The 336th Fabulous Rocketeers, 1954

THE MISSION . . . With cessation of hostilities in mid-1953, leaders of the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron geared the unit to a new mission : Preserver the combat-born fighting skill. Led by Lt. Col . Edward Weed, the Rocketeers were honed to a razor's edge of combat capability, ready to meet the threat of aggression at the flash of a radar blip. Engineering, Armament, Communications pulling in unison with the rest of the sqaudron's sections effected a never-sagging proficiency level.

- 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing Yearbook 1953-1954




Crew Chief Wally Yocum and "Sweet Rose"

This web page is devoted to the 'Sweet Rose' / 'Dreaded Gomboo' North American F-86F Sabre serial number 52-4539, and my fathers service to the Air Force. They were together in Korea, 1954.

The armistice for the Korean War was signed on July 27, 1953, formally ending the war in Korea. But even after the truce; "Even though the war was officially over in July 1953, occasional conflicts still arose. After the truce American pilots remained in Korea to defend the South. However they were no longer bound by any directive that told them to not cross any border; once fired upon, they could continue the chase wherever it led." - The F-86 Sabre Jet and Pilots, Turner 1997.

My father, A/2C Walter Yocum Jr. (Wally), was assigned at that time as the crew chief of the F-86F FU-539 sabre. He quickly added his sweethearts name to the nose, “Sweet Rose”. The history behind Rose - Wally started dating Rose after Mount Carmel Township High School in Pennsylvania. Wally lived on Beaverdale in Mount Carmel, and Rose lived in Marion Heights - 3.4 miles away. They dated as Wally was transferred to different air bases. When he went to Shaw air force base, he would travel the weekends from South Carolina to Pennsylvania to visit her. After Shaw, he sailed the seas on the USS Gen. J. C. Breckenridge to Korea. After being stationed in Korea and Japan, my father was transferred to the Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. Again, he travelled and continued to date Rose until he married her that year on November 5, 1955 (Our Lady of Perpetual Church, in Marion Heights, Pa). They had four children together: Ken, Steve, Tom and myself (Eric). My parents lived in Dover until they both passed. My father retired from the Dover AFB in 1990.

The pilot of the aircraft was 2/LT Kenneth C. Ewing. Ken had “Dreaded Gomboo” painted on by the nose on his side of the aircraft. The name signified an infectious disease. According to his son, the name was on the plane when he was assigned to it. Ken liked it, and decided to keep it.

The plane was stationed at U.S. Air base K-14 located in Kimpo (near Seoul). Wally and Ken were apart of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (Far East Air Force), 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, known as the world famous “Rocketeers.” This web site contains various pictures of Kimpo and FU-539 from many sources.

The sabre was model F-86F-30-NA. This plane is one of 859 F-86F-30-NA's planes built. This sabre was equipped with the new 6-3 wing that allowed speeds to increase to 695 + miles per hour at low altitudes. The plane could now match the speed of the MiG and climb to altitudes of 47,000 feet. Wally claims this wing allowed tighter turns as well. This jet was also equipped with the General Electric J47-GE-27 engine that boosted thrust above 5900 pounds. Wally recalls that he would tweak on the fuel controller to make sure the Sabre achieved a high tack reading. This enabled his pilot to keep a fast plane if needed, citing that Ken needed to keep up with the squadron formation.

Wally also remembers some good days that he was allowed to eat with the pilots, receiving a meal with Ken of real milk and cheese, instead of the normal crew meal of powdered products. But he also remembers being told that he was responsible for that plane no matter what and had to take his turn at guard duty as well. The Army Sergeant told him to put the bayonet on his gun for guard duty because you only have 90 rounds, that when the Chinese come, they come 10,000 at a time.

Wally got to go into Seoul with the Army. The city was destroyed and he rode in the back of an Army truck. He said they stopped in the road by a blown up building. At this building, there was only a foundation wall left. He noticed huddled in a corner was a woman and children and they were freezing. He said he grabbed some blankets and threw them to the woman.

He also told the story of the night sky being lit up orange and red and thought it was a big storm. He said he couldn’t hear anything, but was told by the Army Sergeant that the Navy was well off the coast and was shelling the trail to keep the enemy back. The Sergeant said he was a stupid son-of-bitch thinking it was a storm and he took dads gun and pierced the sand bags making up the wall around the sabre. The Sergeant then told him to fix it for being a dumb ass! He said the shellling was a hell of a night there in Kimpo.

The plane remained in the 336th arsenal until late 1954 at Kimpo. It was dropped from inventory and transferred to the Taiwanese ROC Air Force as serial number F-86008.


Smithsonian Institution Online Virtual Archives. Collection ID: NASM.2018.0044 (Image: NASM-9A14715.JPG)


Ken and Wally were both apart of the "B" flight team of the Rocketeers.

There were "A", "B", "C" and "D" flight teams.



Crew Chiefs "B" Flight

Above are the crew chiefs of the "B" flight team of the 336th Rocketeers in 1954. My father is in the front row, all the way to the right. What also makes this photo special, 52-4539 is the sabre in the background.

