Fabulous Rocketeers Photo/Historical Collection 1953

336th Squadron of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing

Squadron Commander:

August 1, 1952 - July 1953 Major Louis Green

July 1953 - June 1954 Lt. Col. Edward Weed

 

 

 

Lt. James K. Thompson "Stardust"

U.S. Air Force pilot James Thompson, left, visits with his crew chief prior to a combat mission during the Korean War. The crew chief, known only by the last name of Johnson, is from Okarche. In the lower right of the photo, the words “Home” and “Okarche, Okla” can be seen. (Photo provided) © 2017 Okarche Warrior

 

 

 

FU-520

FU-520 (s/n 52-4520)

(F-86 Sabres of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing - Thomspon)

 

 

 

FU-539 "Slo-Mo-Shun II"

FU-539 (s/n 52-4539) "Slo-Mo-Shun II" / FU-775 (s/n 52-4775)

(Photo from Ken Raymond, son of Tech Sgt. Albert Raymond (Air Force radar and radio technician))

FU-539 (s/n 52-4539) "Slo-Mo-Shun II"

(Photo from Karen, 2/Lt. John R. Kidd's daughter)

 

 

 

FU-541 "Patty II"

FU-541 (s/n 52-4541) "Patty II"

(F-86 Sabres of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing - Thomspon)

 

 

 

FU-543

FU-543 (s/n 52-4543)

(Photo cropped from Karen, 2/Lt. John R. Kidd's daughter)

 

 

 

FU-553 Lt. Ron Miller "Tootsie"

FU-553 (s/n 52-4553) "Tootsie"

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

 

 

 

Lt. Ed A. Smith "My Betty"

(Photo from Otha H "Skeet" Vaughan Jr.)

(fabulousrocketeers.com)

1/Lt. Edward A. Smith "My Betty"

(Photo from Otha H "Skeet" Vaughan Jr.)

 

 

 

FU-577 Capt. C. E. Daly "Little Bathy"

FU-577 (s/n 52-4577) Capt. C. E. Daly's "Little Bathy"

(Photo from Otha H "Skeet" Vaughan Jr.)

FU-546 (s/n 52-4546) / FU-577 (s/n 52-4577) / FU-894 (s/n 51-2894) / FU-939

(F-86 Sabres of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing - Thomspon)

 

 

 

FU-590 Lt. Woody Hall "Blood and Guts"

FU-590 (s/n 52-4950) Lt. Woodrow Hall "Blood and Guts"

(Sabres Over Mig Alley - Thompson), Wings magazine, February 2003

 

 

 

FU-591

FU-591 (s/n 52-4591) / FU-976 112976 "Speedy Cec"

(MiG Alley Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

 

 

 

FU-639

FU-639 (s/n 52-4639)

(F-86 Sabres of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing - Thomspon)

 

 

 

FU-607 (50-607)

 

Sabre Loss Sabre Loss 336th FIS

Code: M Operational due to enemy action, but includes failure of oxygen systems and explosions

Date: 3-31-53

Pilot: 2/Lt. Frank D. Frazier

Cause: Engine

Remarks: Rescued

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

Circumstances of Loss: Hit by AAA, engine failure, bailed out near Cho-do, rescued

(KORWALD - Korean War Air Loss Database)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

 

 

 

FU-645 (50-645)

 

Sabre Loss 336th FIS

Code: A Accident

Date: 6-24-53

Pilot: Samuel Jackson

Cause: Mechanical

Remarks: Burned

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)


("The F-86 Sabre Jet and Pilots" by Turner, 1997)

("The F-86 Sabre Jet and Pilots" by Turner, 1997)

 

 

 

FU-676 Capt. Robert A. Windoffer

Maj. Stephan Bettinger

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

 

 

 

FU-701 Col Donald Hall "Dottie"

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

FU-701 (s/n 52-4701)

 

 

 

FU-747

FU-747 (s/n 51-2747)

(MiG Alley Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

 

 

 

FU-766

 

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

 

 

 

FU-784

FU-784

(F-86 Sabres of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing - Thomspon)

 

 

 

FU-791 "Old Buddy"

FU-791 (s/n 51-2791) "Old Buddy"

(F-86 Sabre in Action, Aircraft No. 33 - squadron/signal publications)

 

 

 

FU-796 (51-2796)

 

