Korean War Legacy Project

George P. Wolf

Bio

GGeorge Wolf was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 17, 1919. One of twelve children, he graduated from Englewood High School later attending Aeronautical University (Chicago) from 1939-1941.  After college, he took a job as an aircraft inspector before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in November 1942 to become a pilot of the B-17 bomber.  After the war, he attended engineering school before transferring to the US Army and attending paratrooper school.  In December 1947, he entered the newly formed US Air Force and shortly afterwards was assigned to take part in the Berlin Airlift.  After George Wolf’s participation in the airlift, he continued his career in the Air Force spending time at Lowry AFB (supply school) and Keesler AFB where he was a C-47 pilot.  He was assigned as a “Mosquito” Pilot upon the breakout of the Korean War to perform reconnaissance (T-6 trainer) and flew hundreds of missions detailing enemy locations and movements.  After he rotated out of Korea in March 1951, he remained in the Air Force as a reservist, flying P-51’s and F-80’s before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel with 24 years of service.

Video Clips

Flying in the Berlin Airlift

George Wolf was a pilot in the Air Force during the Berlin Airlift after WWII. He provided food, but mostly coal to the people living in West Berlin during the Russian blockade. He flew the same path that the famous, Gail Halvorsen, flew during the 11-month blockade.

Tags: Civilians,Cold winters,Communists,Fear,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Women

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAZ6qjMHm0o&start=573&end=790

Mosquito Pilot

George Wolf was a "Mosquito" pilot who flew reconnaissance missions in support of Army infantry. These missions took him very low to the ground. Tanks would hide under foliage and shoot at his plane from the ground.

Tags: Yeongdeungpo,Chinese,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Physical destruction,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAZ6qjMHm0o&start=933&end=1093

Scouting Troop Movement During the Battle of Jipyeongri

George Wolf was a Mosquito pilot during the Korean War who located enemy troops and directed fighters during the Battle of Jipyeongri. During the February 1951, he helped provide information from the air to help lead the UN troops to victory. This was a tough battle against the Chinese troops near the village of Chipyong-ni, present time Jipyeong-ri.

Tags: 1951 Battle of Jipyeongri, 2/13-15,Jipyeongri,Chinese,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,Physical destruction,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAZ6qjMHm0o&start=1350&end=1425

The Role of a Mosquito Pilot

George Wolf's role during the Korean War was that he was a Mosquito pilot that provided reconnaissance for UN nations. The Chinese wore dark green uniforms and he only flew 100 feet off the ground. Both the North Koreans and Chinese would hid really well with their camouflage uniforms.

Tags: Yeongdeungpo,Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans,Physical destruction,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAZ6qjMHm0o&start=1622&end=1680

Nobody Believed Us

George Wolf encountered Chinese troops early in the war while performing reconnaissance as a Mosquito pilot in February 1951. He reported many times about Chinese presence, but he felt they were ignored. In late October through early November 1951, George Wolf saw thousands of Chinese cross the Cheonggyecheon River, so he reported this information to the US intelligence officers, but they did not believe that the Chinese were fighting in the Korean War.

Tags: Cheongcheongang (River),Chinese,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAZ6qjMHm0o&start=1704&end=1875

Air Force's Job in the Korean War

George Wolf remembered how many of the US troops would say, "Thank goodness for the Air Force!" US pilots worked with Australian, South African, New Zealanders, and British pilots during the war. George Wolf easily recognized the British by their accent and he loved the Australians' sayings during combat.

Tags: Cheongcheongang (River),Front lines,Physical destruction,Pride,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAZ6qjMHm0o&start=1930&end=2027

Video Transcript

 

[Beginning of recorded material]

G:        I was born in Chicago, Illinois September 17, 1919, and I went to, uh, St. Martin’s grammar school, Inglewood High School and Aeronautical University.  I’m the 7th, uh, child of 12. [Abrupt Start] Mother and father are both deceased and, uh, most of my brothers.  There’s only, uh, three younger

0:00:30

sisters and myself that are still alive out of the 12.