FRONT ROW L to R: A/1C Apolino Solorzano, A/3C Warren Shoopman, M/Sgt. Thomas N. Rustin Jr., A/2C William E. Underwood, A/2C Walter E. Yocum, Jr.

REAR L to R: A/2C David Chapman, S/Sgt. Henry O. May, A/2C Thurbet Pinkham, A/2C Clifford Sturdivant, A/2C George C. Anstett, A/2C Robert N. Peterson.

(Picture from the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1954)

A/2C Wally Yocum Jr and "Sweet Rose"

September 1954


"Crew chiefs were the back bone of the organization. Your life was in their hands each time you flew "their" aircraft." - 1/Lt. William A. Todd

Shower for Sabre - A/1C Apolonio C. Solorzano with hose and A/2C Walter E. Yocum Jr. (Not FU-539)

The sabre in the background "Dottie" is a F-86F-30-NA s/n 52-4701 FU-701 piloted by Col Donald P. Hall.

(Picture from the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1954)

Pilots "B" Flight

Above are the crew pilots of the "B" flight team of the 336th. Ken is on the bottom row, centered.

TOP L to R: Capt J. M. Purdy, 1/Lt. Cecil E. Lefevers (FU-976), 1/Lt. Harold W. Rademacher.

MIDDLE RIGHT: 1/LT. R. R. Safford, 2/Lt. Norman F. Watson.

MIDDLE LEFT: 2/LT. Frank W. Ragland.

BOTTOM L to R: 2/LT. Mark N. Liethen, 2/Lt. Ken C. Ewing (FU-539), 2/Lt. C. W. Britton.

(Picture from the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1954)




The Fabulous Rocketeers Squadron Guide (1949 - 1956)

Click here or the above graphic (photo) to view Fabulous Rocketeer Squadron Guide (1949-1956). This started out to be just 1954, but collecting this information became a hobby. Included in this section are all the photos and information I can could find on the Rocketeers during the Sabre era. Anyone else who is willing to share photos of the 336th during those years, I will add them in here.

Special thanks to Bob Ewing for allowing me to borrow the 1954 yearbook. The complete "4th Fighter Interceptor Wing" yearbook (1952) and (1953) is available here. Special thanks to Lt. Col. J.R. Alley with General Dan Druen (1952 335th Chiefs pilot) for the 1952 book, and Otha H "Skeet" Vaughan Jr. for his photos and research information. Thanks to all other sources cited in the picture sections!



Photos of Kimpo K-14 Air Base


To view pictures of Kimpo (K-14) 1954 from A/2C Walter Yocum (crew chief), click the below graphics.

Click on above photos for some of my fathers photos from U.S. Air base K-14 (two volumes).

Reference guide for Wallys' pictures (PDF download): A2/C Wally Yocum Jr Photo Collection Guide 1954

My father journeyed on the USS Gen. J. C. Breckinridge on his way to Japan and Korea. He described his experiences at Kimpo as some of the most memorable experiences in his life. His sabre patrolled the skies for enemy MiG’s. Even though an armistice was signed, the unpublished skirmishes continued to happen. Wally remembers that each mission was decided early in the day based on whether the navigational landmark mountain near the base, known to all as the “Witch’s Tit”, was visible or covered in clouds. Clear days and the mission was on! Wally returned to the USA in early 1955 at the port of Seattle, Washington.

To view pictures from Kimpo (K-14) 1954 from 2/Lt. Ken Ewing (pilot), click the below graphics.

The first and second volume show in color the life of Kimpo, buildings, people and various airplanes on the runway. The third volume is misc photos of military reference he saw during that same time (unknown locations).

This fourth volume show will show the life of the people and the area surrounding Kimpo in 1954.


Click the above graphic or the end link to see Info / Photo collections of Kimpo Air Force Base from various sources on the web, including the above links.



Photos of F-86F-30-NA s/n 52-4539

To view pictures of F-86F-30-NA Sabre FU-539,
click the below graphic or 'Photos of FU-539' category below.

Photos of F-86F-30-NA Sabre FU-539

F-86F s/n 52-4539 joined the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing and spent June of 1953 to late 1954 being stationed back and forth between Kimpo AB, Korea and Tsuiki AB, Japan. I believe the mid 1953 to early 1954 period as the "Slo-Mo-Shun II" nose art era. Sometime after that, the sabre jet changed its nose to the "Sweet Rose" / "Dreaded Gomboo" art with blue nose. Thats the era my father was the crew chief.

North American F-86 Sabre construction number (c/n) is 191-235.

Click the picture or link to view the USAF 52-4539 record card.

USAF Aircraft Record Card



Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives NASM.2018.0043


336th Fighter Squadron Korea Photographs [Yocum]

Click the above picture or here to enter.


Collection ID: NASM.2018.0043

Creators: Yocum, Walter Edward "Wally", Jr., 1934-2016

Dates: 1954

Languages: English
This collection is in English.

