Brief history 607 AC&W
The development of aircraft capable of supersonic speeds has made necessary the perfection of means of early warning of hostile air activity and of the approach of enemy aircraft. Out of these conditions and for these purposes arose the requirements for such units as the 502nd Tatical Control Group."
On paper the group was formed in 1945 with authorized strength of 171 officers, 1993 airmen, and 6 warent officers.
In early 1947 the group headquarters moved to Greenville, S.C. and the 606th and 607th moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C. In May 1947 the 607 became an independant squadron equipped with an AN/CPS-4 Height finder and an AN/CPS-5 search radar.
On 17 September, 1947 the Air Force was created as a separate service and the 607th became an Air Force unit at that time.
In August, 1947, the 607th moved to Turner AFB,Ga. where it remained until the outbreak of the Korean War.
On 25 June 1950, the North Korean Army launched a full scale invasion into South Korea. The need for tactical control was immediately recognized and requested. The 607th was tasked to deploy with four lightweight radar units.
On 24 September 1950, the 607th landed at Pusan along with the rest of the 502nd TCGP, the 605th, 606th, and the 608th.
On 3 October 1950, the 607th got orders to move north. It was now operational, seven days before the last unit in the Group became operational. The 607th was to move to Taegu by rail and then on to Seoul by convoy. The first convoy commander, a communications officer, never made it out of Pusan because he broke his arm falling into a ditch in front of the city exit check point and had to be rotated to Japan. The second convoy commander made it as far as Taegu but broke his leg falling into a hole in the railroad yard and also had to be shipped to Japan. The 607th had suffered it's first casualties! The plans to move equipment by rail failed because Army units held a higher priority for rail travel. Therefore, the 607th's trucks had to do the entire job from Pusan to Kimo Airfield near Seoul. The three trips from Pusan to Seoul proved to be costly because the convoys were ambushed by North Koreans several times and several pieces of equipment were bullet ridden and severly damaged.
The 607th was setup at Kempo Airfield and the radar became operational on 14 October but was plagued by problems. From 1 November until 16 December, 1370 navigational steers were given to U.N. aircraft and eleven saves of U.S. aircraft were confirmed during this period.
As soon as the TADC was operational at Kimpo, the lightweight radar unit (607 Det#1) headed north. By the end of October it was located at Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea which had been captured by U.N. forces.
The 607 Det#1 was not long in its first location as it was ordered in early November to go further north to Anju. The men of 607th Det#1 were getting their first taste of just what FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area) meant to them as a Forward Air Control Post team.
On 607th Det#1's move to Anju, it happened. The commander was assured that the plateau he had picked out for siting was in friendly hands and had been for some time. He was unable to contact local Army intelligence at the time so he had to rely on the live up-to-date advice of the TACC in Seoul. The move to Anju was made in less than 14 hours and they arrived after dark. Vehicles were arranged in a circle, with headlights on and aiming into the circle to enable the men to erect the radar and communications antennas. By early morning Det #1 was operational. Later, the commander was awakened by one of the airmen after only two hours sleep. He walked out of his tent to see a large U.S. 8th Army unit coming up the plateau from the south! Only after making sure that the whirling radar was indeed American, did the amazed Army commander inform Major Wilkins (607th commander) that the North Koreans had driven them off the plateau the day before. The enemy had retreated during the night, luckly for the 607th, or they might have pitched their tents in the middle of the North Korean encampment.
The Det remained at Anju for less than a month and represented the most northerly penetration of a 607th unit during the war. While there they assisted the 606th in controlling U.S. B-26 bomb drops and in proividing early warning up to the Yalu River. While the Det was in place at Anju, it operated with the TPS-1B which provided early warning capability out to 155 miles.
Field conditions in the Korean winter taxed men and equipment to the utmost. On the night of 28 November 1950, the temperature dorpped to -29 degrees F The men of the 607th had no arctic weather gear issued to them instead they wore extra uniforms topped off by a field jacket. To make matters worse, very few men had gloves, and the few pairs that were available, as well as heavy tanker jackets, had been scrounged or gained in trade with Army units. The troops of Det #1 lived in squad tents with two stoves in each tent, and water ten feet away from the blazing stoves froze solid.
On 29 November 1950, the Communist Chinese launched their attack overpowering the U.N. forces who were compelled to withdraw.
The 607th Det#1 loaded thr trucks quickly and began the bone jarring and harrowing dash south to Kimpo to join with the 607th TADC. Meanwhile, the 606th without proper trucks excaped with very little equipment and left behing a CPS-4 and CPS-5 and associated radio equipment.
