th Fighter-All Weather Squadron: attached September 25-October 9, 1950.
80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron: attached September 25-December 20, 1950.

Stations

Itazuke AB, Japan, September 22, 1950; Kimpo AB, South Korea, October 24, 1950; Itazuke AB, Japan, January 3, 1951; Tsuiki AB, Japan, January 22, 1951; Suwon AB, South Korea, July 31, 1951-.

Commanders

Col. Oliver G. Cellini, -November 7, 1950; Lt. Col. Irwin H. Dregne, November 7, 1950; Col. Oliver G. Cellini, December 16, 1950; Col. Irwin H. Dregne, April 24, 1951; Lt. Col. John M. Thacker, July 21, 1951; Lt. Col. George L. Jones, November 13, 1951; Lt. Col. William M. Shelton, c. March 17, 1952; Lt. Col. Albert S. Kelly, June 1952; Col. Robert P. Baldwin, January 1953-.

Campaign Streamers

UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea, Summer-Fall 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953.

Decorations

Distinguished Unit Citation for actions covering November 28, 1951-April 30, 1952. Two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for periods September [22], 1950-June 30, 1951 and July 1, 1951-March 31, 1953.

319th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
In December 1951, Fifth Air Force determined a need for additional nighttime all-weather air interceptors in the Seoul area. In response, the U.S. Air Force provided the F-94-equipped 319th FIS, which moved from Moses Lake AFB, Washington, to Suwon AB in February and early March 1952. Until November, Fifth Air Force restricted the use of the Starfires to local air defense in order to prevent the possible compromise of its airborne intercept radar equipment in a loss over enemy-held territory. From November until the end of the conflict, the 319th used F-94s to maintain fighter screens between the Yalu and Chongchon Rivers, helping to protect B-29s from enemy interceptors.

Stations

Suwon AB, South Korea, March 10, 1952-.

Campaign Streamers

Second Korean Winter; Korea, Summer-Fall 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953.

Decorations

Distinguished Unit Citation for actions 1 December 1952-April 30, 1953.
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for period March 23-July 27, 1953.

Military History
Forum Posts

Military Polls

Should the guards involved with the Abu Ghraib prison be punished?

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 117

This Day in History
1759: British forces seize Basse-Terre and Guadeloupe from France.

1865: Union cavalry units continue to skirmish with Confederate forces in Henderson, North Carolina and Munsford Station, Alalbama.

1924: The U.S. Senate passes the Soldiers Bonus Bill.

1942: In retaliation for the British raid on Lubeck, German bombers strike Exeter and later Bath, Norwick, York, and other "medieval-city centres." Almost 1,000 English civilians are killed in the bombing attacks nicknamed "Baedeker Raids."

1945: The Soviet Army fights its way into Berlin.

1950: Chiang Kai-shek evacuates Hainan, leaving mainland China to Mao Zedong and the communists.

1975: At a speech at Tulane University, President Gerald Ford says the Vietnam War is finished as far as America is concerned. This was devastating news to the South Vietnamese, who were desperately pleading for U.S. support as the North Vietnamese surrounded Saigon for the final assault on the capital city.