Texan ‘Mosquito’ in Korea
In an era before precision-guided bombs, 6147 Tactical Control Group, ‘The Mosquitos’, of the 5th Air Force flew dangerous, low-level forward air control missions during the Korean War guiding UN fighter-bomber attacks on enemy targets. Although a unit of the United States Air Force, members of UN forces, including Canada, saw service with the unit flying in the rear seat of the T6 Texan as airborne controllers. Depicted in the painting is a typical action in 1952 involving Lt. W.C. “Robbie” Robertson, 1PPCLI, during which a Texan aircraft has descended very low to the ground to fire marker rockets at a target. In this case the target is an area of caves being used as ammunition dumps by North Korean forces. The Texan is flying over the remnants of a previous strike including two knocked out T-34 tanks and a supply truck.
North Korean soldiers fleeing the scene stop long enough for a few ‘potshots’ at the Texan during its approach. Ground fire was a constant danger for the ‘Mosquitos’ as they often got down on the deck to accurately mark targets for fighter-bombers such as the two F4U Navy Corsairs seen in the distance flying over the typically rugged terrain of Korea.
CANADIANS IN KOREAN WAR AIR OPERATIONS
Canadian airmen and airwomen served with distinction in many roles during the Korean War. Canadian pilots flew as fighter pilots with UN forces while Canadian air transport squadrons provided logistic support to the UN operations during the war and RCAF flight nurses served by assisting the repatriation of wounded soldiers by air. Canadians, as in the case of Lt. Robertson, also served in unconventional roles in the air alongside Canada’s UN allies such as that of a forward air controller.
For more on the ‘Mosquitos’ go to: 6147 Tactical Control Group