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A Critical Review on the History of the Korean National Constabulary’s Aviation Unit

  • military history
  • 2022, (125), pp.47-80
  • DOI : 10.29212/mh.2022..125.47
  • Publisher : Military History Institute, MND
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : October 3, 2022
  • Accepted : November 25, 2022
  • Published : December 15, 2022

Lee Jiwon 1

1공군사관학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In December 1948, the aviation unit of Korean National Constabulary (KNC) was converted the ROK Army Air Command. And in October 1949, the Republic of Korea Air Force was founded based on the Army Air Command. However, historical facts of the aviation unit of KNC have not settled yet. Since the most historical documents about the air unit were lost during the Korean War, the Army and the Air Force reconstructed the historical narrative of the unit based on a few remaining materials. As a result, three different historical narratives of the unit coexist now. These historical narratives can be found in the Yug-gun-jeon-sa (History of the Korean War of the ROK Army), published by the Army in 1952, the Gong-gun-bal-jeon-yag-sa (Brief History of the Development of the ROK Air force), published in 1954, and the Gong-gun-sa (History of the ROK Air Force), published in 1962. This study analyzes these three historical narratives to derives critical issues, and empirically verifies the establishment and growth of the aviation unit of KNC by comparing them with historical documents. According to the results of this study, the aviation unit first changed its name and then grew in a way that expanded its manpower and organization to a size that matched the new name. However, not a single aircraft could be introduced until the Air Force was established, and the development of tactical capabilities of the aviation unit was stalled. In this sense, it can be evaluated that the Air Force was founded by goals rather than capabilities, and based on vision rather than lessons. And the "(KNC) Air Base Command" has historical significance as a starting point for such a process.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.