To many South African participation in the Korean War is unknown, but as part of United Nation contributions to the war effort South Africa sent a squadron to South Korea to fight in the Korean War. Here are South African Air Force F51D Mustangs in Korea circa 1951.
The focus of the photograph shows a SAAF 2 Squadron machine which is seen here on its way to the main runway at K10, Chinhae Airbase in South Korea during the war. Fully armed this SAAF F51D Mustang is setting off on what is properly a ground support role in close support of American troops. Bombing enemy defensive positions in close support of ground troops is often sarcastically referred to as “mud moving” and highly dangerous as the aircraft has to get right into the battle at very low altitude and speed (the high attrition of South African pilots lost in this role during the war is testimony to that).
Its rare to see such a quality original colour photograph of South Africa’s involvement in the Korean War and much thanks to Ian Pretorius whose shared this magnificent image from his father’s personal collection, then Lt M S (Mike) Pretorius.
Much can be said of South Africa’s involvement in the Korean War and more is to follow on this blog. For the time being enjoy this great photograph.
Photo copyright Ian Pretorius
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