Fighter Combat in Korea

B-26

B-26

F-51

F-51

F-84

F-84

F-51 Mustang

F-51 Mustang

The air war in Korea differed in several respects from World War II, although similarities differed of course. Piston-engined planes such as the F-51 Mustang, B-26 Invader, and the B-29 Superfortress all served in Korea. Yet, the role they were employed to do was quite different from 1945.

The Mustangs were principally for close air support in Korea, whereas in World War II they had served in bomber escort. Likewise the B-29's were used principally against interdiction targets rather than strategic objectives as in World War II. Extensive jet fighter operations were the great innovation of Korea, with jet-powered F-80's and F-84's undertaking close air-support and special missions, while the F-86 Sabres battled with the MiG-15's for command of the air.