I:          What did you, what did your father do?

G:        Uh, the last job he had was insurance agent for Prudential, and he retired from that.

I:          And when did you go to Aeronautical, uh, University?

G:        In Chicago

I:          When?

G:        Uh, 1939 – 1941.

I:          Oh.

0:01:00

What did they teach?

G:        We had to design an airplane and, no mostly mathematics and, uh, flight and calculus and all that, just mostly mathematics.

I:          What kind of job did you get after graduation of that university?

G:        Well, uh, we were hired from the university to go to San Diego to work for Consolidated Aircraft,

0:01:30

and we were inspectors, um.  I was an inspector on the PBY and, um, until I finally was released and could sign up in 1942 for the military.

I:          Oh, you sign up for the military?

G:        Yeah.

I:          Why?  You have a good job.  Your career, good university.  Why did you, uh, sign for the military?

G:        Well, I always

0:02:00

wanted to be a soldier.  See, I’d spent three years in the Illinois National Guard in the infantry and, uh, I wanted to be a pilot.  And so went to California and, uh, became a pilot on the, uh, Pilot Civilian program, and that was before the War.  But then when the War broke out, we were frozen on the job for a year, and they finally released me, and I

0:02:30

could go in the service.  November 1942 [Abrupt Start] went to flight school and became a pilot.

I:          What flight school?

G:        On Southeast command.

I:          So you were released to join the Air Force in November 1942?  Air Force, did you join Air Force?

G:        Yes.

I:          Ah.

G:        Well, it was called Army Air Corps. in those days.

0:03:00

I became a pilot, commissioned and then went to England. [Abrupt Start] well we were stationed at the, in England, you know, Rattlesden and, uh, we’d hit various targets, uh, Cologne, Koblenz, Berlin, Nuremberg, uh, and the submarine fans and a couple of targets in France.  It, just various targets throughout Europe.

0:03:30

I:          But German Air Force was good too, right?

G:        Oh, they were there.  [LAUGHS]

I:          They were there, right?  So is there any bad encounter with the German pilot?

G:        Yeah.

I:          Tell me about it.

G:        Well, uh, one time, I’d lost an engine, and, uh, you lose an engine, you can’t stay in formation.  The airplane could not hold up, and I was off on the side, you know, on the bottom of the stream.  I was gonna go over the

0:04:00

bottom rung alone, and I looked ahead, and there was another B17 in front of me and another B17 behind me that was a straggler and, uh, we called and we said well, let’s form a, a trio, and about that time Gus, the tail gunner, he called me and then he said oh uh, G. He says a, a jet just shot down the B17 behind us, and I

0:04:30

looked over to my left, and the jet came by me and shot down the B17 in front of him.  Now, that was a funny thing.  I still dream about that.  And another time we, we were alone, um, engine damage and all that, and three 109s came up and, uh, they were in a, a perch, you know, and,

0:05:00

and I said okay. I don’t know why I said it, but I told the crew don’t shoot unless they shoot, and it came by, and I noticed that they weren’t pointing their nose toward me.  They were pointing off to the side, and they came by, and the leader stopped, you know, and motioned to me and I waved back at him, and he waved and, uh, you know, and he says going down?  I says no, and he went like this, and I went like that,

0:05:30

you know, and then I, I went, saluted and he saluted at me, and he went up to go back, and he lined up again, came back, but this time they went by again, but they went underneath my wing and pulled up in front of me.  The three of them gave me the prop wash.  Nobody fired a shot.  And, you can’t figure that out.

I:          What do you think you were doing?  You were a soldier.  You were supposed to kill them?  You didn’t kill them.  What’s going on?

