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RAAF 77th Fighter Squadron F-51 Mustangs (1951)





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Published on Jun 13, 2012

National Archives Identifier: 24286
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN 77Th FIGHTER SQUADRON IN KOREAN ACTION.: Released 09/04/1951. 317' Int, Australian personnel leaving barracks. The men have tea outside. Pouring tea from tin container to tin cup. The men walk twd orderly room; mail distributed. CUs, Ind, two men open letters. Headon, F-51 warms up. Man place rockets on bomb trailer; hook rockets underneath wing. MCU, man works on bomb on wing. CU, man cleans 30 cal gun. Section leader explains tactics to his section on field. Pilot enters cockpit. CU, another pilot adjusts helmet, speaks to someone off screen.

North American P-51 Mustang From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From the start of the Korean War, the Mustang once again proved useful. A substantial number of stored or in-service F-51Ds were shipped, via aircraft carriers, to the combat zone and were used by the USAF, and the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). The F-51 was used for ground attack, fitted with rockets and bombs, and photo-reconnaissance, rather than being as interceptors or "pure" fighters. After the first North Korean invasion, USAF units were forced to fly from bases in Japan, and the F-51Ds, with their long range and endurance, could attack targets in Korea that short-ranged F-80 jets could not. Because of the vulnerable liquid cooling system, however, the F-51s sustained heavy losses to ground fire. Because of its lighter structure, and a shortage of spare parts, the newer, faster F-51H was not used in Korea.

Mustangs continued flying with USAF and ROKAF fighter-bomber units on close support and interdiction missions in Korea until 1953, when they were largely replaced as fighter-bombers by USAF F-84s, and by United States Navy (USN) Grumman F9F Panthers. Other air forces and units using the Mustang included the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF)'s 77 Squadron, which flew Australian-built Mustangs as part of British Commonwealth Forces Korea. The Mustangs were replaced by Gloster Meteor F8s in 1951. The South African Air Force's (SAAF)'s 2 Squadron used US-built Mustangs as part of the US 18th Fighter Bomber Wing, and had suffered heavy losses by 1953, after which 2 Squadron converted to the F-86 Sabre.

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