Unit Details

51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing

USAF Organizations in Korea 1950-1953 Judy G. Endicott

 

        

 

 

51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing

 

 


Based on Okinawa and deployed to Itazuke Air Base, Japan, in September 1950. Deployed to Korea in October, then back to Japan in December without its squadrons. The group  returned to Korea in October 1951 and remained there for the duration.

51st Fighter-Interceptor Group


In September 1950, the 51st FIW moved from Okinawa to Japan. Flying F-80 Shooting Stars, pilots provided combat patrols, close air support, and armed reconnaissance missions in support of UN ground forces in Korea. The wing moved to South Korea in October only to return to Japan in December, leaving combat elements behind. In May 1951, the 51st FIW moved to Suwŏn AB, southwest of Sŏul, but retained maintenance and supply elements at Tsuiki AB, Japan, to provide rear echelon support. Transitioning in late 1951 to the F-86 Sabrejets, the wing assumed an air superiority mission for the rest of the war.


Combat Components


51st Fighter-Interceptor Group: duration except detached September 26-October 12, 1950

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Stations

  1. Itazuke AB, Japan, September 22, 1950;

  2. Kimp'o AB, South Korea, October 10, 1950;

  3. Itazuke AB, Japan, December 10, 1950;

  4.  Tsuiki AB, Japan, January 15, 1951 (operated detachment of wing elements at Suwŏn from May 1951);

  5. Suwŏn AB, South Korea, October 1, 1951-.


Commanders

  1. Col. John W. Weltman, -April 24, 1951;

  2. Col. Oliver G. Cellini, April 24, 1951;

  3. Col. William P. Litton, c. November 1, 1951;

  4. Col. George R. Stanley (interim), November 2, 1951;

  5. Col. Francis S. Gabreski, November 6, 1951;

  6. Col. John W. Mitchell, June 13,1952;

  7. Col. William C. Clark, May 31, 1953-.


Campaign Streamers

  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.


Decorations


Two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for periods September 20, 1950-June 30, 1951 and July 1, 1951-March 31, 1953.

 

Heraldry


Per fess nebuly abased Azure and Or, issuing from partition line a demi-pegasus Argent with a machine gun in each wing bendwise Sable, gunfire proper. Motto: DEFTLY AND SWIFTLY. Approved for 51st Group on February 5, 1942. Not formally approved for the
51st Wing until 1956.

 

51 WG              
  COL FRANCIS GABRESKI F 86 MIG 15 02-10-51 1
  COL WALKER MAHURIN F 86 MIG 15 06-01-52 1
  COL FRANCIS GABRESKI F 86 MIG 15 11-01-52 1
  COL FRANCIS GABRESKI F 86 MIG 15 20-02-52 0.5
  CPT KENNETH SWIFT F 86 MIG 15 05-03-52 1
  COL FRANCIS GABRESKI F 86 MIG 15 01-04-52 1
  COL FRANCIS GABRESKI F 86 MIG 15 13-04-52 1
Unit Total:           6.5

June 25

Maj. Gen. Earle E. Partridge, who was commander, 5th Air Force, but serving as acting commander of Far East Air Forces (FEAF), ordered wing commanders to prepare for air evacuation of US citizens from South Korea. He increased aerial surveillance of Tsushima Strait between Korea and Japan. The 20th Air Force placed two squadrons of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing (FIW) on air defense alert in Japan

June 25, 1950

June 25: North Korea invaded South Korea. Simultaneously, North Korean troops made an amphibious landing at Kangnung on the east coast just south of the 38th parallel. North Korean fighter aircraft attacked airfields at Kimp'o and Sŏul, the South Korean capital, destroying one USAF C-54 on the ground at Kimp'o.

John J. Muccio, US ambassador to South Korea, relayed to President Harry S. Truman a South Korean request for US air assistance and ammunition. The UN Security Council unanimously called for a cease-fire and withdrawal of the North Korean Army to north of the 38th parallel. The resolution asked all UN members to support the withdrawal of the NKA and to render no assistance to North Korea.

Maj. Gen. Earle E. Partridge, who was commander, 5th Air Force, but serving as acting commander of Far East Air Forces (FEAF), ordered wing commanders to prepare for air evacuation of US citizens from South Korea. He increased aerial surveillance of Tsushima Strait between Korea and Japan. The 20th Air Force placed two squadrons of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing (FIW) on air defense alert in Japan.  [note]

KPAFAC Yak-9 1 x C-54 destroyed 7 out of 16 ROKAF trainers destroyed