0:06:00

G:        [LAUGHS] Right.  And another time we were flying on the formation, and this airplane took a direct hit, and he started to fall, and this me, and we went down like this, then all of a sudden I asked the top third gunner, I said where is he?  He said right above us.  He’s still falling on us.  So I to turn the airplane around and did a roll,

0:06:30

and on the air speed indicated a little red mark, do not exceed this speed.  Well I looked at it, we were already past it, so I had to tap all the throttles back and very, very gently come around, use my trim tab to pull the nose up.  I tried to use the stick and it sends a vibration throughout the airplane.  And it made it back up in the formation.

0:07:00

I:          Oh.  You’re quite a pilot.

G:        Yeah.  Another time we were with in the, uh, Square D.  That was the Bloody Hundred, and a airborne spare and fighters came in head on, and I was down in the bottom, and by the time we got back up, uh, we had lost three airplanes in that squadron.  A lot of that went on.  So I was very fortunate.

0:07:30

We, four airplanes, four groups, uh, crews joined the outfit at the same time.  Without the four, we were the only ones that didn’t have a Purple Heart or lose an airplane.

I:          So when the World War II ended, what did you do?

G:        I stayed in the service, and, and I came back to the United States.

I:          When?

G:        1945.  I went to school and, uh, engineering school at

0:08:00

Chanute Field and, uh, then the, they cut down on the military, and they said we could stay in the service, and except the Master Sergeant or transfer to another branch of the service.  See, you’re still Army, uh, Air Corps..  Or, it was Army Air Force then.  So I transferred in the, the infantry and the paratroopers, and I

0:08:30

was there for a year and a half, and then, uh, I went to Washington, and, and I met a major, and the major said why don’t you transfer back to the Air Force because we need people.  We got something going on in Berlin, and he says write me a letter and I’ll transfer you back to the Air Force, which I did through channels.  And, uh, I transferred back to the United States Air Force.

I:          When was that?

0:09:00

G:        That was, December, November 1947.  And, uh, I had flight status.  Over there we went on the Berlin Airlift.

I:          Wow.  Tell me about it.  That’s a very, um, historical, you know,

G:        Well, in the meantime I went through infantry school for three months and, and jump school, paratrooper training

I:          Yeah.

G:        But tell me

0:09:30

about the Berlin Airlift.

G:        Oh, it was beautiful.

I:          What did you do?

G:        It was at Wiesbaden, Germany, and there was two pilots and a crew chief in the airplane.  One would fly to Berlin, and one would fly back, and we would take off, always directed by time, and we were told either speed up a little, slow down a little, and whether we’re left of the center line or right of the center line,

0:10:00

and we’d go into Berlin and pick up the, uh, outer marker and come right around.  All the time, we were under direct contact of radar. [Abrupt Start]A quarter we had to go into Berlin, and the Russian fighters would be off on the side.  They were watching us.

I:          Uh huh.  So what was your mission?

G:        We flew our supplies, most times coal, other times food, to the people because Berlin was blocked.  The Russians

0:10:30

completely blocked all roads and, uh, the only way to get in Berlin was for us by air, and, and that was the reason why the Berlin Airlift started, to keep the German people on the west side, uh, and coal for energy, um, to keep their generators going and lights and, uh, food cause they was completely blocked.

0:11:00

All roads were blocked in to Berlin except the air.

I:          So how many mission did you accomplish?

G:        Oh, they would, uh, fly mostly, well, one a day and, uh, I think I flew, uh, 20 or so, and then I got an emergency leave to come back because my mother was sick and, uh.  But it was a beautiful operation and very well

0:11:30

organized and, uh, managed completely excellently.  Everybody was really sharp, yeah.

I:          Where did you take off?

G:        I took off from Tempelhof.

I:          Of?

G:        That’s, uh, near, uh, Frankfort.

I:          Frankfort.

G:        Yeah.

I:          So you take off from the Frankfort, go to the Berlin, supply those resources

0:12:00

and then coming back?

G:        Yes.

I:          Yeah.

G:        And always on their radar control.

I:          Yeah.

G:        Right.  Then we don’t wander off at free corridor that we had going in and coming out.