Sabre Loss Sabre Loss 336th FIS

Code: M Operational due to enemy action, but includes failure of oxygen systems and explosions

Date: 1-26-53

Pilot: 2/Lt. Bill J. Stauffer

Cause: MiG-15

Remarks: KIA

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

Circumstances of Loss: Downed by Mig, 4 F-86s attacked by 6 MiG, crashed inverted

(KORWALD - Korean War Air Loss Database)

 

 

 

FU-822 Col Royal Baker "Angel Face & The Babes/The King"

FU-822 (s/n 51-2822) "Angel Face & The Babes/The King"

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

 

 

 

FU-824 (51-2824) "Little Mike"

FU-824 (s/n 51-2824)

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

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

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

 

 

 

FU-834 Joe Romack "Joanne" / Lt W McGinnis "Old Dominick II"

FU-834 (s/n 51-2834) "Joanne"

(Sabres Over Mig Alley - Thompson), Wings magazine, February 2003

FU-834 (s/n 51-2834) "Joanne"

(MiG Alley Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

Joe Romack of 336th FIS took over FU-834 from Capt Clifford D Jolley of the 335th FIS, at which point it was renamed Patricia II, but retaining the 'jolly roger' flag.

FU-834 (s/n 51-2834)

FU-834 then was then taken over by Lt W McGinnis and named 'Uncle Dominick II'.

FU-834 (s/n 51-2834) / FU-857 (s/n 52-2857) "Glory"-Us

The aircraft served with 4th FIW until September 1953 and was lost in a flying accident with 35th FIW on 1st June 1954.

FU-834 (s/n 51-2834) / FU-791 (s/n 51-2791) "Old Buddy"

FU-834 (s/n 51-2834)

 

 

 

FU-836 (51-2836) or FU-824 (51-2824)

 

Sabre Loss 336th FIS

Code: (not listed)

Date: 7-20-53

Pilot: Maj. Stephen L. Bettinger

Cause: MiG-15

Remarks: POW

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren, listed as 51-2824 in this source?)

Circumstances of Loss: Hit by MiG, ejected

(KORWALD - Korean War Air Loss Database, listed as 51-2836 in this source?)

Notes on Bettinger

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

 

 

 

(FU-839 52-2839)

 

Sabre Loss Sabre Loss 336th FIS

Code: (not listed)

Date: 2-19-53

Pilot: 2Lt. Edward G. Izbicky

Cause: MiG-15

Remarks: POW

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

Circumstances of Loss: Downed by Mig

(KORWALD - Korean War Air Loss Database)

"52-2839 was a Canadair-built F-86E-6-CAN Sabre, assigned to the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 4th Fighter Interceptor Group, Suwon AB, Korea. Shot down by MiG 15 flown by Kapt Semen A. Fedorets, 19 February 1953. The pilot, 2nd Lt. Edward G. Izbicky, was captured. The Russian pilot, Fedorets, is the same pilot who shot down Joseph McConnell." - cyclic206

(jetpilotoverseas.wordpress.com) link

 

 

 

FU-857 1/Lt. Peter 'Freddie' J. Frederick "Glory-US"

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

FU-857 (s/n 52-2857) "Glory"-Us 1/Lt. Peter 'Freddie' J. Frederick

 

 

 

FU-863 (52-2863)

 

Sabre Loss 336th FIS

Code: (not listed)

Date: 7-20-53

Pilot: Lt. Kenneth Polenske

Cause: Engine

Remarks: KIA

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

 

 

 

FU-879 (52-2879)

 

Sabre Loss Sabre Loss 336th FIS

Code: (not listed)

Date: 3-13-53

Pilot: Graham S. Hulse

Cause: MiG-15

Remarks: Died as POW (bnr)

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

Circumstances of Loss: 4 F-86s attacked by 16 MiGs, unsuccessful bail out

(KORWALD - Korean War Air Loss Database)

 

 

 

FU-894 "Kay Darling"

FU-894 (s/n 51-2894) "Kay Darling"

FU-894 (s/n 51-2894) "Kay Darling"

(MiG Alley Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

FU-894 (s/n 51-2894) "Kay Darling"

 

 

 

Maj. Gene Sommerich

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

 

 

 

Lt. Walter Fellman Jr.

