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801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron in Korea

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Three months before the North Koreans invaded South Korea, the 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron had moved from Japan to Clark AB, Philippines, leaving only a flight in Japan. When the conflict began, this flight air evacuated wounded from Korea, while the rest of the squadron returned to Japan. As American casualties mounted, the 801st, flying on C-47 aircraft, evacuated wounded from forward airstrips to hospitals in the rear. Following the waterborne invasion by ground froces at Inchon in September 1950 and during the subsequent battle for Seoul, the 801st, under heavy fire from enemy troops, evacuated almost 1,450 battle casualties from Suwon and Kimpo airstrips near Seoul. In December, at the Chosin Reservoir in northeast Korea, the squadron evacuated almost 4,700 battle casualties from the Koto-ri and Hagaru-ri airstrips. During these actions, it operated from inadequate airstrips located in an area entirely surrounded by enemy troops, who subjected the aircraft to hostile fire on the ground as well as in the air. For actions during these two periods, the 801st earned a Distinguished Unit Citation. As the conflict dragged on, the 801st, utilizing C-46, C-47, C-54 and C-124 aircraft, flew on intra-Korea, intra-Japan, and Korea to Japan medical evacuation missions. For more than a year after the U. S. Air Force authorized a group-level organization, the service could not obtain the necessary trained personnel to man the unit. Finally on June 18, 1953, the 6481st Medical Air Evacuation Group, a Table of Distribution unit, replaced the 801st, assuming its mission through the end of the war.

Stations

Tachikawa AB, Japan, September 14, 1950; Ashiya AB, Japan, December 1, 1950; Tachikawa AB, Japan, February 6, 1951-June 18, 1953.

Campaign Streamers

UN Defensive; 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 September 21-30 and December 1-10, 1950. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for period July 1, 1951-[June 18], 1953.
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