F-51D Mustang flown by
Major Murrit H. Davis,
dubbed ‘Sexy Sally II’, drops
napalm during an attack
on industrial targets on
January 1, 1951.
photo: US Defense Imagery
rementioned F-51s, and two of the Il-10s went
down in short order, courtesy of 2nd Lt. Orrin E.
Fox while 1st Lt. Harry T. Sandlin shot down one.
Both of these pilots hailed from the 80th FBS, and
a fourth Il-10 was downed by 1st Lt. Richard Burns
of the 35th FBS. Some sources identify Fox’s and
Sandlin’s victims as either Jak-9s or La-7s instead of Il-10s. One probable kill was attributed to
1st lt. Eugene R. Hanson (36th FBS), and this was
likely a Yak-9. Sadly, three of these volunteers
didn’t live to see the end of 1950. Burns, Sandlin and Hanson all were killed after returning to
their units and to flying the F-80s. In fact, during
the first year of the war, seven of the original ten
American Bout One pilots perished…
Major Dean Hess being
given the treatment
by ground crew after
completing his 100th
mission in Korea.
photo: U.S. Air Force
The Korean Peninsula was under the control of the Japanese as of 1905, something supported by an agreement with Great Britain whereby Britain agreed to recognize Japanese
interests in the area in exchange for Japanese recognition of British interests in China.
Under this umbrella of agreements reminiscent in some ways of other shameful British
acts of diplomacy (such as the Munich Agreement that betrayed Czechoslovakia in 1938),
was followed by the Treaty of Portsmouth which secured similar such recognition from
the Russian Empire, and the Taft-Kacur Memorandum that ensured more or less the
same from the Americans. This developed into there being nothing stopping the Japanese from establishing a protectorate over Korea in 1910, who’s first Japanese Governor-General was Terauchi Masatake. The Japanese removed Korean Emperor Sunjong and
gradually took over all the major posts in the country. Japanese rule brought with it hunger, torture and slavery. Korean Christians were crucified and burned. Peaceful protests
for freedom in 1919 were brutally put down and around 550 people were murdered. The
Japanese did what they could to basically eradicate the Korean identity. Schools were
taught exclusively in Japanese, publishing in Korean was outlawed, it was forbidden to
study Korean history and there were Korean book burnings. Hundreds of thousands of
Koreans were sent to Japan or her occupied territories for forced labor and many Korean women were forced into sexual slavery for the benefit Japanese soldiers. Korean
men were forced to fight in the ranks of the Japanese, and at times, the Chinese, army.
The end of the Second World War signaled the end of thirty-five years of the tyranny.
Already in November, 1943, the Cairo Conference declared the independence of Korea as
one of its objectives in the war against Japan, and Koreans could thus hope for peace and
prosperity immediately after the end of hostilities. However, the situation would travel
down a different road…