F-80 Shooting Star Units of the Korean War cover


A fully illustrated study of the US Korean War fighter that fought in the first ever jet-versus-jet engagement in the history of aviation.

Filled with first-hand accounts and rare color photographs taken by the veterans themselves, this is the engrossing story of the pioneering F-80 Shooting Star.

Built within a 180-day time limit in 1943, the F-80 Shooting Star first saw service in Italy in the final year of World War 2, and consequently was sent to bases in the US, Europe and the Far East after VJ Day. It was the latter groups based in Japan that initially bore the brunt of the early fighting in Korea, engaging MiG-15s in the world's first jet-versus-jet combat.

Flown principally by the 8th and 49th Fighter Bomber Wings, the F-80 served until the end of the war, completing an astonishing 98,515 combat sorties, shooting down 17 aircraft (including three of the vastly superior MiG-15s), dropping over 33,000 tons of bombs, and firing over 80,000 air-to-ground rockets. Aside from the fighter-bomber Shooting Stars, the ultra-rare, but heavily used, photo-reconnaissance RF-80A saw extensive use in the frontline in Korea as a replacement for the vulnerable RF-51D.

Table of Contents

Chapter One:
PACAF pre-war
Chapter Two
Into combat from Japan – first 60 days of the war
Chapter Three
Flying from South Korea – fighting MiGs over the Yalu
Chapter Four
8th, 35th and 49th Fighter Bomber Wings take the strain
Chapter Five
Replaced by the F-86 in the fighter role – only fighter-bombers now
Chapter Six:
Photo-recce RF-80s at War

Product details

Published Jun 18 2019
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472829054
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 20 b/w; 60 col
Dimensions 248 x 184 mm
Series Combat Aircraft
Short code COM 128
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Warren Thompson

Warren Thompson has been an avid military aviati…

Cover illustrator

Gareth Hector

Gareth Hector is a digital artist of international…


Jim Laurier

Jim Laurier is a native of New England and lives i…


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