Korean War Aerial Victory Credits

Headquarters Far East Air Forces (HQ FEAF), the organization responsible for awarding victory credits during the Korean Conflict, required proof of the destruction of enemy aircraft before issuing general orders to confirm claims. This proof usually consisted of witness statements, gun camera film, or the sighting of aircraft wreckage.

At first, Far East Air Forces applied standards more liberal than those of World War II, counting destruction of enemy aircraft on the ground, and granting credit to members of other services even if they did not belong to Air Force units. The ground credits have been deleted from the current list, but credits for non-USAF members remain if they were flying USAF aircraft with USAF units at the time of their victories.

Aerial victory credits were not counted for gunners aboard bombers during World War II because of the impossibility of accurately determining who shot down an aircraft near a large formation. During the Korean War, however, official credits were awarded to B-29 gunners because a typical bomber formation during that war consisted of only four aircraft, with a maximum of four gunners per airplane, and their claims could be verified.

Following the policy used for apportioning victory credits in World War II, FEAF divided into fractions each credit awarded to more than one flyer. For example, if two fighter pilots shot down the same airplane, each received a half credit. Korean victory credits were never divided among more than two men.

The Korean list contains, in addition to the World War II categories, data on the type of enemy aircraft destroyed, the type of American aircraft flown, and the number of the FEAF general order that confirmed each victory. Abbreviations for some of the categories are:

Rank: A1C, airman first class; CPL, corporal; SGT, sergeant; SSG, staff sergeant; 2LT, second lieutenant; 1LT, first lieutenant; CPT, captain; MAJ, major; LTC, lieutenant colonel; COL, colonel.

Unit Designation: SQ, squadron; GP, group; WG, wing.

Crew Position: P, pilot; G, gunner.