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

MiG kills (Photo credit from TSgt Walter W Fellman IV)

 

("The F-86 Sabre Jet and Pilots" by Turner, 1997)

 

 

 

FU-939 Capt. George W. Love "Silent George"

FU-939 (s/n 51-12939) Capt. George W. Love "Silent George"

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

FU-939 (s/n 51-12939) Capt. George W. Love "Silent George"

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

FU-939 (s/n 51-12939) Capt. George W. Love "Silent George"

(F-86 Sabre in Action, Aircraft No. 126 - squadron/signal publications)

 

 

 

FU-968 Capt. John Roberts "Death Dodger"  

FU-968 (s/n 51-12968) "Death Dodger"

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

 

 

 

FU-973 (51-12973)

 

Sabre Loss 336th FIS

Code: M Operational due to enemy action, but includes failure of oxygen systems and explosions

Date: 7-20-53

Pilot: Maj. Thomas M. Sellers

Cause: MiG-15

Remarks: Rescued

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)

Circumstances of Loss: Hit by enemy fire, lost both wings

(KORWALD - Korean War Air Loss Database)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

 

 

 

FU-976 Lt. Cecil Lefevers "Speedy Cec"

FU-976 (s/n 51-12976) "Speedy Cec"

(F-86 Sabres of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing - Thomspon)

FU-976 (s/n 51-12976) "Speedy Cec"

(F-86 Sabres of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing - Thomspon)

 

 

 

Lt. Dean A. Pogreba

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)


 

 

2/Lt. John R. Kidd

2nd Lt John R. Kidd rec'd the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial combat in an F-86 Sabrejet Korea 1953.

2/Lt John Kidd (right) shaking hands with Col. James K. Johnson.

(Picture from John's daughter, Karen)

(Picture from John's daughter, Karen)

 

 

 

Lt. F. E. Blackman "Anchor Man"

FU-780 (s/n 52-4780) in background

(Sabres Over Mig Alley - Thompson), Wings magazine, February 2003

 

 

 

Group Shots

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

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

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

 

 

 

Additional Yearbook Photos 1953

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

 
 

 

336th Fabulous Rocketeers - Confirmed MiG Kills 1953
January

(4th Fighter Interceptor Wing yearbook - 1953)

     

January 13, 1953

January 16, 1953

January 21, 1953

January 21, 1953

Col. Royal N. Baker

1st Lt. Peter J. Frederick

2nd Lt. Frank H. Arbuckle

Maj. Robinson Risner

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

     
February
     
February 18, 1953
1st Lt. Peter J. Frederick
1.0 Credit MiG-15
     
March
     

March 13, 1953

March 13, 1953

March 13, 1953

March 14, 1953

March 21, 1953

1st Lt. William F. Loyd

Maj. Eugene M. Sommerich

Sqn. Ldr. Graham S. Hulse (RAF)

1st Lt. Walter W. Fellman

Capt. Houston N. Tuel

1.0 Credit MiG-15

0.5 Credit MiG-15

0.5 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

     
April
     
April 22, 1953
1st Lt. Walter W. Fellman
1.0 Credit MiG-15
     
May
     

May 16, 1953

May 16, 1953

May 16, 1953

May 18, 1953

May 18, 1953

May 18, 1953

May 18, 1953

May 26, 1953

1st Lt. Forist G. Dupree

1st Lt. Walter W. Fellman

1st Lt. Peter J. Frederick

Lt. Col. Louis A. Green

Capt. George W. Love

1st Lt. Robert E. Purdue

1st Lt. Harold B. Schmidt

1st Lt. Thomas H. McQuade

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

2.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

0.5 Credit MiG-15

0.5 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

     
June
     

June 5, 1953

June 5, 1953

June 5, 1953

June 7, 1953

June 7, 1953

June 16, 1953

June 24, 1953

June 26, 1953

June 30, 1953

June 30, 1953

Maj. Stephen L. Bettinger

1st Lt. Frank D. Frazier

Lt. Col. Julian A. Harvey

1st Lt. Walter W. Fellman

2nd Lt. James M. Howerton

Maj. Stephen L. Bettinger

Capt. Dean A. Pogreba

1st Lt. Thomas H. McQuade

2nd. Lt. Cecil E. Lefevers

Capt. George W. Love

1.0 Credit MiG-15

0.5 Credit MiG-15

0.5 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

0.5 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

     
July
     

July 12, 1953

July 16, 1953

July 19, 1953

July 20, 1953

July 20, 1953

Maj. Stephen L. Bettinger

Maj. Stephen L. Bettinger

Lt. Col. Jack R. Best

Maj. Stephen L. Bettinger

Maj. Thomas M. Sellers (USMC)

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

1.0 Credit MiG-15

2.0 Credit MiG-15

     
(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)
 
 

 

Highlights of the Korean War (Jan 1953 - July 27, 1953)

 

Jan. 4: Fifth Air Force mounted a 124-airplane strike against the Huichon supply center.

