Jul 3

Carrier Aircraft Enter Korean War, 3 July 1950

Sunday, July 3, 2011 12:01 AM


Carrier aircraft launched the first strikes of the Korean War on 3 July 1950. Valley Forge (CV 45), with Carrier Air Group 5 embarked—the only operational U.S. carrier in the Western Pacific when the Korean War began—and the British carrier Triumph (R 16), operating in the Yellow Sea with Firefly FR.1s and Seafire FR.47s, launched strikes on airfields, supply lines, and transportation facilities in the area of Pyŏngyang, the North Korean capital.

These strikes were the baptism of fire for Grumman F9F-3 Panthers and Douglas AD Skyraiders. Navy pilots also recorded their first kills in aerial combat during the Korean War, and the first shoot-down by Navy jets, as two F9F-3s, Ltjg. Leonard H. Plog and Ens. Elton W. Brown, Jr., of VF-51, shot down two North Korean Yakovlev Yak-9P Franks during the first raid over Pyŏngyang.