Japanese Samurai Swords & Naval Dirks
A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY ON THE AIR WAR OVER KOREA
After reading this book, I called Robert Jackson in England to thank him for writing it.
It is an outstanding source for air war historians, and Mr. Jackson obviously
did his homework! The book is chock full of excellent color photos, and all
aspects of the Korean air war are covered, including all NATO
forces involved. Appendix III has an excellent listing of the Orders of
Battle. Jackson ends the book with some very thought-provoking conclusions.
A very well-written, extremely informative book!
Robert Jackson's latest publication on the Korean conflict gives the reader an overview of
accounts with regard to the aerial activity which took place over the Korean peninsula
during 1950-'53. The original colour photographs give the reader a superb
visual content of the various aircraft types used, from L-5 FAC aircraft to the F-86.
Would like to see a little more content relating to 77 Sqn. Royal Australian Air Force, as they were part of the USAFs
5th AF in that region, but none the less, a publication worth owning for anyone interested
in the Korean air conflict.
The Associated Press History of the Korean Conflict
by Robert Dvorchak, the Writers and Photographers of the Associated Press
I was with the 187 ARCT referenced in the book - I
would like to have the book, "Battle for Korea, in hard cover.
two sections of the book address combat actions by my unit the 187 Airborne Regimental
Combat Team (ARCT). We jumped twice into combat while in
Korea. I jumped as a radio operator with L Company, in the first to operate
for Capt Hart, and in the second one to operate radio for Lt Brami who lead the third
The History of the Korean War, 1950-53
by Robert Leckie
in Flight Suits:
The Story of American Air Force Fighter Pilots in the Korean War
by John Darrell Sherwood
The United States Air Force
fought as a truly independent service for the first time during the Korean War.
As a result, fighter pilots reigned supreme. In Korea, American air power was challenged by one of the most
advanced fighter of the time -- the Soviet MiG-15-- and ruled the skies in many celebrated
aerial battles. In addition, however, they destroyed virtually every major
town and city in North Korea, demolished its entire crop irrigation system, and killed
close to one million civilians. Korea, then, is the perfect laboratory for
studying the culture of fighter pilots, a culture based on self-confidence and risk-
taking, one which has promoted what author John Sherwood calls "flight suit
In Officers in Flight Suits, Sherwood explores the flight suit officer's life, drawing on
memoirs, diaries, letters, novels, unit records, and personal papers as well as interviews
with over fifty veterans who served in the Air Force in Korea. From their
training to dramatic encounters during battle, from their socio-economic backgrounds to
the flight suit culture they developed, Sherwood investigates every dimension of these
pilots' lives. The book provides an illuminating portrait of fighter pilot
culture, demonstrating how this culture affected their performance in battle and their
attitudes toward others, particularly women, in their off- duty activities.
Dan Mortensen, Air Staff Historian, USAF
John Sherwood's Officers in Flight Suits is a preferred study for all company grade Air
Force officers. It is a "Face of Battle" for airmen of the Korean
War. It is a gripping narrative accurately portraying the pilot in the cockpit
as well as in the squadron back on the ground. It characterises how these first jet combat
pilots trained and where they came from. It is, indeed, a fresh insight into
the pilot corps in a forgotten American war.
When the Korean War began in the summer of 1950, the United
States Air Force was the youngest branch of the American military, having been created
as a service coequal to the Army and Navy
less than three years earlier. Although the operational history of the USAF
and the experience of many of its officers stretched back into the time when it was a
branch of the Army known as the United States Army Air Force, the USAF hadn't yet made its
mark as a separate service. The Korean War came at a propitious time, giving
the USAF a vehicle in which to shape itself as an institution. The fighter
pilots who fought in the Korean War would become the leaders of the new Air
Force. Their attitudes toward flying and toward the military in general would
come to shape Air Force thinking over the next several decades.
In this book John Sherwood has provided the reader with a close look at the pilots who
flew fighters during the Korean War -- pilots who, by their skills and attitudes, would
establish a style for those who followed. This style is defined by the author
as "flight suit attitude." He writes: Flight suit
attitude ... was a sense of self-confidence and pride that verged on arrogance ... the
aircraft of preference was the high-performance, single-seat fighter ... This culture
placed a premium on cockiness and informality. A flight suit officer spent
more time in a flight suit than in a uniform. In his world, status was based
upon flying ability, not degrees, rank, or "officer" skills (p. 6).
