Wing Commander John Campbell Smith MBE (Rtd) as an engineer officer No 491 Maintenance Squadron RAAF, Korea 1951-1952, interviewed by Dr Chris Clark

Accession Number S02782
Collection type Sound
Measurement 54 min 49 sec
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; BASF SM 468; 15 ips/38 cm.s; two track mono; 10 inch NAB
Maker Australian War Memorial
Date made 27 June 2002
Access Open
Conflict Korea, 1950-1953
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

John Campbell Smith talks about: his training as, and the duties of an armament officer; his joining the RAAF Reserve after the Second World War and being called up for service at RAAF Base Williamtown and then in Japan and Korea; the CO of No. 77 Squadron defining the need for a napalm rocket and Smith’s inventing one whilst at Williamtown; rocket testing in Australia, Japan and Korea; napalm rocket production in Japan; use of napalm rockets and North Korean reactions to them; patenting his invention despite Commonwealth objections; his short service commission not being renewed in 1954 because of his conflict with senior officers over his patent; other armament problems encountered by No. 77 Squadron pilots; his flying occasional missions; Meteors, Mig-15s and Sabres; how napalm rockets saved Seoul; his being deprived of the highest South Korean award as only British awards could be accepted; his presentation of the MBE by the Queen; solving the problem of cannon stoppages; No.77 Squadron efficiency and morale; working from an American base during winter; a comparison of Australian and American contributions to the Korean war: why the Americans could not win the war without nuclear weapons, and his posting from Williamtown to Japan and the effects on his family.