Bombing of Pyongyang

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The bombing of Pyongyang was conducted as part of a gradual and sustained U.S. Air Force aerial bombardment campaign conducted against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) during the Korean War. By the time of the armistice, 75 percent of Pyongyang's area was destroyed by the bombing campaign, which was part of a broader U.S. bombing effort throughout the country which cost the lives of nearly 3 million North Koreans by the time the war ended.[1]

Air raids[edit]

After North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, which sparked the conflict, General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief of the Far East Command, ordered the FEAF to carry out air raids on South Korea to prevent North Korean forces from overrunning the nation. Bad weather delayed further air actions until June 29 when MacArthur authorized FEAF attacks on airfields in North Korea. For the first time, B-26s of the 3rd Bombardment Group attacked Heijo airfield near Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, claiming up to 25 enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground.

Onjong-Ni Airfield was also attacked, resulting in the destruction of 2 Yak 3's and the damaging of 10 other aircraft on the ground. On 18 July 1950 aircraft from Task Force 77 attacked the Pyongyang airfields again destroying 14 aircraft and damaging 13.[2]

Following the capture of Pyongyang on 19 October 1950 the air base was put into service by the UN forces. The USAF designated the base K-23.[3]

UN forces abandoned the base on 5 December 1950 as part of the evacuation of Pyongyang in the face of the Chinese intervention.[4] On 10 December 1950 B-29s bombed the airfield with high-explosive bombs.[5]

The city was bombed on 3 and 5 January 1951, prompting a protest to the United Nations Security Council by the DPRK Foreign Minister.

On 23 January 1951, 46 F-80s of the 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing attacked anti-aircraft positions around Pyongyang and once this was completed 21 B-29s of the 19th and 307th Bombardment Groups from Okinawa bombed the airfield.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kim, Taewoo (2012). "Limited War, Unlimited Targets: U.S. Air Force Bombing of North Korea during the Korean War, 1950-1953". Critical Asian Studies. 44 (3): 467–492. doi:10.1080/14672715.2012.711980. (subscription required)
  2. ^ Futrell, Robert F. The United States Air Force in Korea, 1950-1953. United States Government Printing. p. 99. ISBN 978-0160488795. 
  3. ^ Appleman, Roy (2009). Disaster in Korea: The Chinese Confront MacArthur. Texas A&M University Press. p. 316. ISBN 9781603441285. 
  4. ^ Appleman, p.316
  5. ^ Futrell, p.263
  6. ^ Futrell, p.288