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c/n 218
51-16468 garners attention after forced landing on river bed near Osan, South Korea.
Photo: USAF © June 1969 - Tom Neis

c/n 218

51-16468

x

51-16468 USAF #1037. L-20A No: 38. Command AF-1. Available 29-Feb-1952. Accepted 06-Mar-1952. Delivered 19-Mar-1952. Built as L-20A and re designated U-6A in Oct-1962

Note: Possibly one of the mystery airframes, VN-1286.

Fate unknown

USAF history

51-16468 was made available to the AMO (Air Material Overseas) unit of the USAF at Downsview on 29-Feb-1952 & delivered from Toronto AMO to the Air Material Command at Norton AFB from 19-Mar-1952 until delivered to the Far East Air Force at Kisarazu AFB close by Tokyo Bay in Japan on the 02-Jun-1952 and allocated to the 6400th Air Depot Wing and then the 6408th Maintenance Group. This delivery could have been by air or by sea, as most of the fighter aircraft destined for the Korean War were delivered here as Kisarazu acted as a reception, refurbishment and repair base. A short six day visit to 6408th (Maintenance Unit) followed before being allocated to the 10th Liaison Squadron on 22-Jul-1952 based at Yong Dong Po, South Korea and Osan ni until 01-Nov-1954. On 13th Feb 1953 at Chunchon (K-47) Korea, the aircraft suffered category 5 damage (effectively destroyed) when it encountered engine failure on take-off, when attached to the 10th Liaison Squadron based at Seoul, Korea. The pilot was Richard A. Gray.

Staying at Osan-ni it moved between the 6171st  Air Base Wing of the 5th Air Force , 01-Nov-1954 – 10-Nov-1954 and the 10th Liaison Squadron until 15-Mar-1955 when it went to the 58th Fighter Bomber Wing from the 15-Mar-1955 - 01-Jan-1956. There followed a visit to the Northern Air Material Area Pacific, at the Showa Aircraft Factory, Tachikawa AFB in Japan, between 01-Jan-1956 - 06-Feb-1956 before moving back to Osan ni and the 58th Fighter Bomber Wing from 06-Feb-1956 until 08-Oct-1957. The Far East Air Force was re designated Pacific Air Force Command in 1957.

Emblem of 58th FB Wing

The aircraft moved to the 5th Air Force, 6314th Air Base Wing from the 08-Oct-1957 until 20-Jan-1961 with its main base at Osan ni, later simply Osan, and also at other Air Force Bases on the South Korean peninsula, namely Taegu, Kunsan and Kimpo. Later it transferred to the 6314th Support Sqd at Osan before a move to the Air Force Logistics Command at Taegu Au in Mar-1963.

Emblem of the 6314th Support Sqd.

The aircraft was re-designated as a U-6A in early 1962. From Mar-1963 it was at Taegu with the Air Force Logistics Command.

Further information to be researched on further microfilm.