Targets

One of the most storied squadrons of the war was VA-195, which participated in strikes against two of the more famous targets in Korea. In March-April 1951, VA-195 staged repeated attacks against two rail bridges in North Korea in what was known as the "Battle of Carlson’s Canyon," in honor of the squadron’s skipper, LCDR Harold G. "Swede" Carlson. On 1 May 1951, the squadron launched on one of the more unusual missions of the war, staging a torpedo attack against the gates of the Hwachon Dam. The success of the mission prompted the squadron to adopt the nickname "Dambusters," which its successor retains to this day.

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Sporting a variety of flight helmets and various lengths of facial hair, the pilots of VA-195 pose for the camera in front of one of their beloved AD Skyraiders.

"Carlson’s Canyon" after being worked over by Navy aircraft for the final time.

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ENS R.E. Bennett leans against one of the torpedoes used to knock out the Hwachon Dam on 1 May 1951.

Water pours down the face of the Hwachon Dam during a torpedo attack by AD Skyraiders of VA-195.

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With hook down, an F9F-5 Panther of VF-781 circles high above USS Oriskany (CVA-34) prior to recovery aboard the ship.

Though the U.S. Air Force bore the brunt of the battles against enemy MiG-15 fighters, naval aviators achieved some milestones in air-to-air combat during the Korean War. Major John F. Bolt, an ace while serving with the famed VMF-214 "Black Sheep" during World War II, achieved six kills while on exchange duty with the U.S. Air Force in Korea. In so doing, Bolt became the only naval aviator to become an ace in two wars and the Marine Corps’ only jet ace.


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On 18 November 1952, three F9F-5 Panthers of VF-781 off the carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) intercepted seven Soviet MiG-15 fighters while operating 100 miles from the giant Russian naval bases at Vladivostok. In one of the epic small engagements between the Soviet Union and United States during the Cold War, the outgunned Navy fighters shot down at least two enemy "bandits" and damaged a third. In this photograph, a Soviet MiG-15 trails smoke after being hit by 20-millimeter cannon fire.


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