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Air-to-ground support

Close support from our fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons gave our troops at the sharp end far greater fire power than the enemy, helping enable Eighth Army to stop the CCF 5th Campaign.

Phases of CCF War Campaign

Fire and Courage

Savagely effective air-to-ground support was available to 1stMarDiv and other UN forces from Corsairs on the Aircraft Carrier Sicily.

One of the greatest strengths of the UN ground forces was the close support given them by Air Force and Marine fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons. The ability to call in napalm and rocket strikes on enemy forces who posed significant and immediate tactical threats gave UN infantry far greater hitting power than equal numbers of the enemy, and contributed to the growing confidence with which Eighth Army first stopped the CCF 5th Campaign, and then smashed it into retreat.

Truman virtually turned the United States Marine Corps into a police force for the Navy after WWII. Once the reality of Soviet policies compelled Truman to realize the wishful thinking of his own, Marine Reserves and coordinated close air support became indispensable in fighting the war to a stand-still, about where it began.

These Marine Corsair fighters are being loaded with 5-inch rockets and incendiary bombs. Aircraft carriers such as the Boxer, and the Sicily from which these Corsairs operated, provided fast-reaction ground support for our infantry forces, as well as striking the enemy transport and supply lines.

The Marines could also deploy infantry from the Sicily, via helicopters, or relieve squads after hard action. Marine units were the Korean War's first "Vertical Envelopment" forces.

The air-mobility of our forces is just one example of the overall capability we had for rapidly moving large numbers of infantry into tactically effective positions, with a minimum of reduction of their fighting capability through fatigue. The CCF did indeed often trap us on roads, and destroy blocked convoys, but we learned to maintain control of the terrain and this was a crucial factor in defeating the CCF 5th Campaign.

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