The Forgotten Victory - South KoreaEnglish 2013.07.10 14:21
'Flying Cheetah' protected the sky in ROK
The Republic of South Africa is located in the southermost of Africa; it takes 18 hours of flying nowadays to arrive the distant nation if departed from Korea. When the Korean War occurred, SA seek various plans for support, but had many difficulties due to distance. Thus, SA made a decision to dispatch its Air Force.
"There was an air battle between our Mustang fighters and enemy's MIGs. Although one of our aircraft were brought down by MIG's attack, our air force squadron shoot down one enemy MIG by turning maneuver while I was inducing the enemies."
Joe Jubert(87) Wong, a SA war veteran in the Korean War, spoke reminiscently as above. At a battle occurred on March 20 1952, eight F-51s of SA 2nd combat aviation corps left one-on-one war record undergoing air battles against 5 enemy MIG-15s, aiming one after the other from in and out of the clouds. In addition to repulsion of the enemy by maneuvering in perfect order on its first encounter with enemy's MIG on July 1951, this served as a momentum to spread confidence, possible to suppress jet fighters with propeller planes, amongst UN Air Force.
South African war history of participation in the Korean War can be thought as exploits of 2nd combat aviation corps, being called 'Flying Cheetah'. The 2nd combat aviation corps-won its fame for bravery at front lines in Africa, the Middle East, and Italy during the World War II-were consisted of elite pilots who have abundant practical experiences.
SA decided to dispatch one combat aviation corps with a force of 1,300 soldiers in response of request to participate from UN, and firstly sent an advance unit consisted of four Mustang fighters and pilots, and support personnels. They arrived at Sooyeong airfield on November 16, 1950.
The advance unit carried out its mission to attack North Korean army assembly places, field supply points, and supply vehicles with US 18th bombardment Air Force group and 12th fighter-bomber squadron for about one month before the main force arrive. In this period, the squadron had accidents of losing two fighting planes in landing process due to poor conditions at Pyeongyang base, and, again, lost another jet by getting hit from fragments, destroyed during the mission. In spite of such circumstances, the squadron performed a significant exploit on blocking Communist Chinese army from advancing to the South; the squadron exploited outstanding achievements-destroying 57 buildings, 15 trucks, 1 railroad facility and etc by making 20 sorties for a day on December 20.
The squadron moved to Jinhae base at the end of December, and joined with 2nd combat aviation battalion. Then, the squadron became possible to be in charge of roles independent combat aviation battalion take. Later, the troop gave tremendous damage to its enemy by CAS regarding land forces at main battle fields: highland of punchball and blood, highland of Danjang, triangle area of steel, and etc. Also, on January 1953, F-86 jet was put in and was contended for supremacy with MIG.
'Flying Cheetah's exploited war achievements by executing various missions during the war; they shoot 3,000 enemies dead, destroyed 46 bridges, 472 railroads, 615 vehicles, and 18 tanks. However, SAAF lost 34 soldiers in the process of protecting liberty of ROK.
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