Today in Military History: July 3, 1950, first carrier air strikes of Korean War

Grumman F9F "Panther", of Fighter Squadron 52 (VF-52) taxies forward on USS Valley Forge (CV-45) to be catapulted for strikes on targets along the east coast of Korea, July, 1950.

On July 3, 1950 the first carrier air strikes of the Korean War are carried out by planes from the USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and HMS Triumph.  VF-51 aircraft from the Valley Forge shot down two North Korean aircraft. The air strikes are also the first combat test of the F9F Panther and AD Skyraider.



A Vought F4U-4B fighter is fueled and armed with 5-inch rockets, prior to strikes against targets on the Korean east coast, July, 1950.




Lt. W. Boyd Muncie Disembarks from a H03S helicopter, upon his return to USS Valley Forge (CV-45) on 19 July 1950, following his rescue from the Sea of Japan by an amphibian "Sea Otter" from HMS Triumph. The first Naval Aviator to be shot down by North Korean anti-aircraft fire, he spent two and a half hours in the water.





Captain David Booker, USMC (left) "Mans his aerial reconnaissance plane on flight deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier with the Seventh Fleet." Quoted caption was released with this photo on 19 July 1950. If the view was taken at about that time, the carrier would be USS Valley Forge (CV-45), then the only 7th Fleet carrier, which was engaged in early Korean War operations. Capt. Booker's plane is a Vought F4U-5P "Corsair". Note its camera hatch low on the fuselage behind the cockpit.





Flight deck crewmen wheel carts of rockets past a Vought F4U-4B fighter, while arming planes for strikes against North Korean targets in July 1950. This plane is Bureau # 97503




Flight deck tractors tow Grumman F9F "Panther" fighters forward on the carrier's flight deck, in preparation for catapulting them off to attack North Korean targets, July 1950. This photograph was released for publication on 21 July 1950. Valley Forge had launched air strikes on 3-4 July and 18-19 July.