543d Tactical Support Group - History

History

At the outset of the Korean War, the only tactical reconnaissance squadron (TRS) available in the Far East, the 8th TRS began flying RF-80 daylight reconnaissance missions over Korea. A few days before the Inchon landings in September 1950, it provided photography for the U.S. Navy to show high- and low-tide heights of the sea walls and to orient landing crews. Meanwhile, the 162nd TRS, flying RB-26s, and the photo-processing 363rd Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (RTS) moved from Langley AFB Virginia to Japan and began operations in August. Requests for photo reconnaissance were so extensive that in September Far East Air Forces activated a temporary unit, the 543d Tactical Support Group (TSG) to control the reconnaissance squadrons already engaged and to form a visual reconnaissance squadron. Except for the 45th TRS, the group's headquarters and tactical squadrons moved to Korea in early October. It encountered difficulties in command arrangements, physical separation from the supporting 363rd RTS, and other problems. Then, the Chinese intervention required temporary withdrawal to Japan in December of all but advanced echelons. In late December the 45th TRS began operations with T-6s and F-51s.

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