“Aviation Midshipmen Carried the Ball in Korea”

At the beginning of the Korean War, the pilots of Carrier Aviation [Ed note: Maritime Patrol also] were made up primarily of AvMidn or ex-AvMidn. For example: VF-113, to which I was assigned, arrived off Korea aboard the USS Philippine Sea in August 1950.

The Navy made a rush to commission those Midshipmen in the combat area. Reason: the Navy had not lost a Midshipmen to combat since the time of John Paul Jones.

VF-113 had 20 pilots in 5 flight divisions and was made up of the following ranks:

1 Commander
1 Lieutenant Commander
1 Lieutenant
3 Lieutenants (Junior Grade)
14 Ensigns

No doubt the rank spread in VF-l13 was not much different from other squadrons.

Since then, however, the Navy, as has the Air Force, 'inflated' the ranks. You would be hard pressed to find an Ensign wearing a flight suit in a carrier squadron today


Ottumwa, Iowa, Preflight Class 13-46