On 16 December 1950, the 607th dismantled all equipment and along with the men were airlifted to Taaejon.
By the end of 1950 all the radar units had left North Korea and were below the 38th.
In late December 1950, a new lightweight radar unit designated as 607th Det#2 uas set up at Pohang. It was equipped with a TPS-1B but did not have a height finder radar.
January 1951 saw the tide change again as the U.N. took the offensive and Det 1 again moved to the north to Pyongtack.
In March of 1951 the 607th TADC equipment was moved to Yoju airstrip. This time the 607th added to it's inventory a CPS-5 search and CPS-4 height finder radar sets.
April and May of 1951 were the months that the unit dug in.
The summer of 1951 brought a time of buisy activity as the 607th began controling the activities of B-26 and B-29 bombers in darkness and bad weather. In June, a flight of F-51s controlled by the TADC intercepted two enemy aircraft 65 miles north of the site at an altitude of 1500 feet. All aircraft painted an excellent picture on the scopes. There were daily occurrences of the 607th being credited with saving aircraft and their crew members by directing them to the nearest airfield for landing. Many helicopter rescue pickups for pilots
downed behind enemy lines were conducted successfully.
In July of 51 the 607th was made responsible for controlling night fighters and antiaircraft batteries within its sector.
In September 51 the 607th added Det #4 using the new BSQ-1 bombing radar. The site was located near Yangu and manned by three officers and 21 airmen.
In the fall of 1951 the 607th gained the badly needed aid of the Air Police for security as a squadron was assigned.
Peace talks were started in October 1951 and the 607th was given the responsibility of keeping the air clear of aircraft around the area.
In November of 1951 Mark III IFF was resumed. It had been stopped because the Russians had the equipment installed in many of their aircraft. In December '51 and January '52 the 607th assumed more of an Air Defense role with over 390 ground controlled intercepts.
In November and December of '51 Det #2 and Det#3 were deactivated. All the men and equipment returned
In the early months of '52 the MARK III IFF was replaced by the new MARK X IFF and tested by the 607th with the F-94 night interceptor.
It was in March 1952 that the 607th made their final move of the war when they moved to Mount Kuska Bong. Their objective was to maintain early warning coverage and to control fighters and bombers in their missions against the north. During the summer the 607th controlled several fighter bomber missions against the hydro-electric plants in North Korea.
On 27 August '52 the 607th received a MAYDAY call from a pilot going down in mid country. The site was inoperative because of the antenna drive motor was out, but they had radar capapability. Two airmen were assigned to hand-rotate the antenna and the rescue aircraft were controlled to the location of the downed pilot and a successful rescue was made.
Equipment outages became more and more frequent during the last of '52. One such outage occurred because of ice within the waveguid of the search radar. The continual ice storms, winds and cold weather (-35 degrees at night)caused the antenna to fail to rotate. Again airmen manually rotated the antenna as others climed up the back side of the antenna and chiped the ice off.
All the time the radar maintained operation.
In November '52 the 607th received a new TPS-1D radar set. A modification of the TPS-1B with Moving Target Indicator. The unit was to be used as a back-up for the CPS-5. In Febuary '53 the TPS-1D was installed in a van that was mounted in the back of a 2 1/2 ton 6X truck to be used as a mobile search radar for gap filling and an aid in destroying "bed-check charleys".
January to July '53 saw some of the heaviest ground and air action of the war as each side was trruggling for additional land before a cease-fire line was assigned.
On 25 June 1953 the war was "officially" over and everyone was going home except the 502 TGC and the 607th who stayed on to help establish a permanent air defense network in Korea.
In September '56 the 607th changed from mobile to fixed status. The arrival of the AN/TPS-5 radar trainer to be used to train South Koreans Air Force controllers.
In 1957 the 607th consisted of tahe CRP at Pyontaek, Det 4 at Pohang, and a new Det 2 at Cheju-Do.
On 1 October 1957 the 607th was deactivated, leaving a proud heritage signified by its ten battle campaign streamers, 2 USA Presidential Unit Citations and 2 Republic of Korea Presidental Unit Citations.
After serving as a school for the South Koreans many of the 607th were assigned to Tyndall AFB,Florida to become a part of the training of US airmen and officers in the use of air traffic control and interception.
Durring the war years the 607th suffered 4 men killed, 2 by enemy action in an ambush as they were moving equipment, and 2 in a jeep accident that occurred on Mount Kuska Bong. There was one other accident on Mount Kuska Bong when a 6X truck loaded with men went down the side of the mountain due to equipment failure. No one was killed, but several were injured one critically.
The 607th AC&W squadron is now located at Luke AFB, Arizona and is now the 607 TCS.