A brief history of the 502 TCG




When the Korean War broke out the U.S. Air Force's only Tactical Control Group (TCG) was the 502nd stationed at Pope AFB,N.C.
To meet the emergency in the theater, the Fifth Air Force organized the 6132nd Tactical Air Control Squadron (later Group), which established a full scale Tactical Air Control Center (TACC) at Taegu, South Korea on 23 July 1950. Less than three months later, the 502nd moved to Korea and in October 1950 it replaced the 6132nd in the mission of directing tactical air operations in Korea. Through it's 605th Tactical Control Squadron, the group operated the TACC and worked with the U.S. Army in a Joint Operations Center (JOC), which used stationary and mobile radar and communications equipment to guide aircraft on close air support missions. The group also deployed Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP), which accompanied ground units to communicate with USAF strike aircraft. The TACPs followed advancing UN troops into North Korea in October and November of 1950, but the Chinese Communist offensive soon overran several of them. The 502nd headquarters and the TACC which operated in Seoul in November and part of December were forced to return to Taegu at the end of the year. During the spring and summer of 1951, the 502nd directed night bombing of enemy targets, including troop concentrations, supply dumps, and motor convoys. As UN ground forces drove the enemy back across the 38th parallel the group, TACC and JOC return to Seoul in June. In October the 502nd set up a communications station 100 miles behind the enemy lines on Cho-do island, three miles off the North Korean coast. From this location the detachment guided UN fighters against enemy airplanes in Mig Alley, bombers against strategic targets along the Yalu River, and search and rescue aircraft toward survivors who had ditched at sea. On 6 June 1952, the 502nd was instrumental in the destruction of none Mig-15 aircraft through highly effective control procedures used to maneuver F-86 Sabers into attack positions. The following month, the 502nd guided warplanes in devastating attacks on enemy troop formations which blunted communist offensives until the Korean truce in July 1953.


<>                          COMPONENTS

605th Tactical Control Squadron: 1950 through 1953
606th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron: 1950 through 1953
607th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron: 1950 through 1953
608th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron: November 2, 1951 through 1953
6132nd Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron: 9  October 1950 through 2 November 1951
1st Shoran Beacon Unit (later Squadron): 27 September 1950 through 1 December 1950 and 6 September 1952 through 1953

                      

                               LOCATIONS

Pusan, South Korea---24 September 1950 through 3 October 1950
Taegu, South Korea---3 October 1950 through 11 October 1950
Seoul, South Korea---11 October 1950 through 20 December 1950.
Taegu, South Korea---20 December 1950 through 15  June 1951
Seoul, South Korea---15  June 1951 until the end on the war.
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               COMMANDING OFFICERS

The 502nd had five commanding officers during the war
Col. Wm. P. McBride-------July 1950 through 18 February 1951
Col. Henry Rieva------------18 February 1951 through 3 May 1952
Col. Francis R Delaney------3 May 1952 through 25 July 1952
Col. Ernest J. White, Jr.-----25 July 1952 through 15 June 1953
Col. Hugh C. Moore--------15 June 1953 until the unit left Korea

                             AWARDS

During the three years in Korea the 502nd distinguished itself in many ways and was awarded:
Two Presidential Distinguished Unit Citations for actions during:
    3 November 1950 through 21 April 1951
     1 May 1952 through 30 November 1952

Three Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for the periods of:
     16 September 1950 through 25 January 1951
     25 January 1951 through 31 March 1952
     1 October 1952 through 27 July1953

Nine Campaign Streamers
                     1---UN Offensive
                     2---CCF Intervention
                     3---First UN Counteroffensive
                     4---CCF Spring Offensive
                     5---UN Summer - Fall Offensive
                     6---Second Korean Winter
                     7---Korea, Summer - Fall 1952
                     8---Third Korean Winter 1953
                     9---Korea, Summer 1953