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This Weird Fighter Got The First Air-To-Air Kill Of The Korean War
At some point during the tail end of World War II, a creative engineer at North American Aviation looked at the P-51 Mustang and wrote a memo to his boss stating that if one Mustang was amazing, then two Mustangs merged together by steel and rivets would be possibly the greatest thing to fly, ever. With one cockpit devoted to radar and the other to flying, the F-82 Twin Mustang — nicknamed “double trouble” — was born. What they didn't know was that the Twin Mustang was destined to cement it's place in history over the skies of Korea.
The F-82 was an aircraft born in the wrong era. The German fielding of the Messerschmitt ME-262 at the Second World War’s close signaled the dawn of the jet-powered fighter. As the Korean War started, Air Force jets like the F-80 were replacing the F-51D Mustangs and F-82s that had become the core of the Air Force fleet. But there were still three squadrons of F-82s stationed in Japan. Their radar-housing double fuselage gave the 5th Air Force an all-weather capability that would come in handy as the cold war turned hot.
North American XP-82 Twin Mustang 44-83887 on test flight over Sierras, 1945.U.S. Air Force
On June 27th, 1950, five F-82s were performing a high-stakes escort mission for Air Force transports evacuating civilians out of Seoul. The North Korean Army had barrelled across the border on the 25th and put the city in its crosshairs. Although the U.S.-aligned South Koreans had fighting spirit, they lacked tanks and air support, which the North had in abundance. It was rapidly apparent to the United States that Seoul would fall, and fall fast. Evacuations began by sea and air, with F-82s providing protection.
A flight of Soviet-built Yak-11s and La-7s appeared near Kimpo Airfield to intercept the evacuating transports. Lt. William G Hudson and his radar operator Lt. Carl Fraser jumped into the furball, shooting down a Yak-11 and cementing their F-82 as the first American aircraft to get an air-to-air victory in Korea.
North American F-82F Twin Mustang 46-414, 52d Fighter Group (All Weather), Mitchel AFB, New York at the 1950 World Wide gunnery meet, Nellis AFB, Nevada on 26 March 1950. Marked as Group Commander's aircraft, flown by Colonel William Cellini.United States Air Force
The F-82 continued to fight on in the conflict until 1952, when the final Twin Mustang was sent out for rear-guard duty in Alaska. The introduction of advanced jet fighters like the MiG-15 signaled the end of the prop fighter era, and the skies over Korea were soon filled with F-86 Sabers and MiG-15s engaged in a deadly ballet of atomic age acrobatics. But by then, the F-82 Twin Mustang had already cemented its place in Air Force history on that day over Seoul.
One of four F-82Es deployed by the 27th Fighter Escort Wing to Davis AFB, Aleutians in December 1948 to assist in the transition of the 449th Fighter (All-Weather) Squadron from P-61 Black Widows to the Twin Mustang.United States Air Force
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Editor's note: A combat wounded veteran, Ryan served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment. While deployed to Iraq in 2005, his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device buried in the road. He works as the Wounded Warrior Project's national Combat Stress Recovery Program director.
On Nov. 29, 2005, my life changed forever. I was a 24-year-old U.S. Army armor captain deployed to Taji, Iraq, when my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. On that day, I lost two of my soldiers, Sgts. Jerry Mills and Donald Hasse, and I lost my right arm and left leg.
Fatal training accidents are on the rise. Now the families of the fallen are pushing lawmakers to do something about it
CAMP PENDLETON — Susan and Michael McDowell attended a memorial in June for their son, 1st Lt. Conor McDowell. Kathleen Isabel Bourque, the love of Conor's life, joined them. None of them had anticipated what they would be going through.
Conor, the McDowells' only child, was killed during a vehicle rollover accident in the Las Pulgas area of Camp Pendleton during routine Marine training on May 9. He was 24.
Just weeks before that emotional ceremony, Alexandrina Braica, her husband and five children attended a similar memorial at the same military base, this to honor Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, a member of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion who also was killed in a rollover accident, April 13, at age 29.
Braica, of Sacramento, was married and had a 4 1/2-month-old son.
"To see the love they had for Josh and to see the respect and appreciation was very emotional," Alexandrina Braica said of the battalion. "They spoke very highly of him and what a great leader he was. One of his commanders said, 'He was already the man he was because of the way he was raised.' As parents, we were given some credit."
While the tributes helped the McDowells and Braicas process their grief, the families remain unclear about what caused the training fatalities. They expected their sons eventually would deploy and put their lives at risk, but they didn't expect either would die while training on base.
"We're all still in denial, 'Did this really happen? Is he really gone?' Braica said. "When I got the phone call, Josh was not on my mind. That's why we were at peace. He was always in training and I never felt that it would happen at Camp Pendleton."
North Korea threatens to resume nuclear weapons and ICBM tests if US-South Korea military exercises proceed
SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States looks set to break a promise not to hold military exercises with South Korea, putting talks aimed at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons at risk, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The United States' pattern of "unilaterally reneging on its commitments" is leading Pyongyang to reconsider its own commitments to discontinue tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the ministry said in a pair of statements released through state news agency KCNA.
Customs and Border Patrol denied a Marine vet entry into the US for his a scheduled citizenship interview
A deported Marine Corps veteran who has been unable to come back to the U.S. for more than a decade was denied entry to the country Monday morning when he asked to be let in for a scheduled citizenship interview.
Roman Sabal, 58, originally from Belize, came to the San Ysidro Port of Entry around 7:30 on Monday morning with an attorney to ask for "parole" to attend his naturalization interview scheduled for a little before noon in downtown San Diego. Border officials have the authority to temporarily allow people into the country on parole for "humanitarian or significant public benefit" reasons.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.
Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.