I:          How about British and French?

G:        The French, they also were very active on that and, and, and, uh, the French also.  They were flying in.

I:          And give all this supplies.

G:        That’s why it was so important that when they say take off, that you did immediately

0:12:30

and maintain your spacing, and they would tell you because, uh, airplanes and landing sometimes they’re 30 seconds apart in, into, uh, Tempelhof.  And when I tell you to fire up your engines and get ready for takeoff, you had to do it immediately, and it was all, was under control time wise so you don’t jamb up.  But everybody just coming in and coming in and coming in.

0:13:00

I:          Beautiful.  Beautiful.

G:        Yeah, it was.  It was a beautiful operation.

I:          You were part of big history.

G:        Yeah.

I:          And there was the front line of Cold War.

G:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.  Have you ever encountered Russian pilot in the air?

G:        Yeah, I saw a, a Russian, uh,

I:          Meet.

G:        pilot off to the side, and I waved at him. [LAUGHS]

I:          You always waving.  [LAUGHS]

G:        Yeah, I turned on the, the cockpit lights and waved to him, and he waved back.

0:13:30

I:          So when

G:        And he was sitting right off there.  See, here’s a center line that was there.  I drifted over a little bit, and immediately they called me and says you’re going left of center line.  Now get back.  So I went there.  But, I, I waved at the night fighter, and he waved back.

I:          When did that Berlin Airlift ended?

G:        Uh, I think it was late ’49, middle of ’49 if I’m not mistaken.

0:14:00

I:          So after that, what happened to you?

G:        Well, I, well I came back to the States and, uh, went to Lowrey Air Force base, uh.  They supply schools, yeah, and then I, I was assigned to training command in Keesler Air Force Base. But I, I didn’t like, uh, that.

0:14:30

I didn’t like the training command because there was no flying involved, and then I heard about, uh, they needed pilots in Japan, so I volunteered to go over there and fly, uh, C47, cargo.  But then when, uh, went over on ship in, uh, Korean War started

0:15:00

in June, right. And that’s when they needed pilots, and I left the States, I think it was July, and went into Japan, and they were, asked for volunteers for mosquito pilots, and, uh, in World War II, mosquitos was an English airplane.  It was the fastest airplane in World War II, and they allowed four machine guns firing forward, and I volunteered

0:15:30

to fly mosquitos. Well, when I got to Korea, the mosquito was T6 advanced trainer that they used for, uh, flight school for gunnery information fly.  It was a T6, and that was called a mosquito.  The reason it was called mosquito is it seems the North Koreans say they were very annoying.  They were always buzzing around you

0:16:00

like a mosquito. But it was a good airplane and, and we’d always fly in low, you know, define the targets. [Abrupt Start] When there was two of us, in the T6, in the, mostly there was an Army observer in the back seat helping, taking notes and, uh, helping identify things.  But with my infantry training, I knew what to look for. So when I go behind the enemy lines, I knew what they’re looking for was, uh,

0:16:30

logistics, you know, trails and, and how they were supplying the people up there, and a lot of times they’d have Mongolians, huge people carrying huge supplies on their back and, uh, flying low and looking up on the side of the hill, you’d see little dugouts, and the people would go from one dugout to the next dugout up to the top of the hill.  But you had to

0:17:00

be low to look up to see them.  And then you’d call fighters in and have them hit those, uh, targets.  It was a very interesting job, and I really liked it. It was a very loose organization. I ended up to be B flight, uh, commander.  It was a squadron then, and so we would, uh, take off when weather permitted,

0:17:30

and we would fly through missions.  Then the next day we would fly one mission, and then we’d be off a day.  And if we were real tired or weather was bad cause that interrupted it.  But, uh, very good, and we would work an area, not, it was a mosquito Spirit.

I:          What do you mean by that?

