Air War Over Korea
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons.

New Book Price: $9.95

This book is Copyrighted in 1973. The Introduction provides a brief overview of the years leading up to the Korean War, then states,"Such, in brief, was the course of events that was to precipitate the Korean War. But if the Americans had made their mistakes, so had the Russians. In the early hours of June 25th, 1950, when eight North Korean divisions stood poised for an invasion of the South, the architects of the offensive, in Pyongyang and Moscow, did not consider it likely that the armed Communist aggression in South Korea would be resisted by force from outside. They were wrong."


Robert Jackson, author; cover photos include a USAF F-80 and an F-86; back cover photos include a MiG-15, lineup of B-29s, and a Hawker Sea Fury. 176 pages plus cover, eight illustrations (all maps of various aspects of the conflict), 56 B&W photos with captions (five of these are F-84 related), 15 Chapters, 6 Appendices. A general history of the use of aircraft by the allies during the Korean War, written before the end of the Vietnam police action, with some discussion of the role played in the war by the F-84 Thunderjet. The F-84 is mentioned in 38 paragraphs of the book, with probably the most analytical mention being that the F-84D aircraft were not well received, were subject to extensive problems, and that the F-84G models were gratefully received as replacements.

Appendix 1 is a list of aircraft kills, including the number shot down by pilots of F-84 aircraft. They are:
Lt. Jacob Kratt -- 2
Lt.-Col. William E. Bertram -- 1
Capt. Allen McGuire -- 1
Capt. Kenneth L. Skeen -- 1
William W. Slaughter -- 1
Appendix 3 lists that the Fifth Air Force deployed F-84E aircraft to the 22th FEG, 522nd, 523rd, and 524th FES at Itazuke.
Appendix 4 lists that the UN deployed F-84 aircraft (models not listed) to the 58th FBW at K-2, Taegu, and to the 49th FBW at K-8 Kusan.

The author makes two conclusions at the end. First, that the use made of aircraft in the war didn't seem to affect the outcome, and that it would have been better to use nuclear strikes early on to bring the war to a much quicker, and no doubt less costly -- in terms of both life and money -- end. He makes this conclusion based on US threats to use nuclear strikes in China in mid-1953, which lead to the North Korean surrender. The second is that the US failed to learn the correct lessons from Korean war and was making the same mistakes again in Vietnam.

Air War Over Korea cover

Not Rated

A pedestrian history of US and UN use of aircraft in the Korean War, with some unexpected, but not altogether inappropriate conclusions. The F-84 does not get feature coverage, either in text or photos. Therefore, I have not rated the book. Thanks to Ted Theoe for loaning me the book for review.

Contents Copyright Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved