In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean War, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Historian commissioned the Research Division, Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB), Alabama, to compile this significant events chronology of USAF military operations in the Korean Theater. The chronology points out the relationship of these operations to the land battle, naval operations, and important political and diplomatic events. It also identifies such USAF historical firsts as the first all-jet air battle, the introduction of new weapons systems, and the initiation of tactics, techniques, or procedures that had a major impact on later air operations. The chronology also identifies important people, such as key commanders, recipients of the Medal of Honor, and aces. Finally, it attempts to summarize those USAF events in Korea that best illustrate the air war and the application of airpower in the theater.
To present the information most effectively, the chronology offers narrative monthly summaries followed by daily entries of significant events. Each daily entry uses the local date, which in the theater is one day later than in the United States. Two dates separated by a hyphen indicates that the entry covers events from one date through the second date. Two dates separated by a slash indicate the events occur during night hours. Each event includes an explanation of its significance or correlates to information in the monthly introduction.
The information in the entries came mostly from primary sources available at the AFHRA, including organizational histories, intelligence summaries, digests, and operational statements of U.S. Far East Command (FEC), Far East Air Forces (FEAF), Fifth Air Force, FEAF Bomber Command, FEAF Combat Cargo Command (Provisional), and the 315 Air Division (Combat Cargo). Sometimes, wing and group histories provided additional information. The researchers also consulted numerous secondary sources, usually to confirm the most significant events of the air war in Korea.