Assigned to the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Itazuke Air Base, Japan, at the start of the Korean War, the 8th FBG participated in combat operations, June 1950-July 1953. On June 26, one day after the North Korean invasion, its F-80C pilots provided high-cover combat air patrols along the Han River near Seoul to protect the air evacuation of U.S. citizens from South Korea. The next day, pilots of the group's 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron in aerial combat shot down four enemy aircraft. Early in July, as the North Koreans advanced down the Korean peninsula, the group began low-level close air support of UN ground forces. In August and September the 8th FBG converted to the propeller-driven F-51, which consumed less fuel and provided greater loiter time on target than the jet-powered F-80. Also in August, it was attached for operational control to one of Fifth AF's temporary wings, the 6131st Tactical Support Wing. The group began operating from Korean bases in October and moved to North Korea in late November 1950. It resumed operations from Japan under the 8th FBW in December, after Chinese Communist forces drove the UN troops southward beyond the 38th parallel. Also in December, the group's pilots began once again to fly the F-80. The 8th FBG returned to forward bases in Korea some six months later, continuing to provide close air support to UN ground forces but increasingly flying interdiction missions against enemy transportation systems, airfields, troop concentrations, and supply areas. By January 1952, rail interdiction missions had become such a regular activity that the men chose as their theme song, "We've Been Working on the Railroad." By mid-1952, the group had returned to close air support of UN ground troops, but in November its pilots began flying night interdiction missions. As combat operations wound down in the spring of 1953, the group converted to the F-86 Sabre, using it effectively against ground targets, particularly enemy airfields, just prior to the armistice in July.
35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron: duration.
36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron: duration.
80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron: duration.
Itazuke AB, Japan -August 11, 1950; Tsuiki, Japan, August 11, 1950; Suwon AB, South Korea, October 7, 1950; Kimpo AB, South Korea, October 28, 1950; Pyongyang, North Korea, November 25, 1950; Seoul AB, South Korea, December 3, 1950; Itazuke AB, Japan, December 10, 1950; Kimpo AB, South Korea, June 25, 1951; Suwon AB, South Korea, August 24, 1951-.
Col. William T. Samways, -May 19, 1951; Col. Edward O. McComas, May 19, 1951; Col. Harvey L. Case, Jr., July 31, 1951; Col. Levi R. Chase, January 22, 1952; Col. Walter G. Benz, Jr., September 12, 1952-.
Medal of Honor Recipient
Maj. Charles J. Loring, Jr., (80th FBS), November 22, 1952.
UN Defensive; UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea, Summer-Fall 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953.
Distinguished Unit Citation for actions September 16-November 2, 1950. Two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for periods June 27, 1950-January 31, 1951 and February 1, 1951-March 31, 1953.