58th FBW Sabre’s 1955-1958

Gallery Article by Mark L. Rossmann on May 21 2010


Brief History: 
The 58 FBG moved to (K2) Taegu Air Base, South Korea, in August 1952. Having entered the war with the F-84D Thunderjets, the 58th FBG transitioned in late 1952 to the new "G" model, designed with more speed and range. The wing earned a second DUC for its actions in the last three months of the war for targeting airfields, railways, enemy positions, bridges, dams, electric power plants and vehicles.

These missions were not easy, by the end of December 1952, 18 members of the 58 FBG had perished. By the wars conclusion, according to recent listings from the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, the fates of 14 members assigned to the 58 FBG are still unaccounted.

After the armistice, the 58th provided air defense for South Korea. From March 15, 1953 through November 8, 1954 the 58th FBG service-tested a "reinforced" wing organization which exercised direct control of the tactical components of the attached wings, from Taegu . These tactical components were deployed on rotational basis to Taiwan from March 15th, 1955 through July 1, 1958 from Osan Air Base. On November 8, 1957, the group was re-designated the 58th Fighter Bomber Wing, still consisting of the F-86 equipped 69th, 310th and 311th Fighter Bomber Squadrons. These were duly inactivated on July 1, 1958 because in June 1958 the 58th FBW was renamed to the 58th Tactical Missile Group. Which was re-armed in October of 1958 with the TM-61C (Matador) tactical missile to provide a deterrent against attacks on South Korea, a mission that continued until 1962. It is hard to glean information from this time frame, however the following site gives insight to an unfortunate incident that took the life of Lt. Bob Ford of the 311th FBS: http://www.bob-ford-memorial.com/view/?pageID=169371

These are Hasegawa 1/48 models of the F-86-30 and two -40s and are well constructed with very good instructions. Each aircraft took about 1 month to complete. I found fit issues of the nose cone to the fuselage in all three. The fuselage was narrower at some points, so I used toothpick stuck in between the air intake and the body to widen for a better fit. Also, upper fuselage halves portion between the cockpit and tail had to be filled on all 3 models, as a rounded edge on the left fuselage was not 90 degree square to the right side. Original boxed decals were yellowed a bit but I was not going to use them anyway. One resin cockpit seat, from Legend, was used for the 311th jet; it worked out quite well with no issues of fit.

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Overall using Testors Silver Metallic spray, the noses used Testors, Red, Yellow and Blue spray paint. The tail cones I used Testors Metalizer spray and hand painted the interiors.

FU-628 sprayed with Testors Glosscoat. FU-329 sprayed with Testors semi-Glosscoat and FU-538 sprayed with Testors Dullcoat. 

Are from the AeroMaster “Post Korea War Sabres” numbers 48-699, -700 and -701. I saw these Lightning Bolt squadron markings and had to build them. They are crisp, well manufactured in Mexico, dating back to 2004. They provide enough squadron decals to build both aircraft on a sheet with one set of stencils. All decals went on fine using Solve-Set. It is noted that the all time Sabre guru, Larry Davis, supplied information for these sheets.

This is a -30 with the 6-3 fixed wing and fence originally equipped by North American. Use the F86F-30 kits from Hasegawa or Academy,

FU-628, “The Portland Rose” of the 69th FBS, was flown by Lt. R.B. Ochs likely around 1957. From AM 48-701. 

These next two are F86F-30’s with the -40 wing applied by the Air Force during IRAN upgrades. The modified wing features a 30 centimeter (1 foot) wingtip extension on the "6-3" wing, and restores the leading-edge slats, thus, redesignating the aircraft as an F86F-40. The only 1/48th kit available with the -40 wings is from Hasegawa. Also note, I did not use the fuel tanks from the -40 kits, used tanks from the -30’s as they matched the drawings. 

FU-329, “Bee Gee’s Bird” of the 310th FBS, was flown by Lt. E. William Gregory around 1957. From AM 48-699. 

FU-538, “Miss Jane” of the 311th FBS, was flown by Lt. W.H. Johnston. His armorer was A/2c Morris Shirley, again circa 1957. From AM 48-699 

The kits were excellent except for the noted fuselage filling. If you want a F86F-30 you can get the Academy kit for a few bucks less than the Hasegawa version, both are good. The F86F-40 you will need the Hasegawa kit. I have 3 more of these to build, FU-537 and FU-386 from 48-700 and FU-781 from 48-701, all are -30’s. 

I hope I got the information correct on the squadrons. Information obtained from AeroMaster Decals, Wikipedia site about the 58th FBW, and the GlobalSecurity Website. 


Mark L. Rossmann

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Photos and text © by Mark L. Rossmann