Originally known as the P-51 Mustang, this North American single-seat fighter jet got its fame from serving in WWII. The jet could reach speeds of 435 miles/hr and was best known for exporting bombers in raids over Europe. By the time the Korean War broke out, the Mustang was changed to the F-51D Mustang and was shipped out to aid the Republic of Korea. The aircraft was used by the USAF, South African Air Force, and the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF).
During the early phases of the Korean War, many problems arose in the Korean airfields as the aircrafts and crew were dealing with humid summer heat as engines and fuel lines would clog and food was scarce. In addition, planning attacks was difficult as civilian refugees swarmed the same roads as the North Korean troops.
(South Korean refugees escaping the battle area.)
(Top: USAF P-51 Mustang / Bottom: ROKAF F-51D Mustang)
This fighter jet served as a major contributor in counterattacking North Korea’s offense. It was the ideal aircraft for support missions and was highly reliable due to its long range performance and had a higher operation success rate than most modern fighter jets of its time. During the Korean War, the F-51D performed 62,607 support combat missions and lost 351. The aircraft continued to be used in missions by the USAF and the ROKAF units until 1953. The Mustang officially retired from Korean service by 1957.
Our Air Force design serves as a remembrance of the countless sacrifices made during the Korean War as well as symbolizes the strong bond between the US and South Korea. The imagery on the back of our design references the insignia found on the F-51. Our Air Force design is available in Tees and Double Zip Up Hoodie.