AD Skyraider Units of the Korean War (Combat Aircraft)

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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 Supporting the text are a number of previously unpublished private photographs that bring the stories of these pilots to life.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.

B-26 Invader Units over Korea (Osprey Frontline Colour 4)

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Although a hangover from World War II, the seemingly antiquated B-26 Invader proved to be one of the hardest-worked assets employed by the UN forces in Korea for the duration of the conflict. Indeed, B-26s of the 3rd Bomber Group had the distinction of being the first aircraft to drop ordnance on the North Koreans within hours of the communist invasion of the south. Capable of dropping bombs and napalm, firing off unguided rockets or simply strafing targets with its battery of .50-cal Browning guns, the B-26 was equally as effective during the day or at night. Over 200 bomber and reconnaissance variants saw action in Korea, and many were adorned with some of the most colourful nose art ever carried by American combat aircraft in any war. This volume includes a gallery of this artwork, with text outlining the exploits of the pilots featured, and appendices listing the units involved.

F-86 Sabre Aces of the 4th Fighter Wing (Aircraft of the Aces)

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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.

F-86 Sabre Aces of the 51st Fighter Wing

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The 51st Fighter Wing initially flew the F-80C in the Korean War, but in 1951, the 51st brought in high-scoring World War 2 ace Colonel Francis Gabreski to assume command when it converted from the F-80 over to the newly arrived F-86E. His recruits included his elite 4th Wing pilots, and by the end of the war, the 51st had two pilots who achieved the status of "Double Ace" as well as the highest scoring ace of the war, Joe McConnell. This book describes the 51st Wing's tenure with the Sabre that led to their high scoring sprees of 1953.

F-86 Sabre vs MiG-15: Korea 1950–53 (Duel)

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As the routed North Korean People's Army (NKPA) withdrew into the mountainous reaches of their country and the People's Republic of China (PRC) funneled in its massive infantry formations in preparation for a momentous counter-offensive in the last months of 1950, both lacked adequate air power to challenge US and UN air supremacy over both the battlefields and the logistics channels from China into North Korea. Reluctantly, Josef Stalin agreed to provide the requisite air cover, introducing the superior swept-wing MiG-15 to counter the American's straight-wing F-80 jets and to repel the United States Air Force (USAF) B-29 bomber formations that were interdicting the PRC's flow of troops and supplies into North Korea. This in turn prompted the USAF, against its conventional wisdom of retaining its first-line air-defence fighters to face Soviet air forces across the 'Iron Curtain' in Europe, to deploy its very best – the F-86A Sabre – to counter this threat. Thus began a two-and-a-half-year struggle in the skies over a corner of North Korea known as "MiG Alley."

In this period, the unrelenting campaign for aerial superiority witnessed the introduction of successive models of these two revolutionary jets – the MiG-15bis, the F-86E, and eventually the F-86F – into combat. It also saw the transition of operational leadership on the communist side from the Soviet "volunteers" to the newly formed Chinese PLAAF air divisions, and witnessed the re-introduction of the NKPAF, with its "just trained" MiG-15 units, into the air-combat arena. This meticulously researched study not only provides technical descriptions of the two types and their improved variants, complete with a "fighter pilot's assessment" of these aircraft, but also chronicles the entire scope of their aerial duel in "MiG Alley" by employing the recollections of the surviving combatants – including Russian, Chinese, and North Korean pilots – who participated.