Jan. 4/5: Twelve B-29s of the 307th BW bombed the Huichon supply areas and railroad bridge.

Jan. 9/10: Seventeen B-29s kicked off an air campaign against the Sinanju communications complex by bombing rail bridges at Yongmi-dong, anti-aircraft gun positions near Sinanju, and two marshaling yards at Yongmi-dong and Maejung-dong.

Jan. 10: Fighter-bombers followed up the B-29 night attacks with a daylight 158-aircraft raid against bridges, rail lines, and gun positions.

Jan. 10/11: 307th BW B-29s bombed Sonchon and Anju marshaling yards. Enemy searchlights illuminated a B-29 apparently betrayed by its contrails, and fighters shot it down.

Jan. 11: Battle damage assessment indicated that all rail lines in the Yongmi-dong area were unserviceable.

Jan. 12-15: After missing a day because of weather, fighter-bombers continued around-the-clock attacks in the Sinanju area.

Jan. 13: Some 12 enemy fighters shot down a B-29 on a psychological warfare, leaflet-drop mission over North Korea. The crew included Col. John K. Arnold Jr., commander, 581st ARCW.

Jan. 13/14: 307th BW and 19th BG attacked Sinanju and Kunu-ri marshaling yards.

Jan. 14: Following up on the B-29 attacks the night before, fighter-bombers struck gun positions, railroads, and bridges in the Sinanju area.

Jan. 15: Aerial photographs revealed a new camouflaged yard at the Sui-ho hydroelectric dam and two of the four generators working.

Jan. 17/18: The 98th BW attacked the Pyongyang radio installation, which was 42 feet underground and only 1,000 feet from a possible POW camp. The 11 B-29s scored eight to 10 hits with 2,000-pound general-purpose bombs, but these did not penetrate deeply enough to destroy the radio station.

Jan. 22: The 18th FBW withdrew its remaining F-51 Mustangs from combat and prepared to transition to F-86 Sabres, thus ending the use of USAF single-engine, propeller-driven aircraft in offensive combat in the Korean War. Peking radio announced the capture of Arnold and his surviving crew members, three having perished when the B-29 went down Jan. 13. The Communists did not release Arnold until 1956.

Jan. 24: Two pilots of the 51st FIW, Capt. Dolphin D. Overton III, 16th FIS, and Lt. Harold E. Fischer, 39th FIS, achieved ace status. In addition, Overton set a record for becoming a jet ace in the shortest time of four days.

Jan. 25: Beginning this day, UN Command limited immunity for only one Communist convoy each way per week between Pyongyang and the Panmunjom area. The enemy could no longer use the armistice negotiations as a pretense for sending supplies and reinforcements unthreatened by UN airpower to the front lines.

Jan. 28: In a break from interdiction of enemy transportation targets, fighter-bombers attacked a troop concentration near Pyongyang.

Jan. 28/29: A 19th BG B-29 exploded over the target southwest of Sariwon. Enemy fighters apparently silhouetted the B-29 against a full moon and shot it down. This was the fourth B-29 loss since December but the last of the war. USMC Skynight aircraft escorting B-29s used new tactics to down an enemy night interceptor, the first enemy jet destroyed at night by a radar-equipped jet fighter.

Jan. 29: Fighter-bombers followed up the previous day's attack near Pyongyang.

Jan. 29/30: Enemy fighters badly damaged another B-29 in the same circumstances as the previous night. USMC Skynights once again shot down an enemy night fighter. A 319th FIS F-94 tracked by radar and destroyed an La-9 aircraft late on the night of the 30th. This marked the first Starfire kill in Korea.

Jan. 30: A 4th FIW F-86 pilot intercepted and shot down a Russian-built Tu-2 twin-engine bomber over the Yellow Sea, northeast of Pyongyang, the first reported destruction of this type aircraft since Nov. 30, 1951.

Jan. 30/3l: Approximately 10 enemy fighters so badly damaged a 307th BW B-29 that it barely made an emergency landing in South Korea.

