Latest Edition: Spring 2017
Usually, when creating with writing, it is always imperative to answer the 6 basic questions of who, what, when, where, why and how. In dealing with the Korean War, however, much of this early period Naval Air information was never really researched, collated and stored in anything like a series of concise repositories. Instead, it’s spread all over the place like popcorn when you take the lid off the pot before it’s done. When I lay out the operational records of the USS Boxer (CV- 21), VA-65 and Carrier Air Group 2 (CVG-2) for the period 15 Sept to 21 Oct 1950 the data omissions are evident. They all contain some, but never all of the pertinent data. You never find anything like “Four AD-4 of VA-65 struck a factory near Pyongyang with 500 lb GP bombs and HVAR causing significant damage.” For that, you need to dig in to the records, books and the web, and I mean dig deep in order to put it together, and it will still be incomplete.
For WWII and Vietnam you can find target info, weather or sea state, accurate strike composition data, enemy anti-air activities or ground dispositions, BDAs; the lot of it. But for the 50’s? Good luck. But why? Names are hardly ever mentioned, unless to record a pilot MIA/KIA. The more I dig, the more I sense a reluctance to record events as they are happening. Naval records requirements aside the immediacy of the actions and their historical importance seems to be ignored. I discussed this aspect with Michelle one night. One opinion is that this lack of information was intentionally left out or disseminated across various venues due to “Red Fear”: the anxiety that the godless commies could somehow lay their hands on this stuff and use it against us. Back then “Red Fear” was very real. In 1950 Senator Joe McCarthy took Washington by storm with his aggressive, bulldog approach against the “Red Menace” accusing practically everybody of being a closet commie. Unfortunately the heartache he caused with his baseless, groundless and tactless claims lasted for years and the term “McCarthyism” (the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence) entered the lexicon of the American political system.