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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --

USS Valley Forge (CV-45), 1946-1971 --
First Korean War Deployment, May - December 1950 --
Air Operations on Board the Ship

When the Korean War began on 25 June 1950, USS Valley Forge was in the South China Sea. After moving north, she began air attacks on 3 July and continued on the 4th, hitting airfields and other facilities in western North Korea. Early combat operations were restricted by ammunition shortages and a need to protect the Taiwan Strait, so her next series of strikes did not begin until 18 July. Thereafter, Valley Forge regularly launched her planes against enemy targets, both for close air support of troops on the ground and to attack North Korean communications and structures beyond the front lines.

For the war's first month, Valley Forge was the only U.S. carrier in the war zone, though her efforts were much assisted by the British light carrier HMS Triumph. In late July and early August another U.S. fleet carrier and two escort carriers arrived, giving the hard-working "Happy Valley" badly needed support and relief. She continued war operations until 19 November 1950, flying a deployment total of over 5000 combat sorties and delivering some 2000 tons of ordnance. Her first war tour completed, Valley Forge steamed back to the U.S. for overhaul, arriving at San Diego on 1 December.

This page features images of air operations on board USS Valley Forge's during May-December 1950, and provides links to related views.

For more pictures of Valley Forge's activities during the first months of the Korean War, see:

  • USS Valley Forge -- First Korean War Deployment, May-December 1950 -- Air Strikes Against Korean Targets and
  • USS Valley Forge -- First Korean War Deployment, May-December 1950 -- Views Taken in Port.

    For links to further views of Valley Forge's activities and operations in 1950-53, see:
    USS Valley Forge -- Korean War Era Actions and Activities -- Selected Views


    For links to additional views related to USS Valley Forge, see:
    USS Valley Forge (CV/CVA/CVS-45 and LPH-8) -- Selected Views.

    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Photo #: 80-G-428152

    Grumman F9F-3 "Panther",

    of Fighter Squadron 52 (VF-52)

    Taxies forward on USS Valley Forge (CV-45) to be catapulted for strikes on targets along the east coast of Korea, 19 July 1950.
    Note details of the ship's island, including scoreboard at left.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 139KB; 740 x 620 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     
    Photo #: NH 96979

    USS Valley Forge (CV-45)


    A Vought F4U-4B fighter is fueled and armed with 5-inch rockets, prior to strikes against targets on the Korean east coast, 19 July 1950.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 110KB; 610 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96998

    Captain David Booker, USMC
    (left)

    "Mans his aerial reconnaissance plane on flight deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier with the Seventh Fleet."
    Quoted caption was released with this photo on 19 July 1950.
    If the view was taken at about that time, the carrier would be USS Valley Forge (CV-45), then the only 7th Fleet carrier, which was engaged in early Korean War operations.
    Capt. Booker's plane is a Vought F4U-5P "Corsair". Note its camera hatch low on the fuselage behind the cockpit.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 120KB; 605 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96982

    Lieutenant (Junior Grade) W. Boyd Muncie


    Disembarks from a H03S helicopter, upon his return to USS Valley Forge (CV-45) on 19 July 1950, following his rescue from the Sea of Japan by an amphibian "Sea Otter" from HMS Triumph. The first Naval Aviator to be shot down by North Korean anti-aircraft fire, he spent two and a half hours in the water.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 103KB; 600 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96976

    USS Valley Forge (CV-45)


    Flight deck crewmen wheel carts of rockets past a Vought F4U-4B fighter, while arming planes for strikes against North Korean targets in July 1950.
    This plane is Bureau # 97503.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96978

    USS Valley Forge (CV-45)


    Flight deck tractors tow Grumman F9F "Panther" fighters forward on the carrier's flight deck, in preparation for catapulting them off to attack North Korean targets, July 1950.
    This photograph was released for publication on 21 July 1950. Valley Forge had launched air strikes on 3-4 July and 18-19 July.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 121KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     

    For more pictures of Valley Forge's activities during the first months of the Korean War, see:

  • USS Valley Forge -- First Korean War Deployment, May-December 1950 -- Air Strikes Against Korean Targets and
  • USS Valley Forge -- First Korean War Deployment, May-December 1950 -- Views Taken in Port.

    For links to further views of Valley Forge's activities and operations in 1950-53, see:
    USS Valley Forge -- Korean War Era Actions and Activities -- Selected Views


    For links to additional views related to USS Valley Forge, see:
    USS Valley Forge (CV/CVA/CVS-45 and LPH-8) -- Selected Views.


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


    Return to Naval Historical Center home page.

    New image added 27 September 1999