Feb. 2: Ninety-six 5th Air Force fighter-bombers struck a troop billeting area located six miles south of Kyomipo, destroying 107 buildings.

Feb. 9: At Kyomipo, 5th Air Force fighter-bombers and light bombers left in smoldering ruins the former steel mill being used as a munitions factory and locomotive repair shop.

Feb. 15: In the strike of the month, 22 F-84 Thunderjets of the 474th FBW struck the Sui-ho hydroelectric power plant. With no losses, 82 escorting F-86 Sabres drew off 30 MiGs while the Thunderjets dropped their 1,000-pound bombs. The attack halted power production at Sui-ho for several months.

Feb. 15/16: Radio Pyongyang went off the air when B-29s attacked the nearby Pingjang-ni communications center, damaging power lines.

Feb. 16: Capt. Joseph C. McConnell Jr., 39th FIS, achieved ace status. The 1st Marine Air Wing led a 178-aircraft formation, including 5th Air Force fighter-bombers, in an attack against troop billeting and supply storage in the Haeju to Sariwon region of western North Korea. The 45th TRS transferred all its remaining RF-51s to Japan, leaving it an all-jet RF-80 unit.

Feb. 18: In one of the highlights of the air-to-air war, four F-86s attacked a formation of 48 MiG-15s just south of the Sui-ho reservoir, shooting down two enemy aircraft. Two other MiGs, attempting to follow an F-86 through evasive maneuvers, went into uncontrollable spins and crashed. In this battle, Capt. Manuel J. Fernandez, 334th FIS, achieved ace status, downing his fifth and sixth MiGs.

Feb. 18-19: In one of the largest all-jet fighter-bomber strikes of the war, 511 aircraft placed high-explosive bombs on a tank and infantry school at Kangso, southwest of Pyongyang, destroying 243 buildings.

Feb. 22: In a letter to Kim Il Sung, North Korean premier, and Paeng Te-huai, CCF commander in Korea, the UN Command stated its readiness to repatriate immediately seriously ill and wounded POWs who were fit to travel and asked whether the North Korean and Chinese leaders were prepared to do the same.

Feb. 26: Fifth Air Force instituted routine armed daylight reconnaissance over northwestern Korea in response to the enemy's vehicle movements.

Feb. 28: Third Air Rescue Group received two new and larger H-19 helicopters. MATS C-124s had flown the dismantled helicopters directly from the factory in the US to Japan, where they were assembled and test-flown before being ferried to Korea.

March 5: Good weather permitted 5th Air Force to complete 700 sorties. Sixteen F-84 Thunderjets attacked an industrial area at Chongjin, just 63 miles from the Siberian border, destroying buildings and two rail and two road bridges, damaging seven railcars, and inflicting several rail and road cuts. Fighter-bombers flying ground support missions reported damage or destruction to 56 bunkers and gun positions, 14 personnel shelters, and 10 supply stacks.

March 5/6: Seventeen 98th BG B-29s attacked a supply area deep in North Korea at Onjong. Two 19th BG medium bombers flew close support missions opposite the US Army's IX and X Corps. Two other B-29s employed shoran to attack on the east coast the Naewan-ni marshaling yard.

March 9: Responding to press reports that US pilots routinely pursued Communist jets across the Manchurian border, UN Command CINC Clark asserted that UN pilots broke off engagements at the Yalu River boundary, enabling many damaged MiGs to escape, although some border violations might have occurred in the heat of combat. Informing the US Joint Chiefs of Staff that air operations in Korea were conducted strictly within limitations established by appropriate authority, Clark also directed FEAF to comply with directives concerning violation of the Manchurian border.

March 13/14: On a deep penetration raid, 12 307th BW B-29s struck a cantonment area near the Choak-tong ore-processing plant near the Yalu River.

March 14: To provoke aerial engagements with Communist fighters, 5th Air Force combat crews dropped leaflets asking, "Where is the Communist air force?" over each ground concentration they attacked.

March 17/18: Serving notice that medium bombers would continue striking in MiG Alley, the 307th BW and 19th BG raided the Punghwa-dong troop concentration area just three miles south of the Communist fighter base at Sinuiju. The bombers sustained very minor flak damage.

March 21: North Korean truce negotiators expressed their willingness to observe the provisions of the Geneva Convention and exchange sick and wounded POWs. At the same time they hinted that the exchange might lead to a resolution of other issues hindering an armistice.

