Wing Commander Clarence Edward Barrington Wilson (Ret) as an airframe fitter No 77 (Fighter) Squadron RAAF, Korea 1950-1951, interviewed by Dr Chris Clark

Unit No. 77 Squadron
Accession Number S02688
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 26 min
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; BASF SM 468; 15 ips/38 cm.s; stereo; 10 inch NAB
Maker Australian War Memorial
Date made 10 May 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
Description

Wilson talks about service as a Mustang fitter in 3 Squadron, Canberra in 1949; his reasons for joining the Air Force; being engaged; his sudden posting to 77 Squadron, Iwakuni, Japan in 1951; an aircraft incident involving Lyall Klaffer, whilst in Canberra; his arrival at Iwakuni; an air fitter's duties; working conditions; the employment of Japanese nationals; sharing Iwakuni with the Americans; relations with the British and South Africans; posting to Pohang, Korea as a corporal; a fatal accident in a tented camp; moving to Yongpo in North Korea; life at Yongpo; the military situation, including the Chinese; cold-weather clothing; a fatal accidental rocket firing from a US Marine Corsair and an accidental rocket firing at Pusan; messing arrangements and lack of recreational facilities; evacuation plans for a Chinese invasion; being equipped with small arms; the onset of snow and working in the cold weather; the strain on the pilots; an appreciation of the squadron commander, Dick Cresswell; showering in a snow fall; Chinese attacks on US Marines; evacuation from Yongpo delayed by the need to service an aircraft; civilian conditions in the area; evacuation to Pusan; fitting long-range drop tanks to the Mustangs; returning to Iwakuni to prepare for 77 Squadron's conversion to Meteors; problems with the Meteor 8s; an inadvertent ejection from a Meteor and other incidents; differences between operation form the front-line and a main base; fitting radio compasses to Meteors; finding a role for the aircraft; his leaving 77 Squadron to prepare Mustangs for return to Australia; comparing the Meteor with the Mig-15; returning to Australia by sea with the Mustangs; arrival in Sydney; 77 Squadron's return to Australia and being married for over fifty years.

History / Summary

Wilson talks about service as a Mustang fitter in 3 Squadron, Canberra in 1949; his reasons for joining the Air Force; being engaged; his sudden posting to 77 Squadron, Iwakuni, Japan in 1951; an aircraft incident involving Lyall Klaffer, whilst in Canberra; his arrival at Iwakuni; an air fitter’s duties; working conditions; the employment of Japanese nationals; sharing Iwakuni with the Americans; relations with the British and South Africans; posting to Pohang, Korea as a corporal; a fatal accident in a tented camp; moving to Yongpo in North Korea; life at Yongpo; the military situation, including the Chinese; cold-weather clothing; a fatal accidental rocket firing from a US Marine Corsair and an accidental rocket firing at Pusan; messing arrangements and lack of recreational facilities; evacuation plans for a Chinese invasion; being equipped with small arms; the onset of snow and working in the cold weather; the strain on the pilots; an appreciation of the squadron commander, Dick Cresswell; showering in a snow fall; Chinese attacks on US Marines; evacuation from Yongpo delayed by the need to service an aircraft; civilian conditions in the area; evacuation to Pusan; fitting long-range drop tanks to the Mustangs; returning to Iwakuni to prepare for 77 Squadron’s conversion to Meteors; problems with the Meteor 8s; an inadvertent ejection from a Meteor and other incidents; differences between operation form the front-line and a main base; fitting radio compasses to Meteors; finding a role for the aircraft; his leaving 77 Squadron to prepare Mustangs for return to Australia; comparing the Meteor with the Mig-15; returning to Australia by sea with the Mustangs; arrival in Sydney; 77 Squadron’s return to Australia and being married for over fifty years.

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