91 Composite Wing RAAF

Although 77 Squadron was the best known RAAF unit that served in the Korean War, it was not the only one. 30 Communications Flight, 491 (Maintenance) Squadron, and 391 (Base) Squadron also participatd in the war. In October 1950 all RAAF units attached to the United Nations Command in Korea were regrouped into the newly formed 91 (Composite) Wing. With the exception of 77 Sqaudron, which flew combat missions, the wing’s other squadrons were based at Iwakuni in Japan.

The wing was essentially an administrative unit, however one of the important tasks was evacuating sick and wounded Commonwealth personnel from Korea to Japan. From January 1951 to December 1953 the wing evacuated 12,762 medical evacuations. Of these, the wing transported 728 evacuees to Australia and 1530 to the United Kingdom.

In 1953, after the armistice had been in force long enough to show it would be effective, the Australain government began taking the first steps to withdraw its forces from Korea: the 1st Commonwealth Division was reduced to a brigade group; the naval commitment was reduced to four vessels; and the RAAF was virtually completely withdrawn, leaving only a few transport aircarft. The wing’s squadrons and aircraft were consequently returned to Japan. Most RAAF units returned to Australia in late 1954 and early 1955. 91 Wing was disbanded at Iwakuni on 30 April 1955.

Glossary

Equipment

Battle Honours

  • nil

Casualties

  • 1 died

For more information please see the Roll of Honour and Korean War Nominal Roll (external website) databases.

Commanding Officers

Decorations

  • 1 OBE
  • 2 Foreign awards

For more information please see Honours and Awards database

References

  • AWM64/6/10: Unit history sheets, 91 Composite Wing RAAF
  • O'Neill, Robert J. (Robert John), 1936-, Official History, Korea Vol.II: Australia in the Korean War 1950-53. Volume 2, Combat operations, (Canberra : Australian War Memorial and the Australian Govt. Pub. Service, 1985)
  • Out in the cold : Australia's involvement in the Korean War 1950-53., (Canberra : Commemerative Program, Department of Veterans' Affairs, c2000)
  • Stephens, Alan, The Australian centenary history of defence Vol. 2, The Royal Australian Air Force, (Melbourne : Oxford University Press, 2001)