Commanding Officer of No 77 Squadron killed in action

09 Sep 1950

Two months after No 77 Squadron was committed to operations in Korea, the unit’s Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Lou Spence, was killed in action. He led four Mustangs in an attack on storage facilities at An’gang-ni, north of Pusan in South Korea, which had been recently captured by Communist forces. His aircraft failed to pull out of a steep dive at low altitude and was seen to crash into the centre of the town, exploding on impact. Spence was succeeded by Squadron Leader Richard (‘Dick’) Cresswell, who had twice before led 77 Squadron in war; his previous periods in command were both during World War II—the first, in April 1942, when he was aged just 21. In Korea, Cresswell again demonstrated the qualities which had seen him rated as an exceptional leader of a combat squadron on war duties.

Related aircraft

  • Mustang