67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing



Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW

"He that leads an adventurous life
finds himself unafraid when alone."

Although the Korean conflict is not technically labeled a full scale war, the value of photo reconnaissance men, supported by the indispensable logistic, service and medical units, in Korea, has proven to be of inestimable importance in every operational aspect on or above the front lines. The 67th, through the efforts of the entire wing team, has garnered photographs of every valuable square foot in North Korea. Intelligence sources are not far from wrong when they contend that, "the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing has enabled the United Nations Forces to know more about North Korea than the North Korean themselves." This publication attempts to convey through written material and prove predominantly with photographs, the importance of every facet of the 67th’s work in Korea.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW

This history of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing in Korea is humbly dedicated to its first Wing Commander, Brigadier General Karl L. Polifka.

"Pop", as he was respectfully referred to by all who knew him, was a true humanitarian. He always had time to listen to the other man’s story and was quick to lend a helping hand where needed. He was highly respected professionally; his colorful career being highlighted by pioneer mapping and charting work in Alaska and Western Canada; a combat tour in the South West Pacific Area with the 8th (now the 15th) Reconnaissance Squadron; Commanding officer of the Mediterranean Allied Photographic Reconnaissance Command; G-2 Air Officer of the 10th Army in the Okinawa Campaign and instructor in the Air Command and Staff School where he passed on much of his know-how to younger Air Force Officers.

On 1 July 1951, General Polifka was killed in action near Kaesong, Korea on a combat mission with the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. He joined the list of other members of the 67th who have given their lives so that the United Nations could make a firm stand against the evil forces of aggression attempting to deprive the free world of fundamental rights of individual, decency and democracy.

His personal life and professional accomplishments will have an effect on the USAF for a long time to come and act as an inspiration to all who knew him or have heard the legends of his accomplishments.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW





Colonel Edwin. S. Chickering

Recorded on the following pages is a history of the largest, yet least known of the combat wings in Korea --the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. While the dashing MIG encounters of the Saber Jet Wings, the devastating blows of the Fighter Bomber Wings and the exploits of the night-intruder and B-29 Wings have been emblazoned across the headlines of the newspapers, the 67th has been going along without fanfare doing the highly important task of procuring information on which all operations of the UN Forces is based.

Specifically the 67th is charged with both day and night reconnaissance in addition to visual, electronic and weather reconnaissance. Ours is a 24 hour-a-day operation which doesn't end when the aircraft return to the base. Our mission isn’t completed until the films are developed, printed, interpreted and the vital information distributed to the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.

It is you...the men of the 67th, who are serving and have served in the past, that can be proud of the wing’s accomplishments. There are very few of you who will come out of the Korean campaign a publicized hero but each of you should have the personal satisfaction of knowing the vital and important role you played in the United Nations stand against the aggressor. From the truck driver and cook to the intelligence staff and command officers, all have played and important part in the wing operation. I will long remember all of you and the job completed when days seemed the darkest.

Col. Chickering

Colonel Russell A. Berg, USAFColonel Russell A. Berg

The most recent development in the history of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing is the assignment of Colonel Russell A. Berg as Commanding Officer. He replaced Colonel Edwin S. Chickering at the time of this publication. Col. Chickering was assigned as Director of Operations at Pope Air Force Base and more recently was awarded the Legion of Merit for the important role he played in the wing’s operations.

Col. Berg, a reconnaissance expert of World War II, served as commanding officer of the 10th Tac Recon Squadron and the 67th Tac Recon Group with the Ninth Air Force in Europe. This will mark his second tour of duty with the 67th.

He entered the service on the 6th of September 1940 and was graduated from Flying School in 1941. During his tour of duty in World War II he was awarded the Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, British Distinguished Flying Cross, French Croix de Guerre, with palm, and the Belgium Croix de Guerre with palm. He holds command pilots wings.

Col. Berg is a graduate of Air Command and Staff School and the Air Ground Operations School.

His wife and two children, Marilee and Thomas reside in Hampton, Virginia.


67th Headquarters



Wing Headquarters Building

67TH Tactical Reconnaissance WING

Accomplishing the mission of tactical reconnaissance has become big business for the 67th as well as the UN Command. The effectiveness of our mission is determined by the Wing Headquarters Section. Emanating from here is the day— to-day activity of support units, each with it’s own mission to be accomplished. In addition to the assigning of missions to the tactical squadrons and the distribution of intelligence reports to using agencies, there is the problem of personnel assignment, finance, legal assistance, morale, and others in the vast logistic service. This is a never ending lob and has accounted, in a large portion, for the effective operation since the wing was organized.

