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    Museum Audio Tour 22: Modern Flight Gallery: Korean War Special Operations

    Museum Audio Tour 22: Modern Flight Gallery: Korean War Special Operations

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    Audio by NMUSAF PA 

    National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

    One important top secret mission inserted Korean agents and guerillas into North Korea under the code-name OPERATION AVIARY. “Special Air Mission” aircrews dropped hundreds into North Korea by parachute from C-46s, C-47s and B-26s. Others were inserted by C-119s, B-29s, UH-19 helicopters, SA-16 amphibians, or Air Force crash boats. These special missions demanded exceptional skill. To avoid detection, aircrews flew at low altitude at night in mountain valleys—the slightest error in navigation could cause them to fly into a cliffside. Flying at this level also made them vulnerable to ground fire. Air Force-inserted partisans sabotaged key infrastructure like bridges, attacked enemy forces, and gathered vital intelligence on enemy military strength. The guerillas not only disrupted the enemy, but they also provided warning of impending attacks. Air Force aircrews orbited above the partisans at prearranged times to relay radio messages and drop supplies. If a guerilla survived the mission, they made their way back to friendly lines on foot. In the first year of the Korean War, about 70% returned safely, but this number dropped later in the war. The Air Force also carried out psychological warfare against the communists with leaflet drops and loudspeaker broadcasts over North Korea. These missions often targeted the enemy’s will to fight by enticing them to surrender or face annihilation. Some leaflets and broadcasts also warned civilians to leave an area for their own safety. This was a legitimate concern as 82% of captured enemy soldiers said they feared an air attack more than anything else. The enemy rarely moved or attacked during the day because of swift and deadly air attacks from UN air forces. “OPERATION FIREFLY” flare-dropping missions helped deny the enemy cover of night. Air Force flare-dropping aircrews could be found both over the battlefield, and behind the lines illuminating enemy convoys for the bombers to strike.



    Date Taken: 12.31.1969
    Date Posted: 09.02.2015 12:11
    Category: Newscasts
    Audio ID: 41925
    Filename: 1509/DOD_102704184.mp3
    Length: 00:02:26
    Album Museum Audio Tour
    Track # 22
    Location: DAYTON, OH, US 

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