Richard Cresswell DFC as the squadron leader Commanding Officer No 77 (Fighter) Squadron RAAF, Korea 1950-1951, interviewed by Dr Chris Clark

Accession Number S02686
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 30 min
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; BASF SM 468; 15/16 ips/2.4 cm.s; stereo; 10 inch NAB
Maker Australian War Memorial
Date made 8 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

Cresswell speaks of his academic and military background including Second World War service in the South West Pacific area primarily as a fighter pilot; his role as Commanding Officer No 21 (Citizens Air Force) Squadron to 1950; his impressions of the post-Second World War Air Force in particular fighter squadrons; knowing little of the start of the Korean War; his posting to command No 77 (Fighter) Squadron operating over Korea from Iwakuni in Japan; the operational effectiveness of No 77 (Fighter) Squadron flying North American Mustang aircraft; his posting as commanding officer in the rank of squadron leader; deployment to Pohang in South Korea with living conditions; redeployment to Hamhung in North Korea to encounter severe winter weather; tasking for operations by 5th United States Air Force (USAF); limitations of not having a RAAF fighter OTU (Operational Training Unit); problems with inexperienced aircrew postings yet the outstanding performance of ground crew; aircraft serviceability and introduction of the Gloster Meteor jet aircraft; engagement of advancing Chinese Army units and formations; withdrawal from Hamhung because of the Chinese advance; aircrew preference for the North American Sabre jet aircraft; instrument flying in the Korean environment; withdrawal from operations in Korea to Iwakuni for conversion to the Gloster Meteor; problems of the Meteor operationally and technically; reposting to Australia as Staff Officer Fighter Operations with commitment to operational training for fighter pilots; posting selections of commanding officers for No 77 Squadron; the significance of the Korean War experience for the RAAF; clothing, rations, transport and accommodation assistance by the USAF; recreational facilities and entertainment; heating water for ablutions in Korea; higher retired RAAF 'ranks' who flew in No 77 Squadron.

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