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Tom Bebout
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1/48 Monogram T-6 Mosquito Korea: The Forgotten War GB

October 30, 2020 · in Aviation · · 19 · 2.4K


The 6147th Tactical Control Group originated at Taejon, South Korea, within the "operations section" of the Joint Operations Center. Three pilots, and two Stinson L-5 Sentinels, were assigned as airborne forward air controllers. On 9 July 1950, two airborne controllers, Lieutenants James A. Bryant and Frank G. , flew their first mission in U-17s. These were borrowed from the 24th Infantry Division after the VHF radios in the Stinsons failed to operate. Despite attacks from enemy aircraft, each controlled about ten flights of Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars. Bomb damage assessments indicated several tanks and vehicles destroyed. On 10 July, Lieutenant Harold E. Morris, controlling a flight of RAAF F-51 Mustangs, demonstrated the North American T-6 Texan trainer was a more appropriate aircraft for the FACs. On the same day, Bryant and Mitchell, also flying T-6s, directed the F-80s towards the destruction of seventeen enemy tanks near Chonui. The following day the small group of controllers left for Taegu to organize as a squadron. The 6147th Tactical Control Squadron, Airborne, activated effective 1 August to provide target spotting information to tactical aircraft in flight.

The T-6s carried smoke grenades, racks for a dozen phosphorus smoke rockets, and initially, machine guns, which were removed to prevent overzealous use. A 40-gallon belly tank gave it two more hours of endurance. C-47s provided Airborne's communications centers, called Shirley, Mosquito Phyllis Anne, Mosquito Mellow, and Mosquito Godfrey, while Mosquito Mellow worked with the carrier-based Navy. Communication was with VHF 522 and ARC-3 radios, and a SCR-300 for communicating with ground units. The rear cockpit was occupied by an observer, while the pilot flew from the front. The T-6 Airborne Controller Course was held at Luke Air Force Base from May until 15 August 1953, graduating 51.

The Kit:
Bought this kit at a model car show for $5 and started building it as an AT-6 Mosquito months ago, then just prior to painting her I lost interest. Louis Gardner's Korea's GB got me back in the ball game, so thank you Louis for getting her off the shelf of doom. This kit has been around for years and has lots of raised panel lines and plenty of rivets to look at plus lots of glass to mask. Decent cockpit, I did add some PE belts to the seats and wired the engine. The wheels are from a kit and the antenna is nylon thread. Paints were a combination of Model Master acrylics, aircraft gray while the OD is Model Car Works lacquer. The rockets under her wings are from the spares box and not exactly to scale nor totally accurate, but that's all I had. Decals used are Eagle Strike Texans over Korea so if some one wants to build one of the other versions let me know and I'll send them to you. The above history is from Wikipedia. You've got to admire the men who flew low and slow to spot targets while the enemy was throwing up all kinds of lead to bring you down. Not a job for the week at heart.

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Nice work on an old kit. Actually it is a pretty nice little kit, with good detail the holds up pretty well even today. Interesting history to go along with it too. I find it funny that they had to remove to machine guns. I am sure I would have been one of the over zealous pilots. Who doesn't like shooting a machine guy!?!

    • The Monogram kit is really the most accurate T-6 kit out there, from many years spent around the 1:1's. It's the only one with the correct raised rivets, and the raised panel detail fits for the lapped panels. A far better kit than the Occidental, if accuracy matters. Get a Squadron/Falcon canopy (they're still available on EvilBay) and some Eduard seatbelts and you're set.

    • Thanks Walt, @luftwaffe-birdman, and yes it is fun to fire a machine gun. Since most of these pilots considered themselves fighter jocks I understand why the gun was taken away.

  2. Nice job, Tom. As far as I've seen, you don't see many T-6's in OD and gray. Looks good.

  3. A real gem! I agree with Tom Cleaver, the rivets you see belong where they are, where I went to high school, we had several T-6's for us to misuse and abuse learning aircraft mechanics.

  4. Tom you beat me to the punch. I lost gusto right after sealing up the fuselage, which is practically the home stretch. Yours look great, and agreed, its unusual and refreshing to see an OD T-6. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Tom, @tom-bebout
    You're absolutely welcome my friend !

    This is a welcome addition to our ever growing Korean War group build... and I'm very happy to hear that the group was also inspiration for you to complete your T-6 "spotter" plane. You did a nice job with painting her... I don't ever recall seeing one painted like this.

    I remember building this kit when it first came out many moons ago. One of the things I remembered about it, was just how nicely detailed the cockpit is. I too have been very fortunate to have been around many of these full sized versions, (and even got a little "stick" time in one years ago). Your comments about how nice this kit is are spot on. This was $5 well spent.

    The additions you took liberty with look fabulous as well. I have a few of these kits left in the stash, and someday... you know the deal. I recently found a picture of one that was flown from NAS Deland. I also have a set of decals for a Korean War "Mosquito", so I just might have to fire up the "Iron Werkes" and knock out a few North American planes... with completing some previously started 1/32 scale Mustangs included in this venture...

    I pressed the "liked" button too. Well done buddy. 🙂

  6. You don't usually see a T-6 in anything other than a trainer scheme. Very cool, Tom (@tom-bebout).

  7. This is a nice looking T6, Tom.
    Didn't know these T6's were that actively used in Korea.

  8. Nice model. That’s an interesting variant. My uncle owned an SNJ and the others are correct, Monogram’s surface detail and cockpits look the part.

  9. This Korean GB has really produced some real rare builds of obscure variants of known aircraft and how they were used in Korea. The day Tom introduced this Texan for the GB I wasn't even aware the Texan was employed in this tasking over Korea. I am really learning a lot of some of the unknown factors of ground equipment and aircraft used for the short period of time the war was fought. And using the Monogram kit was a great choice. A good kit despite it's age, the upgrades and the history brings to light how brave these pilots went about their business in a slow moving down among the reach of ground fire directing aircraft to their targets. Simply marvelous. Well done Tom, nice presentation, thanks for sharing.

  10. An excellent build and a very interesting historical part, Tom.
    Indeed, some amazing builds have emerged from the "Korean" GB!

  11. Nice job Tom, @tom-bebout. I like it a lot!

  12. Nicely done and photographed. I too was unaware of the T6 role in Korea.

  13. Great looking 6!

  14. Great scheme, Tom. Love the "hurried up" look around the markings

  15. When I first glanced at the headline pic I thought "oh no, what a bad case of decal silvering!" Then I realized the scheme, and you pulled it off beautifully! Well done.

  16. Excellent result! I built this kit more than 35 years ago... how nostalgic.

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