Physical Description: 0.05 cubic feet, 1 folder

Description: National Air and Space Museum Archives

This collection consists of 64 black and white photographs relating to Walter Edward "Wally" Yocum, Jr. and his service with the 336th Fighter Squadron in South Korea in 1954.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 64 black and white photographs relating to Walter Edward "Wally" Yocum, Jr. and his service with the 336th Fighter Squadron in South Korea in 1954. Most of the prints measure approximately 4.5 by 3.25 inches, with a few smaller prints mixed in. The photographs show squadron personnel, scenes of life at Kimpo Air Base (K-14) and in the surrounding area, and aircraft including the North American F-86 Sabre; Douglas A-26 (B-26) Invader; Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar; Douglas C-124 Globemaster II; Cessna L-19A (Cessna 305A, O-1A); Douglas C-54 Skymaster; and the Douglas C-47 Skytrain. Most of the photographs have some caption information on the reverse, and additional caption information was provided by the donor.



Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives NASM.2018.0044


336th Fighter Squadron Korea Photographs [Ewing]

Click the above picture or here to enter.


Collection ID: NASM.2018.0044

Creators: Ewing, Kenneth C. "Ken", 1931-2014

Dates: 1954

Languages: Multiple languages
Text appearing in the images is largely in English, but there is some Korean as well.

Physical Description: 0.05 cubic feet, 1 folder

Description: National Air and Space Museum Archives

This collection consists of 35mm color slides relating to Kenneth C. "Ken" Ewing and his service with the 336th Fighter Squadron in South Korea in 1954.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 35mm color slides relating to Kenneth C. "Ken" Ewing and his service with the 336th Fighter Squadron in South Korea in 1954. There are 139 slides that show squadron personnel; life at Kimpo Air Base (K-14) and views of the facilities; scenes of the surrounding area; and aircraft including the North American F-86 Sabre; Grumman F9F-5 Panther; North American P-51D (F-51D) Mustang; and the Republic F-84G Thunderjet. There are also photographs of the USS Cape Esperance (CVE-88), and of some Far East Air Force equipment.



F-86F-30-NA s/n 52-4539 History


Brief History/Timeline
(Timeline of the F-86F sabre jet, not my fathers career timeline. See Wallys USAF Career/Awards for his timeline.)

52-4539 is only one of 859 F-86F-30-NA's ever produced (Those F-86F-30-NA serials ranged from 52-4305 to 52-5163).

Late 1952/1953: F-86F s/n 52-4539 rolls off the North American Aviation Inc. assembly line in Inglewood, California. The plane was available on January 30, 1953. The plane was accepted and delivered to the USAF on February 5, 1953. After it leaves the Sacramento air material area (McClellan AFB, CA), it travels to the Port of San Francisco CA in March 1953. 52-4539 departs the US from here.

April 1953: F-86F s/n 52-4539 gets delivered to the 6408th Maintenance and Supply Group (Far East Air Forces), Kisarazu AB, Japan

June 1953- October 1954: F-86F s/n 52-4539 joined the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing and spent June of 1953 to late 1954 being stationed back and forth between Kimpo AB, Korea and Tsuiki AB, Japan. I believe the mid 1953 to early 1954 period as the "Slo-Mo-Shun II" nose art era. Sometime after that, the sabre jet changed its nose to the "Sweet Rose" / "Dreaded Gomboo" art with blue nose. Thats the era my father was the crew chief.

October 1954 - December 1954: The sabre sleeps at Komaki (Nagoya) AB, Japan until it gets dropped from inventory and transferred to the Military Assistance Plan.

Circa 1955: The sabre joins and flies with the RoCAF. The serial number gets changed to F-86008. The s/n number is shown on the vertical tail with "008" on the rear fuselage.

See the Worldwide Map/Artifact locations of 52-4539 and 89-0488 (Sweet Rose II).

Click on the map below for larger view



The "Environment" K-14 1954





Media related to FU-539

Art related to FU-539

Photos of FU-539

Models related to FU-539


Wally's USAF career/awards

The Love Story Wally and "Sweet Rose"

Sweet Rose II

Skins related to FU-539




Planes of Fame - Korean War Memorial

Wally Remembrance NASCAR


Anthony Alfredo "Fast Pasta"

Tidbits (Family/History/Aviation)

52-4539 in the RoCAF

4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing Guide


1949-1956 Fabulous Rocketeers Guide

Kimpo Air Base Photos and Information





News / History


August 19, 2020

Dover Speedway placed the Q&A with me in their August race souvenir race program. They did a great job laying out the article. It's also referenced in the table of contents, as well as the letter written from the President and CEO of Dover Speedway - Michael Tatoian. Original source: Dover Speedway August Flyer (

Click here for the Dover Speedway souvenir program article.



June 15, 2020

An online Question and Answer article from Dover International Speedway. It's an article about Wally Yocum, Tribute to a Hero Wally Yocum #33 Camaro and my viewpoint from watching the race on May 2. This article will also be included in Dover International Speedways next Souvenir Program. Click the picture below or here to read more: Dover International Speedway article on Wally Yocum




May 10, 2020

The Delaware State News released an article about Wally Yocum and the Tribute to a Hero - Wally Yocum Chevy driven by Anthony Alfredo. This article talks about Anthonys win, and the relationship between Wally, Dover Downs International Speedway, and his connection to the car's paint scheme. Click the picture below or here to read more: DE State News Article




May 2, 2020

An historic night! Anthony Alfredo wins NASCAR's Saturday Night Thunder in the No. 33 Tribute to a Hero - Wally Yocum Chevy! It's virtual racing, but many watched this race. It'll go down in NASCAR'S and RCR's history books! We all are proud of Anthony for what he accomplished! To view information relating to the race, and videos, click on the link under the picture.

