View Full Version : Korean war

Dr Jekyll
22nd Jul 2014, 16:23
Why was the RAF not involved in the Korean War? I appreciate individual pilots flew with RAAF and USAF and the odd Sunderland was in the area, but I mean in the same way the British Army and Royal Navy were involved.

22nd Jul 2014, 19:29
What were they going to fight with. The Australians had demonstrated that the Meteor was useless and that was the RAF's front line fighter. Lincolns would have met the same fate as the USAF B29s so they had nothing to offer.

22nd Jul 2014, 20:55
An Australian Meteor shot down a MIG 15. Knew the pilot.

22nd Jul 2014, 20:57
Should have added to the previous message - the Fleet Air Arm was heavily involved.

22nd Jul 2014, 21:53
"The RAF" did not have any bases within range. Other than that....no idea. The Americans had bases in Japan. On the ground IN Korea, the Aussies and South Africans were involved. Sea Furys of the FAA shot down at least one Mig15 operating in [very] difficult conditions from ww2 type carriers

23rd Jul 2014, 11:32
Very many of the Meteor F8s used by the RAAF were supplied via the RAF and as mentioned, aircrew flew with the RAAF and USAF. The SAAF were there also.

A look at the RN contribution will show that for much of the war they had a carrier off the coast.

The base setup in Korea did not easily lend itself to an RAF bomber/fighter presence in addition to that deployed by the other Commonwealth countries. On the other hand, the RM and Army contribution is well known. In short, there was probably perceived to be no need for a further contribution by the RAF.

BTW, many of the ground crew supporting the Army AOP assets were RAF.

Old Duffer

23rd Jul 2014, 11:52
many of the ground crew supporting the Army AOP assets were RAF.I knew a corporal who served in Korea. Accordingly he wore the Korean war medal. I stood next to him on several Guard of Honour parades and without fail the Reviewing Officer would stop and ask him about his service there.

23rd Jul 2014, 13:54
I believe that RAF Sunderlands operated in Korean waters.

23rd Jul 2014, 17:03
The RAF Sunderlands acted as shepheards for the AOP Austers when they were flown to Korea from Japan.
One AOP Sqn also operated a Cessna Bird dog as the Americans were less prone to fire at it than than they were at the Austers.

24th Jul 2014, 09:22
Korea was a UN action to restore the status quo ante North invasion, 25/6/50. US accepted the co-ordination role, from its Occupation Force on Japan. Netherlands combat types were departing Indonesia (bar W.Irian) exactly then, 25-27/6/50, and their transfer to S.Korea would have been confusing; France was pre-occupied in Indo-China, UK in Malaya and nervously holding Spitfire 14s in HK. RAAF exactly then, 16/7/50, had started Lincoln ops. alongside RAF on Tengah: so those UN Members were already doing their bit to oppose Sino-Soviet excursions. RAAF and SAAF F-51D could readily interoperate with USAF/PACAF and were welcome: MacArthur did not need RAF, a logistical confusion. RN/RAN were very welcome to share the burden, as were soldiers from the willing.

24th Jul 2014, 09:58
40 years ago a girlfriend's father told me that he, whilst holding/detached from Hong Kong, managed to fly off HMS Ocean in Korea. As he was a very credible RAF pilot, later on Javelins and one of the last flying Meteors, I trust what he said but am not too sure of my memory of the conversation. Does anyone know of RAF pilots flying Sea Furies in Korea on a short term basis?

24th Jul 2014, 11:44
Certainly Flt Lt D W Gray RAF was killed flying off Theseus on 13 March 1951 but the book "With The Carriers In Korea" does not list all RAF members of FAA units.

There is another book which lists all awards for Korea and the RAF seems to do reasonably well for a change. The contribution by the RAF to the USAF and RAAF has been commented on but how your g/f's father got involved is anybody's guess. I'd check his medal ribbons for a start!!!!

Old Duffer

25th Jul 2014, 03:13
Just a minute while I check my log book. Ah, I remember it now. It tells me on 22nd December 1950 I was a Flight Engineer on Sunderland ML 745 of 88 Squadron on a weather observation sortie gathering met information over the Sea of Japan for the next days strikes.
Three Sunderland Squadrons on monthly rotation to Japan attached to Fleet Air Wing 6 of the US Navy working along side the PBM Mariners from the start to the finish of the Korean War.
Tasks included weather recce, blockade of Korean coast, AS cover for the Task Force refuelling. I believe more than 1100 sorties were flown altogether involving 12500 hours.
This commitment to Korea by the three squadrons was over and above their involvement in the Malaya campaign

A total of 32 RAF pilots flew with 77 Squadron RAAF

25th Jul 2014, 04:49
Tornadoken. That's a pretty good summation. Thank you.

VX275. I'm surprised the Yanks could even tell the difference between a Bird Dog and an Auster - even at low level.
Recognition had never been one of their strong points.

25th Jul 2014, 08:23
Does anyone know of RAF pilots flying Sea Furies in Korea on a short term basis?

IIRC a certain Sqn Ldr "Bugs" Burley (sp?) ( "You'll have to speak up , I'm a bit deaf") Air warfare instructor at the Towers in the late 60's flew fighters in the conflict against MiGs, although I am not certain of the type.

25th Jul 2014, 09:13
I know RCAF pilots flew exchange tours with USAF Sabre units and believe some RAF and perhaps RAAF did too.
Of course RCAF transport Squadrons flew support and we had Canadian Army Units on the ground and RCN units (destroyer gunnery support) offshore. Not sure about RN or British Army units.