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War in Context

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Korean Veterans Memorial Association donated this model casting to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in March 2000. A 13-foot tall granite statue based on this model and representing all the services stands in nearby downtown Dayton. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Korean Veterans Memorial Association donated this model casting to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in March 2000. A 13-foot tall granite statue based on this model and representing all the services stands in nearby downtown Dayton. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Airman John Cook takes one last look back before leaving Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Airman John Cook takes one last look back before leaving Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Welcome home! (U.S. Air Force photo)

Welcome home! (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cemetery for war dead in South Korea. Thanks to the sacrifice of South Korean, American and UN allied troops, South Korea remained free. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cemetery for war dead in South Korea. Thanks to the sacrifice of South Korean, American and UN allied troops, South Korea remained free. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This "Book of Remembrance" lists all U.S. Air Force members who lost their lives in the Korean War. (U.S. Air Force photo).

This "Book of Remembrance" lists all U.S. Air Force members who lost their lives in the Korean War. (U.S. Air Force photo).

The Korean Veterans Memorial Association donated this model casting to the Museum in March 2000. A 13-foot tall granite statue based on this model and representing all the services stands in nearby downtown Dayton. (U.S. Air Force photo).

The Korean Veterans Memorial Association donated this model casting to the Museum in March 2000. A 13-foot tall granite statue based on this model and representing all the services stands in nearby downtown Dayton. (U.S. Air Force photo).

"Yours is now the role of watchfulness and preparedness, for you must continue to be the most vigilant and best prepared of all the forces that guard the safety of Americans and the security of the free world."
- Gen. Nathan F. Twining, USAF Chief of Staff, to Far East Air Forces Airmen at the end of the Korean War

American and international resolve to prevent a communist takeover of South Korea set the stage for future events-- and eventual victory -- in the Cold War. South Korea remained independent and is today a vibrant, well developed democratic nation. Air Force efforts and Airmen's sacrifices in the Korean War played an important part in proving the USAF as an independent service and winning the Cold War.


By the end of the Korean War in 1953, the Air Force had become a modern war-fighting force. The young USAF firmly established itself as a vital, capable armed service as new tactics, equipment, and aircraft gave air power a more flexible role and spurred research and development. The Korean War also demonstrated the need for a larger Air Force to handle Cold War demands, leading to important growth in the following years.

With the Air Force's remarkable achievements in Korea came sacrifice. In addition to the 1,238 USAF personnel killed in hostile action during the Korean War, a further 314 died while serving in the Korean theater. Yet another 368 airmen were wounded and 910 are still missing. In total, more than 36,000 Americans lost their lives serving in Korea.

Exhibit Case:
This "Book of Remembrance" lists all U.S. Air Force members who lost their lives in the Korean War. It was presented to the Museum in 1979 by the Korean War Allies Association. A copy is available for visitor review at the reception desk in the lobby.

 The Korean Veterans Memorial Association donated this model casting to the Museum in March 2000. A 13-foot tall granite statue based on this model and representing all the services stands in nearby downtown Dayton, Ohio.

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