Wing Operations and Intelligence Section

Airmen and Officers Personnel Section

Message and Distribution Center

Wing Supply Section which controls
all supplies to unit offices

Comptroller and Statistical Control Section

His Master's Eye...
the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing


67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group



Buildings which house the Tac Group Headquarters
and the Wing Courts and Board Room of the Legal Office


The personnel of Tac Recon Group are concerned mainly with the tactical operation of the flying units. Their job is to assign missions to the tac squadrons and compile reports on the effectiveness and problems of the missions when performed. In addition to this duty, they have the responsibility of pilot briefing. Before a briefing, the necessary data pertaining to weather conditions, flak, target areas, mapping and ground action must be made available. This information is generally compiled from interrogation reports of ground Liaison offices and the Joint Operations Center.

The Group Intelligence Section where
photo missions are assigned and received

Pilots are briefed by
Tac Group personnel before a mission

Group mapping section maintains
a complete stock of maps covering Korea


15th Tactical Reconnaissance Group



15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron

Members of the "Cotton Pickers" Squadron are proud of their record of having flown over 12,000 missions of daylight reconnaissance. Many of these missions have been deep in enemy territory, along the Yalu River and in MIG filled skies. Their skill in flying RF-80’s and RF-86’s is undisputed. Theirs is an important mission with special emphasis on: front line basic cover for topographic and tactical studies, the accomplishment of bomb damage assessment, surveillance of enemy activity by coverage of recurring targets and to observe and photograph targets of opportunity such as new construction of installations, movements of troops and supplies.

Silvery RF-80's await tomorrow's missions

15th's Operations Buildings

Readying an RF-80

Constant repair to insure effective operations
of the huge aerial cameras is a must

Crews refuel and load cameras

Camera checked......

Guns loaded......

An RF-86 "Honeybucket" in flight

Pilot checks with crew chief before take-off

Mission complete, gear comes off

War stories and relaxation at the "Cotton Pickers" Club


45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron



45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron

The flying "Polka Dots" of the 45th Tac Squadron are charged with front line visual and photographic reconnaissance respectively. They have kept a constant vigil on movements just behind enemy lines. On many occasions pilots have spotted a supply build-up area behind enemy lines and have called in fighter-bombers and lead them into the target area. They have flown over 12,000 recce missions. Until recently the RF-51 was the only aircraft being used by the 45th. They are now being replaced by the RF-80.

Operation huts of the 45th

Battle veteran RF-51's of the "Polka Dots"......

......are gradually being replaced by sleek RF-80's

Pilot climbs out after visual recce mission near the front lines

The modest "Polka Dot" Club

Ran into heavy flak at area "B"......

Skilled prop men make necessary repairs on an RF-51

Armament men keep the 50 calibers in top condition


12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron



12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron

When the day interdiction program reached its peak in the early part of 1952 the enemy began wholesale movements under the cover of darkness. It was the RB-26 "Blackbirds" of the 12th Tac Squadron which kept a close tab on these movements and activity. From photos supplied by the 12th, the UN Command has been able to see the enemy repairing his airstrips, electric plants, bridges and other installations at night. It is the 12th Squadron that has enabled the 67th to round out it’s 24 hour-a-day reconnaissance mission.

Operations buildings of the 12th "Blackbirds"

Flash bombs are loaded for a night mission

RB-26 crew check out with operations officer before take-off

Ship awaits its crew at dusk

Photo-navigator receives final briefing before take-off time

Checked and ready

Home after a long flight

With other aircraft grounded,
the Weather Flight still braves the elements for vital data


Recce Tech Squadron



Film out......ready for processing

Reconnaissance TECHNICAL Squadron

When aerial film enters the massive labs of the Reconnaissance Technical Squadron, speed and skill become the important factors. This combination has enabled the lab to turn out a record production of over 40,000 aerial prints during a 24 hour operational period. These production records have accounted for the 67th being the largest supplier of intelligence information to United Nations Forces. When a mission reaches the end of the production line, sharp eyes of photo interpreters scan the areas which may determine tomorrow’s strategy or attack.

Into operations where the film receives its processing mission number and priority

Processing and drying section

Film is scanned and lettered
for first phase printing

Contact prints are made with speed

A quick washing, drying and sorting

Areas covered are plotted on maps

The photo-interpreter ferrets out
enemy installations and activity

Film into library......

......prints out to using agencies

Reece Photos

Despite the damaged appearance of some of the buildings in the top photo they were being used by the Communists to produce munitions. The bottom photo shows the buildings after the "Sunday punch" of fighter-bombers.

This low-level oblique photo shows the destruction of the Fusen Hydro-Electric Plant No. 1.

Below is a photo of the Kyosen Power Plant No. 4 which shows the heavy damage inflicted by fighter-bombers during a three day raid of all hydro electric plants in North Korea.


This oblique photo (below), taken by the 67th, shows the Chosen Power Plant No. 3 after it was made unserviceable by UN warplanes. The three penstocks were severed by the bomb blasts and the generator plant received four direct hits.

The top photo is a airstrip in the Pyongyang area complete with dummy bomb craters. The photo taken by the 67th's aircraft showed the activity and brought about a day long raid of which results are shown at the bottom photo.

The top photo shows a military barracks area in the Kiyang-ni area before a strike by fighter-bomber aircraft. The bottom photo shows the same area after hundreds of tons of bombs were dropped. A large majority of the buildings were being used for ammunition storage.

The pre-strike photo above is of a communist machine factory at Pyongyang. Below is the same area following the July 11th strike, the largest one-day attack of the Korean conflict.

(Missing Photo)?

Top is a pre-strike photo of a troop headquarters at Pyongyang. Below is a photo taken shortly after the raid as the smoke billows up from direct hit areas. The troop supply area is within the broken black square.

The pre-strike photo above shows clearly the structures making up a large telephone factory at Pyongyang. The post-strike photo (bottom) shows the same area following the UN raids of July 11, 1952.

The photo above is of a Pyongyang military installation at the beginning of a fighter bomber strike by UN warplanes. Smoke has started to rise from the first run on the target area.

The photo below is of the same area at the completion of the raid. The entire target area was left a blazing inferno.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW



67th Air Base Group



Air Base Group Headquarters


Personnel of the Headquarters Section Air Base Group have the most varied jobs of any men in the 67th Wing. Their tasks range from club managers and recreation specialists to crews of the Base Flight Section and information specialists. In addition it is the largest logistic and housekeeping section within the wing.

Entertainment is supplied by Special Services Section

USO Shows were always a welcome sight at the 67th Rice Bowl

A mechanic of the Base Flight Section keeps the engine of a C-47 in top condition.
These aircraft made almost daily flights to Japan for food supplies and other necessities.

A large post exchange and staff supplied the incidental needs.

Recreation is a must for the weary mind.
The 67th had an abundance of all types for those who desired it.

Volley Ball

The reading room of the special services library
supplied the needed hours of relaxation.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


Air Police Squadron



"When Day is Done"


Security of all types is a necessity in the combat zone. This is the job of the Air Policeman. It may be a lonely guard post in the POL area, patrol duty or a checker of indigenous personnel at Gate Seven, but all are important in guarding against loss or damage to government property. The Air Police are on a 24 hour call for all types of emergencies. Their constant vigil has enabled the wing operation to go on uninterrupted.

Air Police security guards stand a formation before being assigned their daily duties.

The identification and finger-print section.

Gate checks of indigenous personnel help to guard against sabotage and stealing.

Frequent checks in the surrounding villages was a necessity.

The K-9 Corps for the POL and flight-line guard posts.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


Communications Squadron


Switchboard operators transmit hundreds of calls daily

Communications is one of the most vital operations of a unit. Without this link of wire much valuable time would be lost and operations brought to a standstill. The Communications Squadron is charged with the transmission of hundreds of calls daily in addition to the numerous wire messages transmitted and received. In case of a line failure its repairmen are quick to detect the trouble and make the necessary mends.

The massive workhorse of the switchboard

A lineman checks a call following a repair

Trouble can be quickly determined
by these experts of communication

The communications department also transmits
and receives all wire messages coming and going from the wing

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


Air Installations Squadron



Air Installation Yard

The building trades is a long known art. Personnel of the Air Installations Section have shown their art time and time again as they built the wing from its few original tents to the present day massiveness. Plumbers, electricians, carpenters equipment operators and tradesmen alike have went about the endless task of new construction. The quick action of AIO Crash Crews on the flight line have saved thousands of dollars worth of aircraft equipment and on many occasion, life and limb.