G:        Mostly working in front of the 24thDivision.  But a lot of times you’d (conoyer) if the 24thdidn’t have

0:18:00

any targets or wanted anything to look at, cause they didn’t, we would go all the way up in, like I, I went all the way up to the Yalu and back and, uh, but when the 7thDivision was up there being shelled from across the Yellow River and they couldn’t fire back.  That was funny.  So, I, they, they were told to get up there and take that position, but the enemy was firing at them, but

0:18:30

they couldn’t fire back across the river.  So they had to pull back.

I:          Where were you stationed?

G:        Uh, Taegu, uh, outside of Taegu, a little racetrack and, uh, oh, then up and down the peninsula, and we’d get all the way up outside of, uh, North Korean capital K24 and, uh, Kimpo.  We were stationed there for a while, Yeongdeungpo

0:19:00

and, see, we would move up, the infantry moved up, and then when the Chinese came in, then we would pull back, all the way back to, uh, K2 again, outside of, uh, Taegu.

I:          Um,

G:        And then from there they were getting ready to go to K6, but I had already flow, uh, 102 missions in

0:19:30

two tours in, uh, February 13, 14 and 15, was, uh, Yeongdeungpo.

I:          1950?  One?

G:        Hm?

I:          1951?

G:        Yeah, ’51.  Yeah, ‘51’s when I flew the 102nd, 103rdmission.  They were surrounded, and I went full, uh, flying off of a 24thDivision forward near the Imjin area, Not Inchon but Imjin,

0:20:00

you know, south of Seoul. And I told them that, uh, 2ndDivision on the right was completely surrounded, and General Bryant, he said well, could you come down and brief us on this, and I said well you have only got a little dirt L5 strip, you know, a little, riverbed and, uh, the forward, Consuelo says yeah, you can make it.  I said

0:20:30

do you think I’d land this airplane on that little bitty dry river bed?  And they said yeah, and I says alright.  Well, I made one of these short field landings and, uh, hit brakes immediately and, they, and when General Bryant 24thDivision forward, we briefed him and told him there’s an awful lot of activity in his front going over toward, uh,

0:21:00

I don’t know the name of that place, in Imjin, uh, where the 2ndDivision was surrounded, 2ndDivision forward and, uh, so I told them that there’s an awful lot of traffic going up over there, and we briefed them on there, and he said well, would you take my air, (landsign)officer

0:21:30

up, and I said well if he has a nerve to sit in the back seat, I’m flying this airplane on a short field, fine.  So that was Major Smith.  I took him up and showed him all the tracks in the snow around, uh, what was the name of that town?  It wasn’t Yeongdeungpo.  Imjin.

I:          Suwon, Suwon?

G:        The name of the town

0:22:00

that, uh, 2ndDivision was completely surrounded.  It was a big battle, and I, I showed Major Smith where the enemy snow tracks, completely heavy and all around the town, uh, and where they were laying in white and snow, and we weren’t fighters in there and, uh, he said you must have killed over, 1,000 of them, the Chinese and landed and then briefed

0:22:30

General Bryant, and about that time they said, well, you have to gas up.  We got a lot of fighters coming in again, so I put my observer back in the back seat and, and the ground, the sun had come out, and the ground was a little spongy, and we barely made the takeoff where, at the end of the strip there’s a tank and there, I even with him.  So I sucked up the gear and, we weren’t fighters, more fighters than we ever worked before,

0:23:00

and they was all around, uh, the town.  And we had to direct the fighters in a way that they wouldn’t run into one another, and we found, oh, a regiment, they’re all in white, laying in the snow, and we hit them and that.  That was really quite a battle, quite a, a thing.

I:          Were you talking about

G:        Chipyong-ni.

I:          Chipyong-ni, Chipyong-ni.

G:        That was it.  Chipyong-ni.

0:23:30

Yeah.  And they got the Presidential Unit citation for that, the 2ndDivision.  And so that was my last mission in Korea.

I:          When did you leave Korea?

G:        Uh, well, that was in February 15, shortly thereafter and went to Japan.

I:          1951?