Click the graphic above or here to learn more about Anthony and iracing.

RCR News




April 29, 2020

Our family joined up with Team Dillon esports to sponsor Anthony Alfredo on Saturday Night Thunder. The race will be at virtual Dover Downs Speedway on Saturday, May 2nd. The program will start at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday with a live stream at and NASCAR’s YouTube channel. The feature race will be 125 laps long and include drivers from other NASCAR national series and other NASCAR divisions competing in Xfinity Series cars. Lets go Anthony!

Click the graphic above or here to learn more about Anthony and iracing.




April 25, 2020

My brother Tom applied for the Republic of Korea - Ambassador for Peace Medal for our father. It was accepted and we recieved this beautiful medal. See the link below for larger and more detailed information about it. If you or your family member applies, click here for an application form.

Click the above graphic or here to view more information on Wallys medal.




April 8, 2020

Greg Reed, of Reed Racing, will have the Planes of Fame logo and decal of FU-539 on both sides of his Modifieds race car. We are excited to get the 2020 season started! Check back fo progress pictures of the paint scheme. Gregs races at Delaware Internation Speedway and Georgetown Speedway.

To view more and updates, click the car above or here.




March 30, 2020

2020 has not been the most common of years with the COVID-19 virus... My brother had been in search of a race team to sponsor, before the world started to close its doors to activities. We went back and forth over a few paint schemes, which triggered my fascination of other computer programs out there to help with the art. With iRacing doing great because of the world lock down, I wondered more on what a tribute race car could really look like in real life. iRacing had all the 3D rotations needed to see what the sponsorship would look like in real life. I contacted a Pro Liam Brotherton. I messaged him my number 77 sketch, and asked him to a similar scheme within the boundaries of the real race car body. My one skin request changed to two, and what he designed was... incredible! I had him make a #54 (the year my father was in Korea), and then a #55 (the year my parents got married). Thanks Liam!

Click here or the car above to see larger views of the #54 and #55 iRacing "Tribute to a Hero" race car.



December 20, 2019

A very special day! The FU-539 paint scheme has been fully funded! Updates will come next year as the plane progresses! A super special thanks to the Ewing family (children of the pilot Lt. Kenneth C. Ewing)!

"Dear Sweet Rose/Dreaded Gomboo Donors,

Great news! The F-86F FU-539 Sabre paint scheme is now FULLY FUNDED! Thank you to each and every donor! We are very excited to complete this project and honor Ken Ewing and Wally Yocum in our Korean War Memorial at Planes of Fame Air Museum. I have attached new site renderings featuring the Sweet Rose/Dreaded Gomboo paint scheme. A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in 2020, I will let you know when a date is chosen.

Thank you again for your support, we could not have completed this project without you!

Warm Regards and Happy Holidays,

Jane E. Hinton

Development & Strategic Planning
Planes of Fame Air Museum "

To view the page dedicated to this Paint Scheme, funding, development, and the history of the museum plane, click the above picture or here.



December 17, 2019

An article about the Planes of Fame museum and the Dreaded Gomboo / Sweet Rose paint scheme was mailed out on December 17 to all of the KWVA members (November - December 2019 Vol 33, No 6) . In August, Susan Kee mentioned about posting an article in The Graybeards magazine to help get the word out about the memorial and fund raising for the paint scheme. She mentioned this nationally distributed magazine goes to all the Korean War Veterans across the US (about 30,000 veterans!). Susan has a facebook page and recommend all her posts if you visit facebook. Her page is "Susan Kee - Honoring Korean War Veterans". The link to the article is: Graybeards FU-539 (full article: gb_1912_final.pdf)



November 6, 2019

A picture of Wally was submitted by a family member to the abc TV channel 16 WNEP Veterans Day 2019: 'Why We Call Them Heroes' Photo Gallery.

Click the picture or the link here to see more. Wallys picture link on WNEP is: Wallys picture on WNEP 16 - Thanks Angela!




October 6, 2019

An article about Wally and Sweet Rose was published in the The News-Item newspaper in Pennsylvania. It was written by Becky Lock and placed in the Arts & Living section. The newspaper was released Sunday, October 6, 2019. Click the picture below or link here: The News-Item story




October 4, 2019

The National Air and Space Museum's Wall of Honor memorial at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Wally Yocum's name is engraved as Walter Wally Edward Yocum, Jr., located in Foil 63, Panel 1, Column 4, Line 8.

