By an Aussie Observer, 1RAR/2RAR
Mosquito Exile 3 - this is Acme Eleven dash one (11-1) in-bound with four
chicks at angels one five.
( JARGON -? Maybe so, let's call it 'AIR-SPEAK'.
Roger Acme 11-1 RV over Papa San at 678470 and circle.
This is the link-up between four carrier based F9F Panther Jets and their
seeing-eye dog - the Mosquito - a T-6 Harvard WW11 trainer aircraft. Armed
with 12 White Phosphorus Smoke rockets, for target marking. Crewed by an
American pilot and army observer, with occasional 'intruding' UK, NZ,
Canadian, or Australian Observers.
Based at K47 Chunchon, central Korea,the Mosquitos flew a dawn to dusk
vigil accross the Chinese front-line positions; and behind them to a depth
of twelve miles.
Their role - to execute a pre-mission briefing, respond to T.A.C.P.
(Tactical air control party), or seek targets of opportunity before
directing the ensuing air-strike.
Enemy Artillery and Mortar positions, Bunkers, Personal shelters, trucks,
troops, tanks, and anti-aircraft sites. They were all constantly under
barrage from the air. Ground and carrier based F84 Thunderjets, F86
Sabres, F9F Panthers, A.D. Skyraiders and F4U Corsairs were on constant
stand-by to answer the T.A.C.P./ Mosquito.
Let us now return to the fighter-bomber Flight Leader.
Acme 11-1 Exile 3. Follow the S/E ridge of Papa San to the river.
You will see that it curves into a Dogs-Head - map referance 687429.
Your target is on that ridge 400 metres N/W of the other Dogs-Head.
Heavy Mortar position, Bunkers, personal shelters.--Repeat map referance
684433. Each aircraft acknowledge.
Acme 11 Roger 1-2-3-4. __ Acme Exile 3, watch target area for coloured
High winds can dissipate smoke quickly, making it difficult to retain
target identification. In such cases the Mosquito completes the
task-diving through the concentrated ACK-ACK and small arms fire. Then to
release its rockets before scampering back over friendly real estate. (
Tender memories of those red 'Golf-balls' zapping past the canopy.)
Throughout this procedure the Mosquito pilot is twisting, turning and
jinking, evading the flak. The Observer is the radio man/map reader, he
requests coloured smoke through the T.A.C.P. who in turn contact the
Yellow 'Splash on the Marking Round'- it's on target.
Acme 11 Exile 3 -- all report sighting. Roger 1-2-3-4.
It is now the jets turn.
Acme 11 - Exile 3. Commence dive-bombing run N/E to S/W heading towards
Friendlies T shaped white ground panels on nearest Friendly position 1000
metres South. Break right over enemy on bomb release then left over our
lines. Your nearest emergency L strip is 1800 metres S/W. Acme 11 Roger
1-2-3-4. Stand by for Flak suppression.
Acme 11 Exile 3 You're clear to roll.
RogerAcme 11- 1 is rollin-in. Acme 11 Exile 3 -- I have you in sight. 2
bombs gone - break right - you're cleared to break left.
Wowee!! That Flak was heavy!
Exile 3 Nice flying Acme 11-1, right on target.
Acme 11-2 Exile 3,stand by - take it 100 metres up the slope.
Acme 11-2 Roger- I'm rolling. AND SO ON.
The more intrepid fighter/bomber crews on occasions, sought permission to
strafe if cleared. The quite spectacular sight of two aircraft travelling
at 450 knots - almost abreast - on the deck - their .50 cals playing a
merry tune, evoked quite some interest.
The finale -- A post strike reconnaissance by the Mosquito, completing a
damage assessment and report, to both the Flight Leader and the T.A.C.P.
To be attached to the 6148 Tactical Control Squadron ( the Mosquitos )
from April 5th. to July 5th. 1953, and to complete 76 missions in that
time was indeed a priviledge.
Four Australians enjoyed the
experience -- two survive today.
||I knew and flew with some top pilots -
fearless - fun loving Americans many of whom remain friends. For a young
Infantry man, it was a unique posting, fully testing my map reading,
target identification and radio skills.
Gus Breen Royal Australian Regiment.
A.E. "Gus" Breen was educated at Waverley College, Sydney, 1942-47. He graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in December 1951 and was allocated to the Corps of Infantry. Posted to 1 RAR Korea as a Platoon Commander (Lieutenant) he saw further service with 2 RAR when it relieved 1 RAR. He was seconded to the 6148 Tactical Control Squadron, 5 USAF, April 1953 as an Aerial Observer.
For his Korea War service Gus was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (USA) and the Air Medal (USA).