Many believe that the United States fought the Korean War with “its hands tied behind its back” because it had decided to restrict its air war to the Korean peninsula. In fact, breaches of this restriction by incursions into Chinese air space occurred more frequently than was generally acknowledged. Mostly deliberate, they were often encouraged and sometimes led by field grade officers. Pilots won fame and glory, while few were punished. Although the violations risked international incidents, they did not expand the war but helped the United Nations achieve air superiority and gave the Communists much less of a sanctuary than has been commonly believed. These infractions also set a dangerous precedent for the future.


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pp. 451-476
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2010
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