Chodo Airport

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Ch'o do Airport
Airport typeMilitary
ServesCh'odo, North Korea
Elevation AMSL0 ft / 0 m
Coordinates38°33′07.30″N 124°49′57.20″E / 38.5520278°N 124.8325556°E / 38.5520278; 124.8325556
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 3,020 920 Grass
Chodo Airport
Revised RomanizationChodo giji
McCune–ReischauerCh'odo kiji

Ch'o do Airport is an airport in Ch'odo island, Hanggu-guyok, Nampo, South Pyongan Province, North Korea.


The airfield has a single grass runway 11/29 measuring 3020 x 141 feet (920 x 43 m).[1] However, other sources state the airfield is 3500 feet long. It is sited on Ch'o do island off the west coast of North Korea in the Korea Bay.[citation needed]


Korean War[edit]

A 3d Air Rescue Squadron H-19 from Chodo rescues ace Captain Joseph C. McConnell on 12 April 1953

During the Korean War, the USAF designated the airfield as K-54, but it was often listed as incomplete or not built.[2]

An element of the USAF 3rd Air Rescue Squadron operating Sikorsky H-5s and later Sikorsky H-19s was based on the island from January 1952.[3] Cho-do was regarded as an ideal forward operating base particularly for the rescue of pilots of F-86s damaged over MiG Alley as the F-86 could usually glide to an ejection location near Chodo, often the rescue forces would have to wait for the damaged F-86 to arrive at the rescue location.[3]:18-19 On 4 April 1953, an H-19 rescued Captain Joseph C. McConnell the future top-scoring US ace in Korea after he ejected from his F-86 just north of Chodo.[4] On 30 April 1953 an H-19 rescued future double-ace Captain Lonnie R. Moore after his F-86F crashed at sea north of Cho-do.[3]:16

In mid-February 1952 the USAF installed early-warning radar on Cho-do which could detect aircraft taking off and landing at Chinese airfields along the Yalu River. In May a tactical control center was added and this was used vector F-86s against MiG-15s[4]:104 The base was later used for communications interception duties[4]:106 including providing advance warning of an air attack on Taehwa-do on 30 November leading to a USAF ambush that resulted in the destruction of 12 communist aircraft.[4]:108-9

On 5 September 1952 communist artillery shelled the base, injuring 6 civilians. On 13 October the radar on Cho-do detected 6 aircraft heading towards the base, these aircraft, believed to be Po-2s dropped 14 bombs which killed 4 civilians. Similar attacks occurred on 26 November and 5 and 10 December causing minimal damage.[4]:110 Another attack took place on 15 April 1953, killing two gunners and destroying one anti-aircraft gun.[4]:111

UN forces withdrew from Cho-do under the terms of the Korean Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War on 27 July 1953.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Landings database page "Landings.Com", accessed 25 Aug 2010
  2. ^ "Air Bases - Ch'o-do", accessed 25 Aug 2010
  3. ^ a b c Marion, Forrest (2004). That others may live: USAF air rescue in Korea. Air Force History and Museums Program. p. 15. ISBN 9780160876257.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Werrell, Kenneth (2005). Sabres over MiG Alley: the F-86 and the battle for air superiority in Korea. Naval Institute Press. pp. 115–6. ISBN 9781591149330.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Air Force website