Harrison Thyng

Harrison Thyng - Stories

Korean War · US Air Force

USAF Aces of Two Wars


    Many American pilots with WWII experience fought in Korea. Francis S. Gabreski, Vermont Garrison and Harrison R. Thyng were three of the six USAF Korean War aces who were also WWII aces. (The others were Majs. George A. Davis Jr., James P. Hagerstrom and William T. Whisner.)

    Francis Gabreski was the top American ace in air-to-air victories over Europe during WWII with 28 officially credited kills. While he was strafing a German airfield in July 1944, the propeller on his P-47 struck the ground and Gabreski crash landed. He was cap tured and sent to Stalag Luft I near Barth, Germany,where he spent the remainder of the war. Returning to combat during the Korean War, he commanded the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing and scored an additional 6-1/2 victories. Gabreski retired from the USAF as a colonel in October 1967.

    Harrison Thyng probably shot down a greater variety of planes of other nations than any other American pilot. While flying Spitfires in North Africa in 1942-1943, he shot down six German, one Italian and one French airplane (a Vichy French fighter in North Africa). He went to the Pacific in 1945, and while flying P-47Ns escorting bombers over Japan, he shot down one Japanese airplane. Assigned to Korea in November 1951, he commanded the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing and shot down seven Soviet-built MiG-15s. He retired from the USAF as a brigadier general in April 1966.

    Vermont Garrison originally flew Spitfires and Hurricanes in the Royal Air Force prior to transferring to the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1943. He was credited with 7-1/3 victories before being shot down and catured by the Germans. Garrison, like Gabreski, spent the rest of the war as a POW at Stalag Luft I. He went to Korea in November 1952 and while flying F-86s, he shot down 10 MiG-15s. He retired from the USAF as a colonel in March 1973.