Korean Climate

Mean Temp 28.6°C 83.48°F at Taegu    

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

Korea Temps - 1950-1953 - Station 143 (Daegu)


May 31, 1950 (Wednesday)



Nine days after the conference, the joint conference of May 22, General Cates signed a letter addressed to the CNO outlining the two-step helicopter program as proposed by General Wallace.

Admiral Forrest Sherman was advised that the delay involved in research and development for the XHR2S1, while unavoidable, would prevent the delivery of an operational helicopter for about five years. The Commandant explained that it was necessary to provide

"both Fleet Marine Forces with the means for training combat units in assault helicopter operations,"

and also necessary to provide the helicopters in order to

"in - crease the combat readiness of the Marine Corps."

The letter continued :

"implementation of this pro - gram is considered to be of vital importance, " and even though the "Army and Air Force are to be invited to join in the support of this project [XHR2S1]...with or without their assistance, it is necessary to proceed concurrently with the procurement of the interim model ." [35]



As of today, Far East Air Force (FEAF) had 1,172 aircraft of all descriptions and less than half 553 aircraft, were in operational units:

Number The types and numbers of aircraft which FEAF possessed clearly indicated its defensive mission. On 31 May 1950 FEAF possessed a grand total of 1,172 aircraft of all descriptions, including some in storage and a few in salvage. Less than half of this total, or 553 aircraft, were possessed in operational units:
365 F-80's Shooting star
32 F-82's Twin Mustang
26 B-26's Invader
22 B-29's Super Fortress
25 RF-80's
6 RB-29's
24 WB-29's
26 C-54's Skymaster
23 SB-17's Flying Fortress
4 SB-29's


FEAF's most numerous operational aircraft was the Lockheed "Shooting Star" F-80C jet interceptor. Most FEAF fighter wings had received the latest model F-80's during 1949 and 1950, and in June 1950 only the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group (which had converted to F-80As and F-80B's during 1948) was not completely equipped with the latest model Shooting Stars.#71

Although FEAF's jet fighter wings were up to the 90 percent of equipment strength authorized for peacetime operations, their recent conversion from conventional F-51 Mustangs to F-80C jets had brought a number of problems, of which a few serious ones remained to be solved. The employment of jet fighters in Japan complicated a virtually static air-base situation, for these aircraft required longer and stronger runways than did conventional aircraft. Since it seemed not improbable that FEAF's tenure of Japanese bases would not outlast the American occupation of Japan, the USAF had not been eager to expend its scarce funds for air installations which would have to be abandoned.#72

General MacArthur had ruled that no resources from the Japanese economy would be used for military construction unless it was. essential for occupation purposes, and, reasoning that jet aircraft were not actually required for occupation duties, he had disapproved FEAF's request that Japanese funds be used to build jet-fighter facilities in Japan.#73





While the most numerous, the F-80's were interceptors, as such they only had a range of about 1,000 miles. They could get from Japan to Korea and back, but could not loiter over the target. Not the best choice for the ground support role they found themselves in.

As noted elsewhere, air fields in both Korea and Japan were inadequate for jet operations, which required longer, and stronger runways than conventional aircraft. The Air Force didn't want to spend their money to improve them, and MacArthur didn't see the need for jets in an occupation force, and did not allow them to use Japanese reconstruction funds to improve them.


The aircraft complement of FEAF's tactical units bespoke its primarily defensive mission: on 31 May FEAF possessed 1,172 aircraft (including those in storage and a few in salvage or recommended for salvage), of which

  • 73 were B-26 's,

  • 27 B-29 's,

  • 47 F-51 's,

  • 504 F-80 's,

  • 42 F-82 's,

  • 179 transports of all types,

  • 48 reconnaissance planes, and

  • 252 miscellaneous aircraft.

To accomplish its defensive mission, FEAF's largest complement was of the F-80's, a versatile jet fighter, of which it held 423. FEAF units had received this type of plane during 1949 and 1950,

Notes for Wednesday May 31, 1950