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13th squadron logo

The 13th Tigers
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When I checked into the 13th in December 1951 I was told, "It ain't much of a war but it's the best we got." A little humor is always welcome but it was misplaced. It was a helluva war. It was not on the grand scale of the global conflict of five years before, but it was awful.

People may debate about statistics, but the casualties in three years in Korea were almost as bad as 12 years in Vietnam.

Rob Fortney
"Rob Fortney"
Leroy Bain
"Leroy Bain"
There was a lot of anger among some of the flying personnel because of the way it was fought. To a large extent it was fought with retreads from the "big war" and new 2nd Lieutenants.

The 2nd Lieutenants expected to be there but the retreads, Reservists involuntarily recalled to active duty, did not. There are two types of commissions:

Regular - like you get from 4 years at West Point, and Reserve - like you get from the Aviation Cadet Program, or ROTC, or the "90 day Wonder" of OCS (Officer Candidate School).

2nd Lieutenants
"2nd Lieutenants"
Wendell Hague and Donald Soefker
"Wendell Hague & Donald Soefker"
Tony Curto
"Tony Curto"

When the Reservists were separated out of WW II (not discharged) they went home and thought they were through with the military. NOT SO. They found they had "indefinite" commissions. They served at the pleasure and direction of the President and it pleased the President that they come back and fight another war.

In the opening days of the war the two light bomber squadrons, the 8th and the 13th, on occupation duty in Japan, were woefully under strength.

Fitz Fulton John Powers Earl Davis
"Fitz Fulton"
"John Powers"
"Earl Davis"

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