Where did this flight suit attitude develop? The author begins by examining
the backgrounds of Air Force fighter pilots in this fledgling branch of the United States'
military services. In a chapter entitled "An Absence of
Ring-Knockers" he looks to a lower percentage of college-educated officers in the Air
Force than in the Army or Navy, and particularly to the absence of academy graduates, as a
contributing factor to a flight suit attitude. Success in this early Air Force
was not based on a fraternity of academy graduates, indoctrinated in a set of shared
military values; success was based, rather, on the ability to fly well and on the
opportunity to participate in combat in Korea. The author presses home his
point by looking at the backgrounds of eleven pilots who flew in Korea, perhaps the best
known of whom are Robinson Risner and Earl Brown. Only one pilot whose
experiences are described in this book came into the Air Force from West Point; many came from relatively humble backgrounds. Their
reminiscences of life in training and combat are spread throughout the book, giving it a
personal, anecdotal character.
Pilot training is another factor that the author considers. In a chapter
entitled "Stick and Rudder University," Sherwood examines the training given to
Air Force pilots in the late 1940s and early 1950s and its contributions to the flight
suit attitude. He notes that the majority of Air Force officers during the
Korean War were pilots. Indeed, two-thirds of Air Force officers received
their commission after completing the Aviation Cadet program, the emphasis of which in was
on flying skills. "Ancestry,
education, and prior military training or military academy
experience had very little to do with one's status in the Air Force ..."
(p. 39). The primary concern was how well one could fly an
airplane. The result for the Air Force was a more casual junior officer than
the usual Army lieutenant or Navy ensign.
In his consideration of the air war over Korea for fighter pilots, the author looks
separately at the experiences of those who flew fighter- interceptors and those who flew
fighter-bombers. The former group garnered much of the glory. The air combat
of F-86 against MiG is the image which springs to mind when one thinks of the Air Force
experience in Korea. This image has been reinforced in the public mind through
literature and movies. It is maintained within the Air Force as well by such
devices as art on the walls of the Pentagon or a Korean War vintage F-86 on a pedestal at
the front gate of Nellis AFB. These F-86/MiG engagements were the very essence
of the continuing Air Force image of a fighter pilot.
The experiences of the fighter-bomber pilots in Korea were of another sort.
Flying somewhat lower-performance aircraft than the F-86, such as the F-80 or F-84, the
pilots in fighter-bombers faced a more hazardous day-to-day life from ground
fire. Sherwood notes that " ... only 147 Air Force planes were lost in
air-to-air combat; by comparison, over 816 planes were shot down by ground fire" (pp
98-99). These pilots were often given less status than the F-86 pilots, who
sometimes referred to them derogatorily as "straight wings" in officer clubs.
The stress of the hazardous flying also led to a higher incidence of mental
illness among fighter-bomber pilots. This dual nature of the fighter pilots' experiences
lends an interesting element to the book. The pilots who flew fighter-bombers
had no less of a flight suit attitude for their experiences, however.
Throughout this book one also finds ample evidence of the social life of pilots during the
Korean War. In a chapter entitled "Thunderboxes and Sabre Dancers"
Sherwood looks at such elements of time spent away from the cockpit as bases, the O clubs
and day rooms, the R & R opportunities in Japan, and even at female companionship of
several very different types. But all seem very secondary to the experiences
of flying fighters. Even the rustic conditions at Korean air bases served to
remind the pilots that their primary reason for being in Korea was to fly fighter
Sherwood concludes his book with a look at the careers of the eleven pilots after the
Korean War. All but one remained in the Air Force. Most discovered that the
flight suit attitude they embraced early in their flying careers did not always serve them
well in the developing bureaucracy of the United States Air Force. But most
maintained this attitude anyhow, even when a promotion might be lost as a result.
Almost inevitably, with few exceptions, they didn't rise above the rank of
colonel. It is at that stage of one's career, as one of the pilots noted,
where "MiGs start to matter less and power politics take over" (p. 163).
But the author concludes that the presence of the pilots who flew fighters in
the Korean War contributed much to the shaping of the Air Force.
Interestingly, the obituary of a former Korean War era fighter pilot appeared briefly in
recent news, the report neatly reinforcing some of the concepts in Sherwood's book. _U.S.
News & World Report_ noted the passing at the age of 70 of one John Boyd, Colonel,
USAF, retired. A USAF fighter pilot in Korea and, later, an instructor pilot,
Boyd's military influence ranged from the development of doctrines of air combat through
the design of planes to his service in the Pentagon, where he and members of a so-called
"Fighter Mafia" apparently helped prevail upon the Air Force to build the F-16
and A-10. His influence after his retirement extended to Congress and to
people like Dick Cheney, who listened to and learned from Boyd's ideas on historical
trends in military success presented in briefings. Boyd seems the epitome of
an officer in a flight suit, the type of pilot Sherwood describes so well.
John Sherwood has written an excellent book, combining the military history of USAF
fighter operations in the Korean War with the social context of the pilots who flew the
fighters. He has contributed much towards a better understanding of the
developmental years of the United States Air Force.
Japanese Samurai Swords & Naval Dirks
You may be looking for the famous generals of the US civil
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Royal Regalia or GI Joe.
Australian Order of Precedence
Missile Crisis in Cuba - President John F. Kennedy - Bay of Pigs