Smithsonian's Wall of Honor website for Wallys foil name: Wally Yocum Jr Foil NASM



August 8, 2019

Dreaded Gomboo / Sweet Rose sabre is edging closer to be a part of the opening 2020 Korean War Memorial in Chinco, California! The Korean War Memorial will be located in front of the Planes of Fame Air Museum. The memorial will commemorate the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the three-year period of the Korean War. The War was one of the most hard fought in our history. During its relatively short duration from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, over 36,000 Americans died in hostile actions in the Korean War theater. Of these, 8,200 are listed as missing in action, lost, or buried at sea. In addition, 103,284 were wounded during the conflict. If you want to donate to this historical event, select the picture below or here. Thank you for help being a part of this amazing historical display!



June 24, 2019

New RoughMet and converted textures for Sweet Rose were shown. For DCS v2.5.5+ only. Thanks Rick!


Screen shots of Rick's DCS skin: Rick Macintosh's DCS skin




May 23, 2019

For the second straight year, Tom Masano Auto group will display Walters name on their Berks County billboard takeover for Memorial Day Weekend. Thanks Tim Yocum (Wallys brothers' son) and Tom Masano for honoring our families for a second year! A link to the 2019 Tom Masano Auto Group Memorial Day weekend billboard takeover video.

Click here or the above banner for larger photos and information. Above banner was on Rt. 422 East, 0.1 mile east of Lorane Road in Reading, PA.




May 15, 2019

A brick dedicated to Walter Yocum Jr was recently placed at the Veterans Memorial Park located in Dover, Delaware. The memorial park was established and dedicated by Chapter 850 (Vietnam Veterans of America and Kent County Levy Court on November 11, 2009). An excellent time to place a brick with Memorial Day weekend coming up. It's in front of the Delaware shaped memorial for the Korean War, dedicated in July 2014.



April 12, 2019

One of Lt. Ken Ewing's pictures will be in the May 2019 issue of Aviation History magazine, and interent article for it is on HISTORYNET - Sabrejet Secrets by John Lowery.

Visit the article at:




November 14, 2018

Found a reference to 52-4539 in a recent book I picked up - F-86 Sabre: History of the Sabre and the FJ Fury.

The author, Robert F. Dorr, had a small section on some of the USAF sabres that were transferred to the RoCAF.

A link to view article: Page 72



October 24, 2018

A hidden gem. FineScale Modeler magazine placed FU-539 on the cover of there April 2017 magazine! It was exciting to the sabre up front. Aaron Skinner wrote an article on his process of painting the sabre. Article title: "Metal from ACRYLICS" - Can water-based paints provide realistic natureal-metal? The article on the FU-539 model is on page 21 through 27. Click the photo below or this link to view the article: FineScale Modeler FU-539




September 25, 2018

An excellent recreation of "008" RoCAF sabre. Photos here. Model by:



September 10, 2018

An art drawing of F-86008 (s/n 52-4539) by Rex Kuang. He has drawn many RoCAF sabres with the side profile with details. Picture was posted on the ROCAF F-86 Sabre facebook page. Many thanks to Rex for adding to his collection of art! Click on photo to enlarge. Translates:North American F86F-30NA Sabre Fighter 008 (American Serial# 52-4539) Republic of China - 5th Battalion Taiwan, Taoyuan




May 25, 2018

Tom Masano Auto Group honored Crew Chief Walter Yocum during this years Memorial Day weekend! They added his name to six billboards across the Berks County area in Pennsylvania. Thanks Tim Yocum (Wallys brothers' son) and Tom Masano for honoring our families!

Click here or the above banner for larger photos and information.



May 5, 2018

Justin Snow finishes 5th in the debut of the "Tribute to a Hero - Wally Yocum" #0 race car! It was the "Public Safety 165 Race Presented by Whelen Engineering" at the Myrtle Beach Speedway (South Carolina). Also racing that night was Thad Moffitt, Richard Petty's grandson. Click here for photos.



May 5, 2018

I received the mail package from Smithsonain National Air and Space Museum for honoring Walter E Yocum Jr. on the NASM's Wall of Honor. They enclosed a Certificate of Registry that will represent the engraving of "Walter Wally Edward Yocum Jr".

Click here to view the certificate PDF: Wall of Honor Certificate of Registry



May 1, 2018

Tom (Wally's son) has volunteered to be crew chief for Justin Snow of the NASCAR Whelen All-American series. Tom will also sponsor Justin's ride for an upcoming NASCAR race. These are some of the behind the scenes for the "Tribute to a Hero - Wally Yocum" #0 race car.

Click here for pictures of the "Tribute to a Hero - Wally Yocum" NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race car #0

Driver: Justin Snow of Snow Racing




April 27, 2018

A/2C Wally Yocum and 2/Lt Ken Ewing's photo and slides have been mailed today enroute to the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum (Chantilly, VA location). This is an exciting step in preserving their histories. The families of Wally Yocum and Ken Ewing donated over 200 photos of Korea, Kimpo Air Base (K-14) and surrounding areas during 1954. These will all be scanned, marked with identification numbers, and preserved.



