Great Britain and the Commonwealth
Royal Air Force
Information furnished by Jim Givens, Columbia, MO.
No RAF squadrons were based in Korea during the war, however, the RAF did contribute two squadrons of flying boats, based in Japan, ten squadrons served aboard the four carriers that operated in Korean waters, and two RAF flights were based in Korea. In addition, several RAF pilots served with Australian and US squadrons.
Far East Flying Boat Wing
• No. 88 Squadron
• No. 209 Squadron
The Far East Flying Boat Wing, operating Short Sunderland flying boats, was based in Seletar, Singapore, when the Korean War started. It, and two of its three squadrons, moved to Iwakuni Air Base in Japan where it patrolled the Tsushima straits area and enforced the UN blockade of North Korea throughout the war.
No. 1903 Independent Air Observation Post Flight (October 1951 – ceasefire)
This flight was formed in October 1951 in Korea and operated as part of the 1st Commonwealth Division. The pilots were Royal Artillery personnel, flying Auster Air Observation Post 6 aircraft, and the aircraft technicians were RAF.
No. 1913 Light Liaison Flight (mid-1951 – ceasefire)
This flight was formed in mid-1951 in Korea and operated as part of the 1st Commonwealth Division. The pilots were officers and NCOs of the Glider Pilot Regiment, flying Auster Air Observation Post 6 and one US L-19A Bird Dog aircraft.
Fleet Air Arm
Four British light aircraft carriers, all of the “Glory” class, served in Korean waters. These carriers operated about thirty-five aircraft formed into two aircraft squadrons, one of Fairey Fireflies and the other of Seafires or Sea Furies. HMS Triumph operated with the US Navy’s Task Force 77 during July 1950. For the remainder of the war the Royal Navy’s carriers, often accompanied by a US Navy light or escort aircraft carrier (CVL or CVE), served with the west coast blockading force.
CVL Triumph (28 June 1950 – 29 September 1950) Launched 2 October 1944.
No. 800 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Seafire 47)
No. 827 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Firefly FR.1)
CVL Theseus (29 September 1950 – 23 April 1951)
No. 807 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Sea Fury)
No. 810 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Firefly 5)
CVL Glory (23 April 1951 – 30 September 1951, 8 November 1952 – ceasefire)
• 23 April 1951 – 30 September 1951
No. 804 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Sea Fury)
No. 812 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Firefly 5)
• 8 November 1952 – ceasefire)
No. 801 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Sea Fury)
No. 820 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Firefly 5)
CVL Ocean (5 May 1952 – 8 November 1952)
No. 802 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Sea Fury)
No. 825 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Firefly 5)
Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force No. 77 Squadron
RAAF No. 77 Squadron, equipped with 26 F-51 Mustangs, was based at Iwakuni Air Base, Honshu, when the Korean War began. It was made available to FEAF on 29 June 1950. The squadron converted to Gloster Meteor-8 jets during July 1951 (?) It first flew Meteors into combat on 29 August 1951. During August 1951 No. 77 Squadron was attached to the U.S. 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing at Kimpo Air Base (K-14).
No. 30 Transport Unit
No. 36 Transport Squadron
These units flew Douglas C-47 Dakotas and flew from Iwakuni Air Base, Japan.
Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
CVL Sydney (30 September 1951 – 5 May 1952)
HMAS Sydney relieved the HMS Glory in Korean waters and served seven months until she was relieved by the HMS Ocean. The Sydney operated two squadrons of Sea Furies (24 aircraft) and one squadron of Fairey Fireflies (14 aircraft).
No. 805 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Sea Fury)
No. 808 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Sea Fury)
No. 817 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (Firefly 5)
South African Air Force
No. 2 South African Air Force “Cheetah” Squadron (7 November 1950 – ceasefire)
No. 2 SAAF Squadron arrived in Korea on 7 November 1950, where it was equipped with F-51 Mustang fighters purchased from the United States. It flew its first operational sortie on 19 November 1950. The “Cheetah” squadron moved to Osan Air Base (K-55) during January 1953 where it was re-equipped with F-86F Sabres. It flew its first Sabre sortie on 11 March 1953. The South African squadron served with the US Air Force’s 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing.
Royal Canadian Air Force
RCAF Transport Squadron No. 426 (Thunderbird Squadron) (July 1950 – ceasefire)
No. 426 Squadron, operating North Star transport aircraft (C-54s), began regular flights between McChord Air Force Base, Washington, and Haneda Airport, Tokyo, during July 1950. It originally operated six aircraft, but its strength rose to twelve aircraft later in the war.
In addition to RCAF Transport Squadron No. 246, twenty-two RCAF pilots and many technicians served with US Air Force squadrons in Japan and Korea.
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