Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Sign in to follow this  
ian1485

Air War in Korea

Recommended Posts

Hi all

Having just read the novel 'the Hunters' I'm interested in reading more about the air war in Korea, either factual/history or novels. I'm particularly interested in the air-to-air war - F-86v Mig 15, F80, B29/B50 etc.

I would be really interested in any recommendations that anyone has.....

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lou Drendel's "MiG Alley" for Squadron Signal comes to mind, but that's pretty old. Ian Allen did an Air War Over Korea, but that's even older. Similarly a couple of photographic collections, and at least one other Squadron Signal covering the USN. There is of course the USAF Official History. There was a more recent work "With the Sea Furies in Korea" (or some similar title - I'll dig it out tomorrow and correct it) which obviously was rather more limited. Grub Street did publish part one of a highly detailed account of the Australian Mustangs, ("With the Yanks in Korea"?) but it clearly didn't sell as the follow-up never appeared. Recently there was also two good accounts from the other side, one fairly full history and one more anecdotal by the leading Russian ace. (Titles may follow...)

The other two classics are "Battle Hymn", by Dean Hess, and James Michener's novel "The Bridges at Toko-Ri". They may seem a bit propagandistic now, especially the first, but not as much so as the films of the same names. There are a number of fairly awful novels worth avoiding, including at least two covering the RN carriers. Of these "No Calm in the Morning" wasn't too bad if fairly light - I suspect the other may have been better but remember very little of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look for a copy of 'Air War Korea 1950-53', Airlife 1998. ISBN 076030551X

There is also an extensive 2-part article in a couple of issues of the old 'Wings of Fame' periodical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the suggestions - they certainly give me something to work on!

Graham - if you do happen to come across any more details, particularly the titles of the books from Communist side, that would be really helpful.

Thanks again all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been able to get up into the loft and rummage: I'll try to make some time tomorrow but if not it won't be for a few days. In the meantime there is a discussion here which includes a reference for you. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=25039&page=2 (For some reason I couldn't copy the reference across directly.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two books from the other sides point of view & Possibly the ones Graham is thinking of are: "Red devils over the Yalu" a translation of a book by Igor Seidov & the similarly named "Red Wings over the Yalu" by Xiaoming Zhang, the latter I believe the more nuts & bolts factual history & perhaps containing more of the Chinese side. :unsure:

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did find the biography: Sergei Karamenko's "Air Combat Over the Eastern Front and Korea" from Pen and Sword. ISBN 978-1-84415-735-8. There is another account in an old Avions, where the top-scoring Russian ace's story is told, together with a list of claims judged against appropriate US losses. (EDIT: Avions 131, Evgenii Pepelyaev, 19 victories. In French, of course.)

I think the Zhang book is the other one I mentioned: I haven't seen the Seidov one.

EDIT: MiG Alley is by Larry Davis, not Lou Drendel - who is more associated with Vietnam War books. There are two other Sq Signal books on the Korean Air war, plus two Warbirds Histories colour pictorial collections by Jeff Ethell, and two more colour pictorial collections by Warren Thompson + other. These last were mainly taken from the various articles on specific types in issues of Air Enthusiast.

It occurs to me that there must be at least one book in the Osprey series, on MiG 15 vs Sabre if nothing else.

Edited by Graham Boak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look for a copy of 'Air War Korea 1950-53', Airlife 1998. ISBN 076030551X

There is also an extensive 2-part article in a couple of issues of the old 'Wings of Fame' periodical.

It ran to four parts, in fact, in Vols 1 -4, and there were other articles on the F-86, B-29 ops over Korea and so forth that are also relevant. There's an index of Wings of Fame articles here. As well as the Squadron 'Mig Alley' book, they also published 'USN/USMC over Korea', and on RN air operations there's 'With the Carriers in Korea' (John Lansdown, ISBN 0947554645). And a more recent book by Philip Chinnery, though much less heavily illustrated than 'Air War Korea' - 'Combat Over Korea', Pen & Sword, 2011 (ISBN 9781848844773). The Osprey series includes books on Korean War Corsair, Panther, Sabre and B-29 operations, as well as one on MiG aces, and there's an older series of Ospreys full of colour photos of a particular type on operations in Korea - F-51, B-26, F-80, F-84 and (I think) F-86.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Red Wings over the Yalu" by Xiaoming Zhang is all about the Chinese air operations including a pre-history of the origins and development of the PLAAF, with the Soviet Union covered only as it interacted with the Chinese. It is excellent.

