Squadron Leader Graham Hulse (RAF)

(The 4th Fighter Wing in the Korean War - Larry Davis)

SabreJet Classics Volume 17, Number 1

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Flight Lieutenant Graham Hulse arrived at Kimpo in September 1952. He was on loan from the RAF to the USAF for two years to gain experience in the F-86 Sabre. During World
War 2 Hulse was a Sgt Pilot in no. 122 and no. 81 Squadron in 1942-43, flying combat over Europe against the Luftwaffe, then transferred to no. 93 Squadron in the Far East. When he was shot down in Spring 1944, evading capture, he had 2 confirmed victories, plus a 3rd that he scored in April 1945 with no. 213 Squadron after being promoted to Flight Lieutenant. Houston Tuel - "A tall blonde, affable veteran of the Battle of Britain, he rapidly became one of our most admired and respected pilots. We listened intently to his accounts of his combat missions in defense of Britain, often told with self-deprecating humor. His skill as a story teller was legendary.

Shortly after his arrival at Kimpo, he was promoted to Squadron Leader, the RAF equivilant of major, and made commander of `C' Flight in the 336th Squadron. Members of his flight practically idolized him. He made it very clear that he was just as interested in the success of the junior members of his flight as he was in his own personal success, sharing oppurtunities with them that they might not have had with a different flight commander.

As he neared the end of his tour in Korea, he opted to forego an extension beyond the usual 100 missions because he wanted to be home in England in time for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He almost made it.

On March 1953, he took off on his 95th mission. Nearing the Yalu River, Hulse saw a MiG and attacked it, closing on him rapidly from behind. He fired, scoring numerous hits. The MiG began smoking profusely and decelerated, probably because of engine damage. Apparently believing the MiG had been rendered harmless, Hulse passed him on the right then made a sharp left turn, crossing directly in front of the MiG at a very close range. With what had to be a very lucky deflection shot, the MiG pilot fired his 37mm cannon, blowing several feet off of Hulse's left wing.

Hulse's wingman, Major Eugene Sommerich, had started firing at the MiG after Hulse broke off. His gun camera film dramatically recorded what happened subsequently.

The intelligence people were not overly generous in sharing what they knew with those of us at squadron level. So much of what we heard later had the credibility of rumors. That said, Hulse was seen to eject over the peninsula code-named `Long Dong', and was reportedly seen on the ground alive both that day and the next.

The following day, the weather was non-operational and remained so for the next two weeks, at the end of which a massive but futile rescue operation was attempted. To the best of my knowledge, Sq/Ldr Graham Hulse, DFC, RAF, is still listed as Missing In Action."

Sq/Ldr Hulse was officially credited with 3 air to air victories over MiG-15 jet fighters, including a .5 credit for the MiG that eventually also shot him down.

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