G:        ’51.

0:24:00

So I arrived in Japan, uh, March 1951.

I:          Uh, were there any Russian pilots in the air?

G:        Yes.

I:          Oh.  So please tell me about, how often, how many and any

G:        Oh, well we did, we didn’t see any because they were up in, you know, fighting the MGs.  But I had one, uh, unmarked airplane tried to shoot me down.

0:24:30

That was at, uh, Tokchon area just before, off the, uh, Chongchon River before the, that was in support of the, uh, ROK division there, and they had come in, the Chongchon River here and the flat area and 2ndDivision there, and the (Woolwon)Pass and tak, there’s two Tokchon.  That’s the trouble.  One was a railroad station in the southern little town, Tokchon,

0:25:00

and there was a valley, and they came in through the hill, and then a, a big mountain right here and a tunnel at the end they came through, and, uh, we hit three tanks that had camouflaged and set them on fire at Tokchon.  But then they, they broke through this area, through the ROK Division and then attacked the 2ndDivision over the hill over here.  And, uh, that was, that was a real big battle.

0:25:30

I:          That was 1950, right?

G:        That was, uh,

I:          If you were in the Chongchon River

G:        1950, yeah.  Yeah.  We’ve reported Chinese, oh my gosh, and nobody believed us.  They, they said the, we’ll be home for Christmas, and I said what Christmas?  [LAUGHS] Yeah.  And, uh, this one Colonel came up to our mosquito outfit, and, and he says oh, yeah.

0:26:00

I said, he said I just come up here to get a battle star, and I said well, why don’t you earn it and get into my back seat of my airplane and I’ll show you Chinese.  And he said t here’s no Chinese here?  I said they’re all over the place.  Completely all over.  They’re coming down from the north, down in through that area there where the, the ROK, uh, Division broke and

0:26:30

I:          How did you recognize Chinese from the air?

G:        Different uniforms and, uh, they had a dark green, an almost black uniform, and those were the Chinese, high-ranking officers and, uh, at first I thought they were black uniforms until I found out later it was a very dark green.  And one of them, we annoyed him so bad he picked up a pistol and shot at us.

I:          How are,

0:27:00

how high your, uh, plane up there, normally?

G:        Oh, we would fly maybe 100’ off the ground.  We had to be low because when you’re coming down in a valley, see, we don’t come down the center of the valley.  We come off to the side, see.  So we, we’re not silhouetted and, and, just like anybody shooting dove, we have a background to go.  It, it’s all discerning.

0:27:30

But if you have up high and the sky, you’re an easy target.  So we always had to be very low and, uh, the camouflage, the Chinese had, and the North Koreans, had good, excellent camouflage, and a lot of times they would use rocks and pile straw on top of it, you know, to simulate a tank, and we’d have to get down on our knee to look up, you know, and if you don’t see any wheels,

0:28:00

it’s

I:          Your mission was reconnaissance.

G:        Reconnaissance.

I:          Yeah.  Never

G:        Find the enemy.

I:          Never in jet fighter.

G:        [Abrupt Start] And I flew jets later, yeah. Yeah, and I’ve got, after Korea I went in the fighter bombers again.

I:          So, um, when did you spot the Chinese for the first time?

G:        Oh, we saw those

0:28:30

in early October because the difference in uniform and, uh, you know, they had these padded jackets, and uh, and I reported those, and the North Koreans sim, had similar clothes like the South Koreans, khakis or, all these.  But then the Chinese came in, they had these kind of padded jackets, and we would report

0:29:00

them and, and they said no, they’re not Chinese.  There’s no Chinese in Korea, and I said oh yes.  There are hundreds of thousands of them all over the place.  And, uh, went back to Chongchon River, must have been late October or November, the river was frozen, and they were coming across, and, uh, I saw, just couldn’t believe them.

