Sunday, December 20, 2015

Book Review: The United States Air Force in Korea

Robert F. Futrell
The United States Air Force in Korea
Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1996
Category: U.S. Air Force - History

Rating: 4-Stars

First published in 1961, revised in 1983 and republished again in 1991 and 1996, Robert Futrell's account of the Korean air war is undoubtedly the most comprehensive available.  Some 823 pages in length, this is the detailed account of the Korean air campaign, battle-by-battle.

Futrell's account is by no means light reading.  Replete with maps, operational details on the strategies and preparations to win the war, Futrell's comprehensive history reflects the long, hard-fought war that Korea was.  Although short on first-hand pilot accounts, Futrell describes in detail each phase of the war, focusing equally on the wins and the losses.  This is the honest picture of the air campaign in the "forgotten war."  A total of 1,040,708 allied sorties.  Some 467,000 tons of ordnance dropped by the US Air Force alone.  Over a thousand allied aircraft lost in battle.  The breadth and magnitude of this air war often goes unappreciated by succeeding generations.  Futrell's account is not light reading.  It is the record of an immense air campaign intended for the serious historian, and a reminder for how hard-fought this war really was.

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