March 21/22: Operation Spring Thaw began when 18 19th BG medium bombers knocked spans out of two principal bridges at Yongmi-dong and rendered the third unserviceable.

March 22/23: Eight 19th BG B-29s continued the attack on Yongmi-dong bridges. The raiders observed that the enemy had repaired one of the bridges damaged the night before. Despite reports of backed-up traffic on the approaches to the bridges, Bomber Command suspended further raids, suspecting that bombers returning for a third time might sustain heavy losses.

March 26: UN pilots sighted 289 MiGs, the highest daily total observed since Aug. 6, 1952.

March 27: MiG-15s equipped with external fuel tanks jumped two RF-80s and two RAAF Meteors between Sariwon and Sinmak, only 38 miles north of the front lines. This was one of several MiG forays close to front-line positions, seemingly in response to UN leaflet drops goading the enemy air forces to come out and fight. Assigned to the 18th FBW, Maj. James P. Hagerstrom destroyed his fifth MiG to become the 28th Korean War ace.

March 28: Col. James K. Johnson, 4th FIW, downed his fifth MiG to achieve ace status.

March 29: Lt. Col. George L. Jones, 4th FIW, became the 30th jet ace.

March 30: Chou En-lai, China's foreign minister, suggested that POWs not desiring repatriation might be placed in the temporary custody of a neutral nation until negotiations determined their final status. Prior to this proposal the Communists had insisted on the repatriation of all POWs. Their new flexibility on this issue provided an opportunity to resume truce negotiations.

April 1: One 307th BW B-29, unable to attack its primary target, visually bombed a truck convoy, reporting excellent results in an attack believed to be the first of its type since Bomber Command began operations in North Korea.

April 6/7, 7/8, 11/12: At night, Bomber Command B-29s raided the three serviceable railroad bridges spanning the Chongchon River at Sinanju. The following mornings, fighter-bombers struck traffic backed up on the approaches to the damaged bridges.

April 12: An H-19 helicopter assigned to the 581st ARCW hoisted Capt. Joseph C. McConnell Jr., F-86 pilot with eight victory credits to date, from the Yellow Sea, after he had ejected from his battle-damaged aircraft.

April 13: An 8th FBW pilot flew an F-86F model Sabre on its first air-to-ground combat mission.

April 15: The Communists completed approximately 75 miles of railroad linking Kusong with Kunu-ri and Sinpyong-ni. Built in less than 70 days, the new line bypassed numerous bottlenecks created by USAF bombing of the Chongju, Sinanju, and Sunchon railroad complexes.

April 20-May 3. During Operation Little Switch, Communist and UN forces exchanged sick and injured prisoners.

April 26: Suspended for six months, armistice negotiations between Communist and UN forces reconvened.

April 26/27: A B-29 medium bomber dropped leaflets over North Korea to kick off Project Moola, the FEAF effort to obtain an operational MiG-15.

May 1: Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers struck Radio Pyongyang. Screened by the 4th and 51st FIWs, the 8th and 18th FBWs briefly headed toward the Yalu River then abruptly swooped down on North Korea's capital to bomb the broadcasting facility and its power supply. Monitoring the battle from the air, 5th Air Force commander Barcus promised that his aircraft would return every time the Communists broadcast "filthy lies" about 5th Air Force.

May 10: Flying through intense flak Col. Victor E. Warford, commander, 58th FBW, led eight Thunderjets to attack the hydroelectric generating facilities at Sui-ho near the Yalu River.

May 10/11: Thirty-nine Superfortresses raided the 375-acre Yangsi troop concentration area 12 miles southeast of Sinuiju, achieving 63 percent destruction of one of the last large lucrative targets remaining in North Korea.

May 13: Thunderjets of the 58th FBW, in the first attack against previously excluded irrigation dams, bombed the Toksan Dam holding the Potong River's water 20 miles north of Pyongyang. Floodwaters swirling from the breached dam washed out six miles of embankment and five bridges, destroyed two miles of the major north-south highway, rendered Sunan airfield inoperable, and ruined five square miles of prime rice crop.

May 14: Communist and UN truce negotiators recessed indefinitely over differences concerning POWs who refused repatriation.

May 16: Ninety 58th FBW sorties breached the Chasan irrigation dam. Surging waters washed away three railroad bridges and destroyed rice ripening in surrounding fields.

