With the recent focus on North Korea, perhaps this is a good time to have a look at the collection of books we have available in our Museum’s Library:
First, let’s have a look at the area at the time:
From the publishers of Legion Magazine, Canada’s Ultimate Story - Korea, the Forgotten War looks at the Canadian involvement in this war. The magazine includes photos, relevant texts, and quotes from interviews with Korean War Veterans, “The people were starving. When you are supplying rations to a large number of men surpluses build up. We would give the surplus to the refugees - and felt very good about it.” (Marcel Richard)
The Directorate of History and Heritage, DND, published Canada and the Korean War. The book not only shares the history of the times, but also includes maps, photographs, art work, and individual stories of those involved.
Deadlock in Korea was written by Ted Barris. “Between 1950 and 1953, nearly 30,000 Canadian volunteers joined the effort to contain communist incursions into South Korea and support the fledgling United Nations. All of the services were there and served with distinction… The book is considered a fascinating, sometimes heart stopping look at Canada’s forces in a war that history forgot.”
Graham Thomas is the author of Furies and Fireflies Over Korea - the Story of the Men of the Fleet Air Arm, RAF and Commonwealth who Defended South Korea 1950 - 1953. “On 25 June, 1950, five years after the free world had finished a dreadful and terrible war against fascist tyranny, the Communist armies of North Korea struck without warning across the border into South Korea.
Everyone was caught by surprise and in the air only US jets initially resisted the wave upon wave of Russian-built Yak and IL-10 Stormovik attacks. The UN Security Council called on its members to act and sixteen nations did, with Britain sending aircraft carriers…piston-engined Sea Fury fighters and Fairey Firefly fighter-bombers…
The seeds of Cold War would firmly take root during the Korean War. Against this background and the odds British and Australian pilots, ably assisted by their groundcrew, flew with distinction and honour… this is their story.”
Co-authored by Robert Dorr and Warren Thompson, Korean Air War gives the reader a detailed look at each year from 1950 - 1953. It’s a “… chronicle of the air battles over Korea… part narrative history and part oral history, this book presents a serious, blow-by-blow account of allied air operations, peppered with dramatic, real-life combat stories told by the American, Australian, British, and South African combat pilots who were there.
It’s also a stunning pictorial record with … photos of the planes, the pilots and crews, the nose art and markings, the bases and aircraft carriers, most of which are from the personal photo archives of Korean War veterans.”
Combat Over Korea was written by Philip Chinnery. It “… contains a superb selection of Allied airmen’s first-hand operational experiences during this too often neglected war. These include aerial combat between fighters, a B-29 Superfortress bomber ditching in the sea and C-54 cargo plane being attacked by North Korean fighters… other accounts tell of hair-raising escapades after being shot down. While a number miraculously avoided capture, thanks to special rescue missions involving great skill and daring, many were less lucky. Their treatment by a merciless enemy in captivity was all too often brutal and very few escaped.”
Air War Over Korea, by Robert Jackson, is “… a story of men and courage of World War II veterans, many of them already aces, volunteering for combat duty in the cockpit of a jet and proving their worth day after day in the stratosphere against the cream of Russia’s fighter planes. It is the story of the men who flew the United Nations’ ‘workhorses’ - the Thunderjets, Shooting Stars, Panthers, Corsairs and Skyraiders, the B-29 crews who sacrificed themselves in MIG Alley during the first year of the war, and of the Meteor pilots of No. 77 Squadron RAAF, whose first encounters with the MIG-15 proved disastrous. It is the story of individuality - of cold, ruthless skill that turned fighter pilots into jet aces.”