The water supply point at 4 FIW is maintained by personnel of the 67th AIO section.

The job of construction grew as the Wing expanded
from the few tents set up by the advanced party men.

It is a never ending job and has been handled
ably by men of various skill in AIO.

A new building gets the finishing touches of a plasterer.

A group of electricians go about their job
with ease and the important know-how.

A welder puts the finishing touches on a job.

A practice drill (above) of the Air Installation Crash Crew
paid off when a crippled B-29 (below) forced landed.

Air Installation Crash Crew

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


Food Service Squadron



Ye Ole' dining halls

Field conditions are no longer a problem with men of the Food Service Squadron. They have provided each man with the three--time-a-day event......chow. Their menus read as those of the Statler Hotels, though not prepared in their spotless kitchens. The calorie filled diets come with fresh green vegetables and meats. The food served at the 67th dining halls has been considered one of the biggest moral boosting factors within the wing.

Dining Halls unequaled for a combat area.

Brown Hot biscuits on the way.

The three-times-a-day event...chow.

A meal time preparation.

Cuts of beef are readied for stew in the food service butcher shops.

Freshly roasted hams are cut and made ready for table at meal time.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


67th Maintenance and Supply Group



Personnel of M&S Group Headquarters

Key men of the flying units are the maintenance crews which Keep ‘Em Flying. Daily checks of aircraft has accounted for very little flying time lost due to maintenance problems. Since the 67th flies four types of aircraft, crews must be experienced in all types of maintenance. Machinists, instrument specialists, parachute riggers and others have played and will continue to play one of the most vital roles of a flying unit.


One prop damaged...another on the way.

Maintenance crew swarm over an RF-80.

The radio repair section of the maintenance squadron.

Parachute riggers shop.

Machine shop.

The instrument shop which handles the fine works of aircraft.

An RF-51 undergoes a cleaning.

A member of the weapons section packs
a group of carbines in cosmolene for shipment.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


Supply Squadron



The library section of Base Supply

Supplying the needs of a wing as large as the 67th could have it’s problems, but doesn't. Aircraft parts, photo supplies and office needs are kept at a constant flow to users. Minutes after a pilot completes a mission, supply crews are swarming over the aircraft to refuel and ready for another flight.

The stock records section where a listing of all supplies and orders are kept.

The pressing shop of the base laundry.

Dirty ones in the wash.

out to dry...

To the owner, cleaned and pressed.

An RF-80 is refueled.

The supply stock is replenished.

Activity in the supply yards.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


Motor Vehicle Squadron



The motor pool check-out gate

Almost every operational section of the wing relies on transportation to complete its particular mission. The wheels that move the wing are maintained and operated by personnel of the Motor Vehicle Squadron. The driver has an individual skill as do the mechanic and maintenance checker. All play their part in "Keeping ‘em rolling".

The motor pool check-out gate
Up on the rack for a weekly check...

Steaming off the Korean mud.

Yards of the motor vehicle maintenance shops.

Dispatcher hands out a trip ticket.

Motor vehicle maintenance shops.

A welder of the vehicle maintenance shops
works late in the night to complete a job.

Wheels which roll the crash crew vehicles
are maintained by mechanics of the motor vehicle squadron.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


67th Medical Group



Entrance to the hospital

Personnel of the 67th Medical Group have treated over 50,000 patients since the group was fully activated in the fall of 1951. The sprawling hospital houses a dental clinic, crash ward, surgery room, x-ray, diet kitchen, pharmacy, laboratory, eye and audio testing and two wards capable of caring for fifty bed patients. Each section is staffed with skilled doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. The Helioport has enabled rescue crews to bring in front line evacuees in a matter of minutes when necessary.


Doctor and medic await a patient.

Patient is removed from the "copter" and into a awaiting ambulance.

Hospital Pharmacy

Readying for surgery.

Lab technicians test blood samples.

False plates...his specialty.

Expert dental care is offered to everyone.

On the table for a revealing x-ray.

One ward showing part of the 50 beds for patients.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW


77th RAAF



Ready and Waiting

The 77th Royal Australian Air Force Squadron has become as familiar as the 67th Area itself. They have proven to be real "tigers" and have stepped high in the ranks of the United Nations fighting team.

First formed in 1942, the 77th flew Curtis Kittyhawks and Mustangs in the South Pacific during World War II. Following the end of the war they were sent to Japan as part of the Commonwealth Occupation Force in 1946. Following the outbreak of the Korean conflict they commenced operation from Iwakuni and first started operation in the Meteors on July 30, 1951.

