When the film “The Marine Corps and Close Air Support” was produced the United States and the United Nations were still embroiled in the Korean War. But the subject matter was well understood by the Marines. Having undertaken and then mastered close air support (CAS) during World War II in the Pacific, Marine aviation in Korea wasn’t that different from its zenith only five years before. Some of the aircraft were new, but many of the personnel were the same. This film, uploaded by YouTuber PeriscopeFilm, takes a look at the Marines delivering ordnance for CAS.
By the time the Korean War began the Marines were still flying later variants of Vought’s F-4U Corsair. As seen in the film, Leatherneck Corsairs played a large role in Marine CAS efforts in Korea. New to the Marine Corps arsenal for Korea were the Douglas AD Skyraider (also known as the Able Dog) and the Grumman F9F Panther jet-powered fighter-bomber. These three aircraft flew the majority of Marine CAS sorties. VMA-223 Bulldogs F9Fs are featured in the film. A couple of major-league baseball players served in Korea with the Marines. Both Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) Captain Gerald F. “Gerry” Coleman of the New York Yankees and USMCR Captain Theodore S. “Ted” Williams of the Boston Red Sox flew CAS missions in Korea. Coleman flew Corsairs with VMA-323 Death Rattlers and Williams piloted Panthers with VMF-311 Tomcats.