> Bush Calls Korean War Reminder of New Challenges
> Family Finally Gets Official Word on Korean War Vet's Fate
> Korea - 50 years ago this week, July 17-23; Truce talks reconvene as Reds turned back
> Korean War Aircrafts
> Sharing a Half-Century Salute
> United States Army in the Korean War

Korean War Aircraft
Did you know? Many propellor-driven planes stayed in service until well into the 1980s!

  • The first enemy plane shot down in the Korean War was by a Mustang.
  • Over thirty squadrons flew Corsairs in the Korean War.
  • The Skyraider could stay in the air for ten hours, longer than many jets at that time.

  • During the Korean War many technological advances were made in the military hardware used, many updating from the World War II and moving forward into a new age. But many of the weapons remained almost the same as they had a decade earlier, presenting a unique challenge for a new generation of warriors. Some of these involved the aircrafts used, from the P-51 Mustang to the F4U Corsair to the A-1 Skyraider, all propeller-driven and veterans themselves of the last World War. Let's take a look at these old workhorses as they entered their last major theater of battle as Korean War weapons in the midst of a major technological advance for the aeronautical industry.

    The A-1 Skyraider came into existence at the very end of the war, rolling off the lines at the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1945. Learning from the experiences of the Second World War, the Skyraider's best design feature was the creation of seven hardpoints on the wings. Hardpoints are where parts (such as fuel pods) or weapons are usually loaded and this allowed the Skyraider to carry a huge amount relative to the size of the plane.

    Able to stay in the air for almost ten hours, the Skyraider was invaluable in the Korean War Theater since it could stay flying while most of the newer jets had to turn back. Indeed, this tough little plane became wellknown for being able to stay in the air longer than almost any other model while carrying enough ordinance to make it a very deadly enemy. One Skyraider is even rumored to have shot down a MiG-17, a Russian jet, which happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Keeping pace with the jets that were considered to be the future of the aviation industry the A-1 Skyraider continued to fly until production was discontinued in 1957. Even then this feisty little propeller-driven plane continued to survive, continuing to serve in the Vietnam War with modifications only making it deadlier and more able to serve in a support role alongside the jets that would eventually take over the air war. Despite being a latecomer to the field the Skyraider served with distinction during the Korean War, proving that not all advances in technology meant that the old ways had nothing left to offer.

    The F4U Corsair is probably one of the better-known planes to the public, having become famous during many television shows that featured this odd-looking propeller-driven airplane. With a distinctive wing that was bent into what was called a "gull's wing" shape, this fighter almost missed the entire Second World War before coming into it's own.

    The first Corsair rolled off the assembly line in 1940 but had major technical problems that kept it off the front lines until much later on in the War. And when it did enter combat it became known as a deadly adversary in the sky, racking up ten enemy kills for every plane lost. But when the Second World War ended the Corsair didn't just retire into the aircraft museums. Instead it moved into the Korean War with as much skill as it had in the Phillipines, where it had made a name for itself.

    Flying alongside the newer jets the F4U-4 and F4U-5 Corsairs continued to keep up with their jet counterparts, operating off of aircraft carriers. Indeed, the Corsair ended up being a very popular sight, with over thirty fighter squadrons consisting of this deadly naval fighter. At the same time over three hundred Corsairs were lost during the Korean War, most of them to ground fire by troops who could and did catch up with this propellor-driven plane that couldn't outrun them like the newer jets of the era.

    It is worth noting that the Corsair created the only US Navy ace of the entire war; when USN Lt. Guy Bordelon shot down five planes during two months in 1953, a difficult feat by any standard.

    Keeping pace with the newer models that threatened to leave it behind the F4U Corsair not only dominated the Pacific during the Second World War but also made a name for itself during the Korean War.

    The P-51 Mustang is possibly one of the most popular planes, mistaken often for its cousin, the Spitfire. Coming into service during the Second World War and most commonly used as a bomber this propeller-driven plane continued to see service well into the 1950's and into the Korean War with a variety of countries fielding squadrons of this tough little plane.

    One little known fact is that the first enemy plane shot down in the Korean War was shot down by a Mustang! On June 27, 1950 1st. Lt. William G. Hudson shot down a Yak-11, a Soviet propeller-driven plane over Kimpo Airfield in front of astonished spectators on the ground.

    One of the reasons why the Mustang, and various versions thereof, were so popular was its ability to take off and land on less-than-perfect runways, a common problem in the Korean War Theater where runways were usually hastily hacked out of the landscape. Still, the Mustang continued to hold its own with the much faster jet set and provided close support of ground forces for many countries united under the UN banner until it was retired from service in 1953.

    The Mustang continued in service until the 1980s with a variety of Air Forces, including New Zealand, South Korea and Canada among others. This multi-talented fighter went through a number of models, adapting it to different circumstances and roles until finally giving in to age and the advances of the jet age.

    Throughout the Korean War these airborne weapons were seen at times as obsolete, relics of an era where the propellor-driven plane ruled the sky. But these three feisty little planes not only held their own with the jets of the Korean War era but distinguished themselves with their accomplishments, making them not only World War Two heroes, but also Korean War heroes in their own right. Standing alongside the other Korean War weapons these planes can rightly claim their part in the history books alongside their more famous children, the jets. User-generated content powered by Associated Content| Publish your own Content|