Dear Tex, Nogas, & Lude,
My father, Joseph D. Clark, served with the Headhunters in Korea as an F80 ordnance loader – I believe he was with the 36th squadron (three red stripes on the tail). He worked on F80s early in the conflict, graduating to the big stuff (loading nukes onto B47s) when he returned stateside.
Going through old photos recently, I found a couple from his time in Korea and got nostalgic for the stories he used to tell. After a little Googling, I found your site and thought you might appreciate seeing them. I may have more pics and I know there is an Headhunters shoulder patch around here somewhere; We also have a turbine nose cone (apologies if it has a technical name) from an F80 engine.
Dad passed away in August of last year and is interred at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery near Vacaville, California. He was 83 years old. He was a good man, a good father, and a good American. Sincerely, Matthew Clark
Comments below courtesy of your Korean War Historian Gerry Asher. Gerry is an Associate LTM and is a tremendous help to the staff here at HH HQ.
Official caption for the photo of Clark & company loading ammo in the nose of the F-80:
“FIFTH AIR FORCE, KOREA – Thousands of rounds of .50 caliber machine gun ammunition are linked and loaded into the cans of this U.S. Air Force F-80 ‘Shooting Star’ in preparation for another combat mission over northern Korea. Here, A/1C Joseph Clark (left center), 231 W. Lindley Ave., Philadelphia, Pa., and A/1C Everett Clark (right center), Farley, Iowa, unload the ammunition from a portable cart. Each separate round must be linked into one long belt before loading into the cans. F-80s such as these have been a consistent thorn in the side of Communist supply personnel by repeatedly destroying rail and supply lines throughout northern Korea. April 1952.”
A/1C Clark and unidentified maintainer. At one time this aircraft, 607, was assigned to Jerry Minton and was later lost on a training gunnery mission off the coast of Kunsan.
A/1C Clark poses with unit sign-“Hampton’s Cannon Cockers” and the 80th FBS patch.
Notice the changes on the sign:
“…probably late summer of ’53, since the squadron began the transition around May of that year. Note that “Hampton’s Cannon Cockers” has now become “Frazier’s Malfunction Junction.” I can only assume the names denote the OICs at the time – or maybe the respective NCOICs – of the shop.