0:29:30

They were coming across in day, in broad daylight, and they called fighters in.  The fighters came in and was hitting them, and they still come in, and all of a sudden the ice was gone, and the whole river was just a bloody mess.  They must have killed hundreds of them.  But they kept coming across, coming across.  It’s amazing what they, they would do.  They just say ignore it.  If they got orders across the river, they would cross the river.  Wow.

0:30:00

I:          Whom did you report that you saw thousands of Chinese?  Whom did you report to?

G:        Oh, we report to our Intelligence, and Intelligence reported it to, um, the 5thAir Force, and, and they said oh, that, they didn’t believe us.  Yeah, see, they, they thought that, uh, we would be home by Christmas,

0:30:30

and they said no, the Chinese wouldn’t dare come in.

I:          So you saw Chinese?

G:        Oh, yeah.  We, we reported them, yeah.

I:          When you report them, they didn’t believe you, just ignore it?

G:        They ignored it until finally others reported it, and, and, uh, the Frozen Chosin, when the Marines got hit pretty bad up there in the 7thDivision, there they, they knew for sure

0:31:00

that the Chinese was in there.

I:          Oh yeah, definitely.

G:        And see then, we started to fall back, right, because then, like early December I think it was, we started coming back and forth, all the way back south of Seoul again.  Yeah.

I:          Were there any North Korean Air Force?

G:        No.  They only time I got hit by, or this one airplane tried to shoot me down at Takjon. He was a unmarked airplane.  It was a jet.

0:31:30

He was photographing the area before they broke through there.

I:          So must be Russian.

G:        Yeah, I think he was.

I:          Were there a lot

G:        Because, well he would come after me, and I’d have to break like that.

I:          And were there Russian bomber?

G:        I never saw any.

I:          Yeah.

G:        You see, we, we were always low.  We would never get above, well, the only time we’d go high is to get above

0:32:00

the mountain top.  Always below.  Always low.

I:          So what do you think that Air Force did during the Korean War?  What is the accomplishment?

G:        Oh,

I:          What is the

G:        I think the Air Force did a tremendous job.  The fighters and bombers, they did a tremendous job.  Right. Yeah.  Oh, well every infantry man just like Ted, [LAUGHS]

0:32:30

they’d say uh, thank goodness for the Air Force, yeah, because we were always there hitting them.

I:          There were also foreign air forces, too, right, in the United Nations from Australia?

G:        Yeah.  I worked Australian.

I:          How many countries?

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G:        Uh, Australia.  There was New Zealand, uh, uh, South Africa, uh, I forget all the names of the outfits.

I:          England?

G:        Yeah, England, right.  English, yeah.  You could tell the English, alright.  They say oh, rightyo.  [LAUGHS] And, and cheerio.  The Australians were really funny.   Uh, they, they, they would say, uh, is that a target down there [INAUDIBLE] and I’d say yeah, and they say well,

0:33:30

I’ll give it a go. And, and he says well, there’s no more, there’s a target no more, see, you got another one?  Yeah, they talked a little funny like that.  Or you, you get a man running, and if he’s not running anymore.

I:          How much were paid?  How much was your salary?

G:        Oh, I don’t know.  I was a Captain at the time.  So I, I forgot what it was.

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What was it, $350, $400 a month?  Gee, I forgot what I was drawing.

I:          What did you do with that money?

G:        I had nothing to do with it and nothing, couldn’t spend it.

I:          So

G:        Stick it in your pocket.  Send it home.  Yeah. There’s nothing to buy, you know, and we were lucky to have one meal a day.

I:          What happened to you after the Japan?

G:        I went to the States and, uh, flying the fighter bombers.

0:34:30

I:          What kind?

G:        Uh, 51s, and then from there we went in F80s, jets.

I:          Did you participate in any other war?

