Unit Details

1st Shoran Beacon Squadron

USAF Organizations in Korea 1950-1953 Judy G. Endicott http://www.afhra.af.mil/index.asp

Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.


In August 1950 the 1st Shoran Beacon Unit moved to Japan from the United States, and by October 1 had moved to South Korea.

It broadcast short range navigation (Shoran) signals from ground sites to guide 3rd Bombardment Group B-26s and 162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron RB-26s on night missions over targets in Korea. The first two sites in South Korea were too far away from the bomb line to be effective.

In November the unit set up two new sites at Wŏnsan and Pyongyang in North Korea, but mountains around the Wŏnsan site interfered with its signals, and a Communist Chinese offensive soon forced evacuation of both sites.

Two new beacon sites set up in South Korea in December demonstrated the inadequacy of the unit's equipment. That and the continued advance of enemy troops forced the 1st Shoran Beacon Unit to move temporarily back to Japan at the end of the year, where it recalibrated and refurbished its equipment.

In early 1951, it returned to South Korea and set up Shoran beacon sites at several locations, some of which it had to defend periodically against enemy guerilla assaults.

During the year, the unit established four sites, two on islands off the coast of Korea and two on mountain tops just south of the 38th parallel. It also maintained other sites in Japan and Okinawa to train aircrews in Shoran operations.

Redesignated the 1st Shoran Beacon Squadron in February 1952, the unit provided electronic signals that guided 3rd Bombardment Group B-26 bombardment missions until the armistice in mid-1953.


  1. Kimp'o AB, South Korea, October 1, 1950
  2. Iwakuni AB, Japan, December 19, 1950
  3. Taegu AB, South Korea, February 20, 1951
  4. Sŏul, South Korea, June 16, 1951
  5. P'yŏngt'aek Airdrome, South Korea, April 24, 1953-.


  1. UN Offensive
  2. CCF Intervention
  3. First UN Counteroffensive
  4. CCF Spring Offensive
  5. UN Summer-Fall Offensive
  6. Second Korean Winter
  7. Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
  8. Third Korean Winter
  9. Korea, Summer 1953


Two Distinguished Unit Citations for actions January 25-April 21, 1951 and May 1-November 30, 1952.

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for period January 24-April 21, 1951.