May 18: An H-19 helicopter rescued two members of a B-26 crew 20 miles inside enemy territory by using tactics presaging those of later conflicts. The helicopter scrambled from its base and flew to a small island off the Haeju Peninsula to await fighters to clear the path to the downed airmen. Penetrating enemy territory at 5,000 feet, the helicopter followed the fighter pilots' directions until it located the survivors who were signaling with a mirror. After the survivors set off a flare to indicate wind direction, the helicopter landed and rescued them, staying on the ground for approximately 30 seconds.

Lt. Col. George I. Ruddell, commander, 39th FS, became the 31st jet ace. Another squadron member, McConnell, downed three more MiG-15s to become the first triple jet ace and, with 16 victories, the highest scoring ace of the Korean War.

May 18/19: Eighteen Superfortresses returned to complete the destruction of the Yangsi troop concentration area.

May 19/20: A formation of 19th BG B-29s attacked a large supply complex at Unsan-dong, destroying 140 buildings. Located eight miles west of Sinanju, the complex probably sheltered coast defense forces and was a bivouac area for troops moving south.

May 21/22: Using shoran to aim the bombs, B-29s scored seven direct hits on the Kuwonga dam but failed to burst it because North Koreans had lowered the water level by 12 feet, significantly reducing the pressure on the dam.

May 25: The UN armistice delegation vainly attempted a compromise with the Communists, proposing that nonrepatriate POWs remain in neutral custody for up to 120 days after the armistice, until their governments could confirm their attitude toward repatriation.

May 27: Aerial reconnaissance discovered Communist preparations for a major ground offensive.

May 28/29: The B-29s returned to the Kuwonga dam, scoring five direct hits with 2,000-pound bombs. Although the dam did not burst, North Koreans had to finish draining the reservoir to accomplish repairs, thus exhausting the supply of water available for irrigation.

May 28: The Communists launched a series of company- to regiment-sized attacks that lasted into early June. Gen. Duk Shin Choi, the senior South Korean army delegate to the UN armistice delegation, informed negotiators that his government considered the May 25 proposals by the UN Command unacceptable and announced that he was boycotting future negotiations on the instructions of his government.

May 29: Clark warned the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the South Korean government might release POWs unilaterally.

May 31: Lt. Gen. Samuel E. Anderson assumed command of 5th Air Force, replacing Barcus.

June 2-3: Bomber Command B-29 bombers began night close support missions, mostly against targets where the Communists were training and building up troops and supplies in the western sector of the US IX Corps area.

June 5: Lt. Col. Vermont Garrison, 335th FIS, became the Korean War's 32nd jet ace.

June 10: Fifth Air Force and Bomber Command made coordinated strikes against North Korean serviceable and near-serviceable airfields. Sixteen B-29s from the 98th BW struck Sinuiju and Uiju, encountering flak and fighters without losses. In the heaviest 5th Air Force raid of the airfield campaign, 31 F-84s struck Kanggye airfield.

June 11: Fighter-bombers made their deepest penetration of the war when 13 F-84s attacked Chunggang-jin airfield located midway on the North Korean-Manchurian border. Pilots reported that the raid had rendered the runway unserviceable.

June 13-18: To flood airfields at Namsi and Taechon, F-84s, B-29s, and Marine F4U Corsair fighter-bombers struck irrigation dams at Toksan and Kusong. The raids failed to breach the dams because the Communists had lowered water levels to decrease water pressure.

June 15: Brig. Gen. Richard H. Carmichael replaced Fisher as commander, Bomber Command.

June 16: Setting a single day record, 5th Air Force flew 1,834 sorties. More than half were close support missions against enemy troops in the Pukhan Valley area.

June 17/18: The South Korean government unilaterally released 27,000 anti-Communist POWs.

June 18: Flying for the 335th FIS, Capts. Lonnie R. Moore and Ralph S. Parr Jr. became the Korean War's 33rd and 34th jet aces, respectively.

June 22: Assigned to the 25th FIS, Col. Robert P. Baldwin became a jet ace.

June 22-23: The 315th employed 27 C-46s and 61 C-119s in 284 sorties to transport the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team-3,252 paratroopers and 1,771 tons of cargo-to Korea to reinforce Eighth Army reserves.