G:        No.  In, uh, ’53, the minute they signed the Peace Treaty, they cut down on the service, and, and a lot of us were dismissed.  We were

0:35:00

replaced by other people that filled their, our, our slots.  I don’t understand that.  We were in the 50thfighter bomber wing going to Han, Germany in occupation duty, and, uh, we were replaced.  I was a Captain doing a Major’s job, and I was replaced by a Lieutenant Colonel and, uh, squadron commanders were replaced.  The fighter group CO was replaced.  Operation officers were

0:35:30

replaced.  These were people that are coming out of, uh, like they say, fat cat jobs and getting a fighter bomber outfit that’s going on occupation duty.  So they kicked us all out.

I:          And after that, what did you do in that

G:        Well, I found a, a slot in the Reserves where like, I could fly and, uh, in the Reserves, you know, weekends, and I was flying F80 jets,

0:36:00

and I was able to finish my time, so I could retire, uh, military retire at 24 years and 8 months.

I:          Hm.

G:        Yeah, that’s what helped pay for my place where I live at, uh, Town Hall in Arlington.

I:          Uh.  And after that, did you work in any civilian industry?

G:        Well, yeah.  I worked at, uh, LTV, Chance Vought Aircraft, for 23 years,

0:36:30

on airplanes.

I:          What kind of airplanes?

G:        Uh, well, there was the F8 and the AD, and, uh, I was in charge of support equipment for the maintenance jobs and, and what equipment they needed to do the jobs, and that was my last job.  And very interesting.

I:          Have you been back to Korea?

G:        Oh, I went be on that Revisit Program

0:37:00

I:          Yeah.  When, when did you go?

G:        Oh, it was beautiful.  The Han River was terraced, and there was bicycle paths and, and people were fishing the Han River, and when we were there, it was just a dirty, muddy place with bodies floating down and, uh, we could drink the water in the hotel.  It was amazing.  It was amazing what you people did in, in Seoul.  Oh, I, I, I, I was just amazed,

0:37:30

and, this, and then the fact that you, your airplanes could land in Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. It was amazing what you people have done.  Tremendous. I have great respect for the Koreans for what they have done.

I:          When did you go back to Korea?

G:        On the Revisit Program?

I:          Yeah.  When was it?

G:        Must have been in, uh, ’92, ’93, something like that.

0:38:00

And the people treated us like kings.  Oh my gosh. You know, the most amazing part, see, I was a soldier, and I just fighting a war.  But we went to a dinner, and this one Korean, uh, ambassador or somebody, he said you people gave us three things:  You gave us freedom, you gave us, uh, religion,

0:38:30

and you gave us democracy, and I was sitting next to a Marine, big old nose, a real Marine, tough-looking Marine, and he looked at me and he says, you know, listening to him he says, it makes those nights not so cold. [LAUGHS]  Oh, yeah, your Korean people, I have the greatest respect for them. Beautiful.

I:          So you had a good time in the Air Force?

G:        No, not really.  It was very rough at times because, you know, being kicked out and coming back and transferring, but, uh, yeah.

0:39:00

I loved it.  It was, yeah.  And I made it. See, I, I’m determined to make my 20 years, and I did. I made it.

I:          How many children do you have?  How many children, grandchildren, great grandchildren?

G:        Uh, we had one daughter, and she had three children, and, uh, I have four great grandchildren and three grandchildren. Right.

I:          What’s the range of ages of those?

G:        Well, my daughter now is 65 and, uh, her husband, uh, the same and, uh, the great grandchildren, I think the youngest one is, is a year and a half, and the oldest one is about 6, the great grandchildren.

I:          How bout grandchildren?

G:        Huh?

I:          How bout grandchildren?

G:        Oh, uh, well, grand, the grandchildren, let’s see. Matthew must be around 30 something. Yeah, they’re all in their 30’s.

I:          Any comments to these interview?

G:        No, the only thing about it is people ask me to, to go back in mind to Korea.  I lose sleep again. [LAUGHS] All these things come back to mind, some good, some bad. And, uh, I don’t know.  If it does any good, I, I’m happy.  But, uh, I’ll, I’ll lose a couple a nights sleep again.

 

[End of Recorded Material]