65 Years Ago Today – February 20, 1951
F-51 Korean War Combat Diary Excerpts…
February 20: Lt. Col. Homer M. Cox assumed command of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group from Colonel Ira F. Wintermute who was assigned to the Thirteenth Air Force.
February 21: The Eighth Army launched Operation KILLER to destroy large numbers of enemy troops while moving the UN line northward to the Han River.
February 27: Captain Richard H. Cassady of the 67th FBS “had initiated his take-off run and when at approximately mid-field his right main landing gear tire blew out at which time the take-off was abandoned. Two rockets, (5”HVAR) under the right wing came loose at this time and caused the aircraft to skid sideways, approximately 35 degrees right of the runway heading. Two externally hung gasoline tanks were ignited and the aircraft began to burn. Captain Cassady managed to escape from the aircraft uninjured despite initial difficulty in opening the canopy.”
February 28: UN ground forces eliminated the last communist presence south of the Han River.
(Right) A 12th FBS F-51 loaded with rockets and napalm, claws for altitude after taking off from K-10 at Chinhae on a combat mission in February 1951. It was one of 468 sorties flown by the “Foxy Few” that month.
Excerpted from Truckbusters from Dogpatch: the Combat Diary of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing in the Korean War, 1950-1953. http://www.truckbustersfromdogpatch.com/