June 23: With all North Korean airfields but one inoperable, FEAF commander Weyland advised his air forces to limit attacks to follow-on raids to damage airfields sufficiently so that another series of air raids could knock them out in four or five days.

June 28-July 2: C-46, C-54, and C-119 transports of the 315th airlifted the 19th and 34th Infantry Regiments-3,937 soldiers and 1,227 tons of cargo-from Japan to Korea.

June 30: Sabres set a record by destroying 16 MiGs in a single day. The previous record, 13 kills, had been set Dec. 13, 1951, and matched July 4 and Sept. 4, 1952. Flying with the 25th FIS, 1st Lt. Henry Buttelmann became the Korean War's 36th jet ace.

July 4/5: Twenty-four B-29s attacked airfields at Taechon, Namsi, and Pyongyang.

July 7/8: Sixteen medium bombers raided a supply area and marshaling yard at Namsi.

July 10: Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers began raiding rail bridges at Sinanju and Yongmi-dong to hinder the buildup for the final Communist assault.

July 10/11: The 98th BW B-29s attacked the Sinanju bridges. The 307th BW B-29s bombed rail bridges at Yongmi-dong.

July 11: South Korean President Syngman Rhee agreed to accept a cease-fire agreement in return for promises of a mutual security pact with the United States. Maj. John Bolt, USMC, flying with the 39th FIS of the 51st FIW, shot down his fifth and sixth MiGs to become the Marines' only Korean War ace.

July 12: RF-80 reconnaissance aircraft photographed heavy concentrations of anti-aircraft artillery opposite sectors of the front held by the US IX Corps and the South Korean II Corps, providing warning of an enemy offensive.

July 12-20: Close air support sorties by FEAF aircraft contributed significantly to staunching the Communist onslaught against the South Korean II Corps.

July 13-19: B-29 medium bombers flew nearly 100 ground support missions dropping 4,000-pound airburst and delayed action anti-personnel bombs to blunt the Communist offensive.

July 15: Maj. James Jabara, 334th FIS, scored his 15th aerial victory to become the world's second triple jet ace.

July 16: Cmdr. Guy Bordelon, flying with 5th Air Force, became the war's 38th ace and the only ace for the US Navy.

July 16-20: Fighter-bombers completed a series of attacks on the Chongchon bridges, rendering them unusable.

July 19: Capt. Clyde A. Curtin, 335th FIS, shot down two MiGs to become the 39th ace. The final session of armistice negotiations at Panmunjom convened. After meeting one day, the top negotiators agreed to adjourn while technical experts worked out the cease-fire details.

July 20: Maj. Stephen L. Bettinger, 336th FIS, became the 40th ace of the Korean War with his fifth MiG-15 kill.

July 21/22: Eighteen B-29s close out the war for Bomber Command, striking Uiju airfield.

July 22: Combat between USAF Sabres and Communist MiGs ended with an air battle between three 51st FIW and four Communist jets. During this engagement, Lt. Sam P. Young, 25th FIS, scored the last MiG kill of the Korean War.

July 27: At 10 a.m. Lt. Gen. William K. Harrison, USA, the senior delegate for the UN Command, and Gen. Nam Il, the senior delegate for the North Korean Army and the Chinese Volunteers, signed the armistice agreement to produce a cease-fire in the Korean War.

Capt. Ralph S. Parr Jr. became a double ace with the last air-to-air victory of the war by shooting down an IL-12 transport. In the final hours before the cease-fire, 5th Air Force fighter-bombers hammered North Korean airfields. Poststrike photography from 67th TRW aircraft confirmed that every airfield in North Korea was unserviceable for jet aircraft landings, indicating the successful conclusion of the airfield neutralization program.

Flying a 91st SRS RB-29, Lt. Denver S. Cook piloted the last Bomber Command sortie, dropping leaflets over North Korea. An 8th BS B-26 dropped the last bombs of the Korean War in a night, radar-directed close support mission. Aircraft from the same squadron had flown the first combat strike into North Korea. A RB-26 of the 67th TRW made the last combat sortie of the war over North Korea.

As the Korean War formally ended, by 10:01 p.m., all FEAF's aircraft were located either south of the front line or more than three miles from North Korea's coast.

In accordance with the Armistice Agreement, in August, POWs were exchanged in Operation Big Switch-77,000 Communists for 12,700 UN men, of whom 3,597 were Americans.

Source: Air Force Magazine October 2000


 

 

 

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