They have become well known by the enemy for the fiery napalm rocket carried on the wing of the speedy meteor. The 600 mph Gloster jet has proven to be one of the sturdiest ships used in the Korean fighting. Although the 77th has flown mostly ground support missions and very little escort duty, they have three MIG kills to their credit.


Rocket expert wires the fuse head of the fiery napalm container.
This rocket has been developed by the RAAF and is believed to be
the only one being used in Korea.

Readying a rocket load

Rocket attached...trouble coming up

A pair get ready for take-off at the end of runway

A meteor pilot checks with his crew chief before take-off time.

Meteor lift over a Korean Village

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW



Chaplains Section



The base chapel where many have found peace of mind

Members of the chapel choir

Orphans at Bupyong blend voices in singing the "Old Rugged Cross" in their native tongue.

Funds donated by men of the 67th have helped build Bupyong and clothe its 64 residents.
Support of the orphanage is conducted by the Wing Chaplains Office.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW



Here and There



When the move to Kimpo was completed everyone pitched in to get it in shape

A new hanger goes up in the 12th Tac area.

The sun fades...all is quiet

Koreans get a close up of a battle veteran

Kimpo gates

General Mathew B. Ridgway center, chats with Lt. Col. Harris left, and Colonel Chickering right.
These photos were taken shortly before Ridgway's assignment as NATO Commander.

General Ridgway listens as an unidentified Colonel briefs him in the Recce Tech Lab.

The General leaves the briefing room with a surprised look.

Colonel R. A. Berg right, explains the processing of aerial photos to General John K. Cannon center.

Colonel E. S. Chickering left, chats with British Minister of Defense Lord Alexander, Supreme Commander, General Mark W. Clark and Far East Air Forces Commander, Lt. Gen. Otto P. Weyland.

Movie actress Marie Windsor chats with hospital patients.

Betty Hutton left, gives out that familiar smile as do other members of her troupe.

Patricia Neal with a sly look for the airmen audiences.

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW



Korea and its People



The Pappasans

Victims of war

Looking over the city of Seoul

A once modern tenement house.

A completely destroyed housing unit built by the Japanese.

A Catholic Church in the distance rises amongst the rubble of Seoul, untouched by a single bomb.

A section of Kimpo village.

"Honey" wagons line a dirt road leading from Inchon to Suwon.

A section of the bombed out business district of Seoul.

The beauty of Korean hills is unsurpassed.

Seoul RTO Station where some of the heaviest fighting took place when the city was retaken for the second time by allied forces.

A Korean farmer cultivates his rice field.

Seoul Capitol Building

A bombed out residential district of Seoul

Copyright (C) 1952 Office of Public Information, 67th TRW



The Neighbors


No. 77 Squaron Photos (RAAF) by Pilot Officer Al Avery

The Aussies have a custom of naming a person with red hair, "Blue". There were three redheaded pilots in the 77th as I recall, one was Blue Thornton, mentioned in your 77th Squadron recap, and another by the name of Blue Holbrook, I believe. Another Aussie Pilot name which I recall, not a red head, is one that ended up as a Prisoner of War, by the name of Drummond.

In the Meteor hassle which the Aussies had with the MiGs that day, I believe that they lost three Meteors including, Drummond. I was up on a recon mission the day of that MiG/Meteor hassle and heard most of the fighter talk on our combat frequency. A grand victory party ensued when we all returned to Kimpo. One of the Aussie Pilots was an older guy who had flown Spitfires in England during the German Blitz in World War Two. Scottie, was his name. I don't recall whether his last name was Wilson or not. Scottie had flown copious missions in England but had never got credit for shooting down an enemy airplane.

However, on that memorable day in Korea, Scottie was one of a flight of four Meteor Pilots who got credit for hits on one of the MiGs which was shot down. Scottie was given credit for a quarter of a MiG Kill and it pleased him no end. He was a bit of a boozer anyway, but on this Victory Party for the several MiG Kills of the day, Scottie felt like a grand celebration and so stood with his back to the bar and proceeded to get "Blotto". His ankles finally gave out and he slipped slowly to the bar room floor and was carried out by four of his drunken flight mates and put to bed. Scottie relished the honor of a quarter of a MiG Kill in spite of the three hundred or so missions it took him to get his aerial victory.

Copyright (C) 2000 Norman E. Duquette


Click logo to return back to Main page.