April 19, 2018

Wally Yocum and FU-539 go Youtube! As I gather information for the museum, I put together a small video for Youtube. Note: Works best with high resolution (HD). Link: You may also view the original version here: walteryocumjr_korea.mp4

Title: A/2C Wally Yocum Historical Photo Archive Korea 1954 336th Rocketeers F-86F

Photos from Walter "Wally" Yocum Jr. when he was stationed at Kimpo Air Base (K-14) in 1954. He was apart of the 336th Rocketeers, "Fourth but First". He was the crew chief for 52-4539 FU-539 F-86F sabre jet. His pilot was 2/Lt. Kenneth Ewing.

Published: Apr 19, 2018 (6 minutes, 5 seconds long)



April 18, 2018

Photos and slides from A/2C Wally Yocum and 2/Lt. Kenneth Ewing will be donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum. The pictures will be scanned there, slightly adjusted, then given NASM museum numbers to be reference and found on their website. I grouped the photos of A/2C Wally Yocum's collection for reference identification for the museum. It list notes on the pictures of the pdf as I present them to museum. If you would like to use the photos, you can edit the PDF and remove the text. The PDF will allow you to export the photos in different photo formats.

Email from the Supervisory and Acquistion Archivist representative at the Smithsonian: "Thank you for resending your email informing us of the material you have relating to your father ‘s service in South Korea. You have done an excellent job with your website and your father’s photography is very interesting; we would certainly be interested in adding the images to the National Collection. "

Download link: wallyocumjr1954_korea



March 20, 2018

Rick Mackintosh created a DCS skin for 52-4539! His nice words: " I was blown away by the sheer volume and quality of the material you have payed here, and thank you for doing so! I love the history, and I decided to create a skin based on "Sweet Rose". " Rick used the actual images from the Fabulous Rocketeers Logo, Sweet Rose and Dreaded Gomboo. Rick even made Ken Ewing's personalized Rocketeer Helmet!

To download DCS skin: He can also be contacted on the DCS User Files section "000rick000". Thanks Rick!

Screen shots of Rick's DCS skin: Rick Macintosh's DCS skin



March 19, 2018

Four days after finding the below picture from Larry's book - Karen, the son of 2/Lt. John R. Kidd of the 336th (Dec 1952 - June/July 1953 Korea period) - sent me photos of John and included a high resolution photo of FU-539. This picture appears original, not darkened or modified as the book photo. Amazing photo and find! John Kidd had this photo copied and framed on his den wall with some of his TWA career photos. He was thrilled of this photo because the sabre jets had his divsions Rocketeer insignia on it.

Click here for the 1500 size, or here for the original 6600 scanned size!



March 15, 2018

Found a book with a reference picture to 52-4539 in the 1953 era. It is in the book "The 4th Fighter Wing in the Korean War" by Larry Davis (Page 178).

Click here to view the pdf page.

Photo caption: An element of F-86Fs from the 336th Squadron over North Korea in early summer 1953. The element was the basic combat formation of the UN fighter forces. (John Africa).



March 6, 2018

Last July, Jon Pritchard made an excellent F-86 skin of FU-539 for DCS digital combat. He enhanced and minor corrected the plane over a more updated back drop for scenery. He really matched the plane up to what it would of been like to see it in the skies in 1954. Thanks Jon!

Click on the photo above or here to view pictures (to download). Click here for the RoCAF F-86008 pictures (to download).



February 13, 2018

José Pires, the photographer of the original images of FU-539 for AirFix magazine, recently shared his amazing photos from that photo shoot. Below is a link for the photos I reduced, slightly modified for webpage viewing. He did an excellent shoot of doing pretty much a walk-around of the of the sabre jet.

Click on the photo above or here to view pictures. José still has the model in his possesion at this time.



February 2, 2018

Color photo's of FU-539 have been added to the website, and a color photo of my father. Many thanks to Bob Ewing who allowed me to view and scan in pilot Ken Ewing's slides. Pictures of his slides will be through out this website. It gives a more in depth view of what the pilot and crew chief saw during their stay in Korea. Photos are shown under the K-14 photos section and the 1954 Rocketeers Squadron Guide.



January 5, 2018

On the facebook RoCAF Sabres page, there was a book posted by a user with an article story devoted to a sabre jet squadron (5th Fighter Group). On the one page, it had a photo (#7) that shows the pilots posing for a picture in front of 52-4539. This is during the 1955 timeframe. Just the year before, 52-4539 was the back drop to the crew chiefs of the USAF Fabulous Rocketeers.

Click here to see the 52-4539 sabre jet and the 1955 RoCAF group pilots (Also on my RoCAF webpage): 52-4539 and the RoCAF Pilots Group Photo

Additional information on the 5th Fighter Group: F-86008 / RoCAF Sabres Webpage



December 18, 2017

Thanks to Bob Ewing, I got to see and scan in the Fouth Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook for 1954. It had photos of Ken Ewing and photos of my father. It also allowed me to know the pilot class and crew chiefs for that year. I will try to piece together the 336th pilots with their sabres for that timeframe on my 336th Rocketeers Guide webpage. Shortcut link: The 1954 USAF 336th Fabulous Rocketeers Squadron Guide

Click here to see 52-4539 sabre jet and the 1954 USAF "B" Flight crew chiefs photo: 52-4539 and the 1954 "B" Flight Crew Chiefs



