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USAAF October 20, 1945
USAF Sept 21, 1953
Lat 37° 33′ 29″ N Long 126° 47′ 26″ E Gimpo Airfield is located at the western edge of Seoul in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Also known as "Gimpo Air Base" or "Kimpo Air Base". Today known as "Gimpo Airport".
During 1935, the Japanese initiated construction of an airfield at this location. Most of the construction was performed by Korean laborers who hauled rocks from Kai Hwa San and Yang Chan to use as the rock bed for the runway. Around 1942, Kimpo airfield was completed.
World War II History
Used by the Japanese during 1942 until their official surrender in September 1945 and was never attacked by American aircraft during the Pacific War.
Occupied by U.S. Army forces, many intact Japanese aircraft were captured at the undamaged airfield, including many Ki-51 Sonias. During 1949, American forces turned Kimpo over to the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROK Air Force).
During 1950, at the start of the Korean War when ROK forces were overun, they abandoned the airfield to the North Korean forces. After the U.N. landing at Inchon, Gimpo Airfield was liberated and returned to United Nations (U. N.) control.
Immediately, Kimpo Airfield was developed into an important base for American and U.N. forces in support of operations in Korea. During the Korean War, designated "K-14" by the United States Air Force (USAF) and known as "Kimpo Air Base".
American units based at Kimpo (Seoul) 1950
8th Fighter-Bomber Wing (FBW)
When Communist forces including Chinese troops again attacked the Seoul area, Kimpo was again was captured then liberated by U.N. forces.
American units based at Kimpo (Seoul) 1951-1953
8th Fighter-Bomber Wing (FBW) April - August 1951
4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing
On September 21, 1953 a North Korean MiG-15bis 2015357 took off piloted by Lt. No Kum-sok who defected across the 38th parallel and landed at Kimpo Air Base (K-14). His intact aircraft was transported to the United States for technical evaluation.
After the Korean War, Kimpo continued to be used by USAF and the ROK as a military airfield. In 1958, designated Seoul Airport or Seoul international Airport and used as the primary airport servicing Seoul. Also known as Gimpo International Airport (Gimpo Gukje Gonghang, 김포국제공항).
In 2001, replaced by Incheon International Airport as the primary international airport servicing Seoul. Today, this airport is the second largest in South Korea. The airport has two runways: 10,499' asphalt surfaced and 11,811' concrete surfaced. Airport code: IATA: GMP – ICAO: RKSS.
Seoul Airport (Gimpo Airport) - Official Website
Fourth's Korean Home Has Long History by A/1C James L. Vasquez
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