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The Korean War: The Rise of the Globemaster and the Helicopter

Written by on Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Shortly after World War II, tensions between capitalistic Asian nations and their communist rivals to the north reached critical mass, sparking the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Even though the US was still reeling from World War II a mere decade ago, the US committed to aiding its allies in South Korea, offering considerable land, naval, and air support.

WWII had ended, but the US industry was still fully equipped to supply our troops with powerful military aircraft. The massive C-124 Globemaster II, which dominates the center of the Korean War hangar, stands as testament to the incredible advances made in aviation technology. This 100,000 lb heavy-lift cargo transport could carry almost double its weight in supplies.

The Korean War also forced the US to develop much lighter, faster, and more deadly jet fighters. The F-80C Shooting Star emerged as one of the top US fighter jets during the conflict. The supersonic F-86 Sabre also rose to prominence, as it was one of the few aircraft that could compete with its Russian counterpart, the MiG-15. The aerial combat of WWII had long since proven the importance of dogfighting and aerial order valium usa supremacy, and neither the US nor the Soviet Union were willing to surrender aerial superiority to the other.

But that didn’t stop the US from forcefully taking the Korean skies. This power balance represents one of the difficulties of the Korean War. The United Nation forces completely dominated the skies, but the Chinese-backed North Korean army overwhelmed the ground forces. After a bit of back-and-forth fighting, it resulted in a stalemate near the infamous 38th parallel.

Several US aircraft shined during these battles. Light bomber aircraft such as the A-26 Invader and the F-84 Thunderjet brought devastating payloads to North Korean opposition. One bomber, a B-29 named Command Decision, earned the title of being the world’s first bomber jet ace by shooting down five MiG-15 over 121 missions.

One of the most striking advancements in aerial technology came with the helicopter. It, along with an extensive aerial infrastructure, enabled thousands of troops to get the medical attention they needed by evacuating them (also called a “medivac”) to friendly medical facilities. The helicopters YH-5A Dragonfly and the UH-19B Chickasaw brought many troops to the medical attention they desperately needed..


If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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