December 6, 2017

We received the Republic of Korea Service Medal for our father. Click on the picture for larger photos of the medal and letter we received with that medal. Back of medal reads (vertical): "June 25, 1950, Engaged in Action of War, Medal"; (circular fashion at bottom of medal) "South Korea"



November 16, 2017

After the 24539 sabre's service in the USAF, it was then transferred to the RoCAF (Republic of China Air Force). After searching much time looking for it, a breakthrough happened. I received an email from David, the son of Gen. Frederick Wu-O Chiao. Frederick was the Commander of 5th FG 1954-1955 - the very first FG equipped with F-86's in the RoCAF. He was stationed at Taoyuan AFB at that time. In his photo collection, was this gem! It was exciting to see this picture! Thank you David. F-86008 / RoCAF Sabres Webpage

Click on photo to view larger, and also some other photos from Taoyuan at that time.




October 5, 2017

Paper work was sent out for our father to receive the Republic of Korea Service Medal.

Its background: "The medal was originally offered by the ROK in 1951 to United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters. At the time U.S. law prohibited the U.S. military from wearing medals issued by foreign governments. Congress changed that in 1954, but by then most U.S. service members eligible for the medal had returned home.

In 1998 the Republic of Korea renewed its original offer of the ROKWSM and on Aug. 20, 1999, the Defense Department approved the acceptance and wear of the medal.

Approximately 1.8 million U.S. veterans of the Korean War are eligible to receive it."

- Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs

If you feel anyone you know is eligible, follow this link to the ROK Service medal form: Click here


September 7, 2017

An excellent color photo of Tech Sgt Albert Raymond next to Slo-Mo-Shun II. This was the nose art on the sabre before "Sweet Rose". Albert Raymond was an Air Force radar and radio technician. Thanks much for his son to share this photo! Cockpit area notes C/c Dick Burns and ARM Donald Girven. They were the crew before my father maintained it.

Click on photo to view larger.



July 26, 2017

Jon Pritchard made an excellent F86 skin for FU-539 sabre. Excellent recreation that looks very realistic!

March 2017

Airfix Model World wrote an article about José Pires's FU-539 model build. The added many detailed photos of the effort that was put into building it. Click the magazine cover or link below to view. There is also another article afterwards that has Sabre related information.

March 2017

José Pires took wonderful photos of the model FU-539, built from Eduards model kit. Below is a link of some pictures of the finished product, and well as a link to his message board. A detailed article was published on the March issue of Airfix Model World.


January 3, 2017

Javier Bordon paints a beautiful picture of FU-539! "The painting it was done with Sakura japanese watercolors and condor natural hair brushes over Pentel graphit leads lines on 0.5 mechanical pencil. the paper support is some similar to Fabriano A4 but do not remind the mark in this moment. in the final render I applied some photoshop adjusts and retouchings using as fountain the same colors of the original painting but refocused anhancing contrast of areas, the original painting looks similar to the eye but due scaner tends to wash the color the photoshop adjust was unavoidable to keep the piece more similar to how it looks at the direct eye watching" - Javier Bordon

Artwork and history of Javier's work



December 2, 2016

An excellent skin produced by zsoltquack on the MilViz (Military Visualiztions).

"Our motto is, and has always been, quality or why bother" - MilViz

Skin download: ZSB_MV_336th



July 15, 2016

'President Memorial Certificate' from President Obama. It reads:


The United States of America
honors the memory of

Walter E Yocum, Jr.

This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.


March 9, 2016

Tidbits of the private funeral for our family's hero at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bear, Delaware.


Pictures from March 9th


February 29, 2016

In memory of the crew chief of Dreaded Gomboo / Sweet Rose.

Walter "Wally" Yocum Jr. (1934 - 2016)

National Defense Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
Good Conduct Medal
Republic of Korea Service Medal
Ambassador for Peace Medal



February 25, 2016

An incredible recreation of FU-539 from Torsten Schumacher in Germany. Many thanks to him and his time crafting such a remarkable piece! Click on the photo below to view pictures of his model recreation. Photos of Torsten's Incredible work

Click here for: Torsten's text message and my fathers hospital story



December 2015

Eduard model company added an article on FU-539 and a brief history with story account from my father. Click the magazine cover or link below to read. The full magazine can be found on Eduard's website:


December 2015

In late September, I received an email from the Eduard model company. They were interested in making a decal variation for their 'Ultimate Sabre' F-86F 1/48 scale model kit. You may now purchase it on their website (model kit #1163). Click the picture or this link to view their instruction sheet, photos, decal sheet of their promotional model.




November 1, 2015

My father was an honored guest before the start of the NASCAR race in Martinsville, Virginia. He spent time with Richard Petty and the Major General Garrett Harencak of the USAF (Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration). My father got to show a picture that he carries in his wallet and talk about stories of the'Sweet Rose' F-86F sabre. More photos are under the Tidbits (Family/History/Aviation) catagory.

Collage photo: click here



September 2015

I recieved an email from an individual asking about the history of this plane. It was a nice surprise. He found a picture of a painting of FU-539 before my father and Ken Ewing took control. This was the 1953-1954 possible era of the plane. If everyone has any leads to this actual painting, please email me on the link on the bottom of the page. It appears to be painted by Eugene A. Beinert. Thanks!

Larger view of painting




June 2015

An actual replica of FU-539, made out of wood in 1955! It has been preserved, in mint condition. Pilot Ken Ewing gave this to his brother, and he held it since. My father saw this model in Virginia, June of 2015. Click the below graphic to see a larger view and more information around the wood model.


Spring 2015

'President Memorial Certificate' from President Obama. It reads:


The United States of America
honors the memory of

Kenneth Curtiss Ewing

This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.



November 28, 2014

In memory of the pilot of Dreaded Gomboo / Sweet Rose.

Ken Ewing

(1931 - 2014)



September 2014

Wally Yocum was honored by the 336th at Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina in 2014, decaling an F-15E Eagle with his name on the cockpit “Cc Wally Yocum” and “Sweet Rose” on the nose. I will refer this plane as Sweet Rose (II) on this website. Click the photo collage to see larger photos.

Click on photo to view pictures of F-15E Eagle 89-0488

Sweet Rose (II)



Spring 2014

A brick dedicated to Walter Yocum Jr at the Dover Air Force Muesum in Dover, Delaware. This was a present from his children during Christmas 2013. Dover Air Force base only places them during Memorial Day each year in their Commemoration Park. This brick noted in a flyer on DAFB museum website: Hanger Digest July 2014 (page 3).





April 7, 2014

In memory of

Rose Ann Yocum

(1934 - 2014)



Circa 2006

The National Air and Space Museum's Wall of Honor memorial at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Ken Ewings name is engraved as Kenneth Ewing, located in Foil 008, Panel 002, Column 004, Line 037.


August 15, 2006

The website devoted to 'Sweet Rose' was created! I originally designed this website to find any other photos of the 'Sweet Rose' sabre. I even hoped to find one in color. It was a goal, a passion. My family hasn't had much luck, but the visits to the webpage and popularity will possibly give us a greater chance.



October 2000

Wally stands in front of his name at the Korea/Vietnam/Desert Storm memorial in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania.



52-4539 References/Sources


Online Websites:

FU-539 on Wikipedia

FU-539 on Wikipedia Commons

FU-539 on Wikipedia Republished

FU-539 on Forgotten Jets website

FU-539 on Aviation Enthusiast Corner website

FU-539 on Joe Baugher's Home Page

FU-539 on The Modelling News (build from Cutting Mat Capers)

FU-539 on Model Web (New Zealand)

FU-539 on Super-Hobby

FU-539 on War Thunder

1/48 F-86F-30 Sabre - "Sweet Rose - Dreaded Gomboo"


FU-539 "Republic of China Air Force F-86F 24539" (for DCS)

FU-539 "Dreaded Gomboo/Sweet Rose" (For DCS 2.5)

FineScale Modeler

Model kit reviews on youtube:

Eduard review by Viktor Mullin

Eduard review by Fine Scale Modeler

Eduard review by Flory models

FU-539 on pinterest :

FU-539 (Fabulous Rocketeers 336th F86-F Sabre Korea)

F-86008 (RoCAF Sabre)

FU-539 on DeviantArt:

Javier Bordon

Sweet Rose Website QR Code







Dover Speedway Souvenir Program

(August 2020 races)




Delaware State News

(August 16, 2020 newspaper)

Graybeards Magazine

(May - June 2020 issue Vol 34 No 3)

Dover International Speedway Article on Wally

(June 15, 2020 online article)

Delaware State News

(May 10, 2020 newspaper)






RCR Racing News Article - Dover Downs

(May 1, 2020 online article)

Planes of Fame Air Museum News

(Feb 2020 issue Vol 43 No 2)

Graybeards Magazine

(Nov - Dec 2019 issue Vol 33 No 6)

The News-Item

(October 6, 2019 newspaper)





FineScale Modeler

(April 2017 issue)

Airfix Model World

(March 2017 issue)

Info Eduard

(December 2015 issue)





The 4th Fighter Wing: In the Korean War

(2001) Larry Davis

F-86 Sabre: History of the Sabre and FJ Fury

(1993) Robert F. Dorr

Page 72 - China (Taiwan) reference

4th Fighter Interceptor Wing

(1953-1954 Yearbook) 336th section

Unknown Book




F-86 Sabre Historical Web Ring Guide
Click the photo below to visit that web region

Sabre Pilots Association

Duncan's Sabre Website

Every Man A Tiger

S/N 52-4539 Website

S/N 52-2854 "Stardust" Website

Sabre Website Links



Contact Webmaster

To contact the webmaster, or to post comments/links on this website; email me at:

If you need a sabre website added, or pictures posted from this timeframe - I will add a site for you to display your contribution.

Website created: August 15, 2006

A recent Salute to Miners, and "Sweet Rose"s father, Saverio 'Samuel' Portaro.

250th Anniversary of Anthracite - SALUTE TO MINERS

A special publication of The News-Item, Nov 1, 2018, Shamokin, PA.

Saverio's Medals