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It ran to four parts, in fact, in Vols 1 -4, and there were other articles on the F-86, B-29 ops over Korea and so forth that are also relevant. There's an index of Wings of Fame articles here. As well as the Squadron 'Mig Alley' book, they also published 'USN/USMC over Korea', and on RN air operations there's 'With the Carriers in Korea' (John Lansdown, ISBN 0947554645). And a more recent book by Philip Chinnery, though much less heavily illustrated than 'Air War Korea' - 'Combat Over Korea', Pen & Sword, 2011 (ISBN 9781848844773). The Osprey series includes books on Korean War Corsair, Panther, Sabre and B-29 operations, as well as one on MiG aces, and there's an older series of Ospreys full of colour photos of a particular type on operations in Korea - F-51, B-26, F-80, F-84 and (I think) F-86.

The Osprey books were by Warren Thompson. There were at certainly two on the F-86 (in addition to those you mentioned), one on the 4th FIW and one on the fighter-bomber units which used the type; I'm not sure if the series (the Osprey Frontline, rather than their 'aircraft of the aces' or 'combat aircraft' series) extended to the 51st FW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Osprey do a couple titles in their Aces series. No.4 Korean War Aces, No.70 Aces of the 51st FIW and No.72 Aces of the 4th FIW. All deal with Sabres with colour side views and colour photos in the last two mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all

Having just read the novel 'the Hunters' I'm interested in reading more about the air war in Korea, either factual/history or novels. I'm particularly interested in the air-to-air war - F-86v Mig 15, F80, B29/B50 etc.

I would be really interested in any recommendations that anyone has.....

Thanks in advance.

this the book by james salter ? if so it was the basis for the korean war film the hunters ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgot about these:

http://www.histoireetcollections.com/en/special-editions/116-wingmasters-hs-n015-3781532710953.html

http://www.histoireetcollections.com/en/special-editions/118-wingmasters-hs-n018-3781532710953.html

Fantastic combination of reference, period photos, profiles and model builds. Improved if you read French, but it's not essential!

bestest,

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this the book by james salter ? if so it was the basis for the korean war film the hunters ..

It was, but the book is far better than the film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a very old copy of "Air war over Korea" by Larry Davies which I managed to get from a library sale. It is the squadron signal one ISBN 0-89747-137-7.

Mainly US aircraft but mentions that others took part helping the south. Many bw photos, a few colour and a wide range of subjects in the profiles from Texans, through Sabres and up to 29s. Might be worth hunting down

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

`With the Yanks Over Korea' by Brian Cull is a great book covering the stories of British Commonwealth units and aircrew, both naval, RAAF and those serving on attachment to the USAF. I knew that British and Canadian pilots served on attachment to the USAF but I didn`t know that RAF pilots served with 77 Sqn RAAF. It also covers the RAF Far East Flying Boat Wing who manned the detachment to Japan and the AOP and Liason Units serving with the Commonwealth Division on the ground.

Cheers

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a more recent work "With the Sea Furies in Korea" (or some similar title - I'll dig it out tomorrow and correct it) which obviously was rather more limited.

Two books there:

With the Carriers In Korea, John R P Lansdowne, Crecy, 1997; and

Furies and Fireflies Over Korea, Graham Thomas, Grub Street, 2004.

Both focus on FAA operations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two books there:

With the Carriers In Korea, John R P Lansdowne, Crecy, 1997; and

Furies and Fireflies Over Korea, Graham Thomas, Grub Street, 2004.

Both focus on FAA operations.

I have the former, but I'd not heard of the latter. How is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can highly recommend both of the above books although of course they do cover the same relative subject! From what I can remember the latter deals a lot more with the individual aircrew stories rather than the history of each individual carrier and air wing deployment.

Cheers

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the former, but I'd not heard of the latter. How is it?

Have to admit I don't think I've actually read it: I bought it on sight when I saw it had some photos (alas, only a couple) of early FAA operations with Firefly I s. But Tony is spot on: it majors on the personal experiences of aircrew involved, so always the possibility of useful snippets on stores loadings, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the fiction category another fairly obscure book set in the Korean War is 'Turn The Tigers Loose' by Col.Walt Lasly, about low-level B-26 night intruder operations.

James Michener's novel 'The Bridges at Toko-Ri' is another Korean War classic and inspired the film which followed it pretty closely but featured the F9F Panthers of VF-192 rather than the Banshees of the book.

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×