By the time the Korean War erupted, the F-51 Mustang was seen as obsolete, but that view quickly changed when the USAF rushed 145 of them to the theatre in late 1950. They had the endurance to attack targets in Korea from bases in Japan, where the modern F-86 fighters and other jets did not. Rather than the interceptor and escort fighter roles the Mustang had performed during World War 2, in the Korean War they were assigned to ground attack missions – striking at communist troop columns advancing south. This is the chronicle of the Mustang units that fought in the Korean War, detailing the type's involvement in a series of intense actions, its successes and its considerable losses. Drawing on meticulous research and gripping first-hand accounts from aircrew, this book explains how the faithful Mustang was able to roll back the years, fight, and prove itself in a new era of aerial warfare.
The Douglas AD Skyraider is considered the most effective naval aircraft of the Korean War, overshadowed in fame by the new jet fighters that captured the public imagination. Too late for combat in World War II, the AD had replaced Dauntless, Helldiver, and Avenger dive- and torpedo-bombers from that conflict on carrier decks during the late 1940s and was on hand to react to the surprise North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950.
This book tells the story of the carrier-based U.S. Navy squadrons and the three land-based U.S. Marine Corps AD units that flew combat missions against the North Koreans and Chinese. Drawing from personal interviews with AD pilots, the authors paint a harrowing picture of the deadly combat of this often forgotten air war. Included in this volume are the AD night attack and electronic countermeasures crews who harassed the enemy lines of communications after dark. Supporting the text are a number of previously unpublished private photographs that bring the stories of these pilots to life. Finally, the book contains extensive appendices that detail every unit deployment by carrier, air group, Skyraider model, and tail code, as well as detailed lists noting every Skyraider lost in the war.
This is the remarkable story of an airplane that became a legend–with a sleek silhouette and bent wings, it doubled as a day and night fighter, could fly off carriers or from land, and served both as a dive bomber and reconnaissance plane. Filled with facts and figures, this fast-paced history begins with the nerve-wracking test flights of the 1940s and concludes with the F4Us that were active thirty-eight years later. Placed skillfully in between are the stories that gave birth to the legend: the exploits of the aces, including the Medal of Honor recipient who shot down twenty-five enemy planes, and the details of the combat missions of Charles A. Lindbergh. During thirty months of combat in World War II with the U.S. Navy and Marines, the Corsair shot down more than two thousand Japanese planes. In Korea the U-bird, as it was called, was credited with ten aerial victories. A trip down memory lane for anyone who has followed the career of this Cadillac of the props, this new paperback edition of a book first published in hardcover in 1979 offers fine historical aviation reading that presents a riveting picture of the men and machine that helped win two wars.
The entry of the United State's premier jet interceptor into the Korean War was triggered by the ever-increasing presence of the Soviet-built MiG-15 south of the Yalu River. The possibility of the USAF losing air supremacy over the Korean Peninsula was unacceptable. The 4th Fighter Wing got the call for combat in Korea. They were made up of a combination of new pilots right out of jet training and the older combat veterans of World War II vintage. This combination of pilot types wrote and re-wrote the text books on jet warfare. Of the 40 jet aces that the war produced, the 4th Wing boasted 24 of them. They also were the dominating MiG killer outfit with the USAF.
420 members of the aviation cadet class of 52-Charlie received their wings in May of 1952. Some transitioned into jet fighters, some into multi-engine aircraft. Most members of this famous class flew combat missions in Korea or Vietnam, or both. Their stories, recounted within, are stories of bravery and sacrifice, and are sometimes tragic, often humorous, and always dedicated. Quinn Fuller was shot down on his first combat mission. Wounded and bleeding, he was picked up by a chopper under heavy fire. He returned to his base and flew an additional ninety-nine missions. Dick Spaulding's oxygen system failed and he was forced to fly for more than thirty minutes over North Korea while slipping in and out of consciousness. Ralph Mackey, a bombardier and later a member of 52-Charlie, watched from another aircraft as his crew was shot down over Germany in WWII. General Jim McDivitt defied death in Korea and again at Edwards Air Force Base as a test pilot, before donning a space suit and flying missions in the Gemini and Apollo programs.