By Kevan Goff-Parker
/ Published July 27, 2018
Editor’s Note: the information below comes from the online archives of The Tinker Take Off, Oklahoma Historical Society and other sources.
This summer, today to be exact, marks the 65th anniversary of the National Korean War Veteran Armistice Day in the U.S. While some refer to the Korean War as the “Forgotten War;” the more than 36,000 Americans who distinguished themselves by giving the ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered by their friends, families and Team Tinker.
After North Korean troops, backed by the Soviet Union, invaded the Korean peninsula on June 25, 1950, and although often separated by thousands of miles across the sea, the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area at Tinker Air Force Base, U.S. military and our allies were integral partners in the war effort. Hostilities finally ended on July 27, 1953 when North Korea, China and the United Nations signed an armistice.
At the beginning of the Korean War, Tinker AFB quickly ratcheted up the maintenance, repair and overhaul of engines and other aircraft parts as the warfighters’ needs grew. Tinker hired nearly double the number of military and civilian employees that were on the base during peacetime in 1949. They hired so many in 1952 that the number nearly rivals today’s close to 30,000 military and civilian employees at Tinker.
The Korean War Project websites states that 760 Oklahomans died during the Korean War. The Far East Air Force was also pivotal in helping America bring about peace as Airmen destroyed North Korea’s 34,000 vehicles, 276 trains and 3,800 railcars. America and our allies forced back the North Korean troops and fought a war of attrition until President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s diplomatic efforts secured peace.
Tinker AFB provided maintenance support for bombers and cargo planes, while Fort Sill trained soldiers and all members of the U.S. Army Field Artillery, a branch that served with particular importance in Korea.
Tinker AFB salutes our remaining veterans and their families for their courage, sacrifice and diligence to duty while serving in the Korean War.