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The 1950's
War Birds Over Korea, Part 1 - A New Breed



War Birds Over Korea, Part 1 - A New Breed
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.17

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    airlift, leaner, melding, P-51s, prop, propellers, combat, jets, aviation, flights, aircraft, bloody, military, fighter, based, flocks
     content words:    Korean War, Forgotten War, P-51 Mustang, F-80 Shooting Star, In Korea, Shooting Star, Russian MiG, North Korean, In November, North Korea


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War Birds Over Korea, Part 1 - A New Breed
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     The Korean War may not be the most famous war in the world. It is often called the "Forgotten War." Still, the conflict in the early 1950s was the source of several "firsts." Some big advances came in the field of aviation.
 
2     WWI saw the first real use of planes in war. It wasn't until WWII, however, that aircraft played a big part in battle. Many of the best stories of WWII are about fighters and bombers. The P-51 Mustang and B-29 were the marvels of their day. They were "prop" craft. Their engines turned propellers that powered the planes.
 
3     In the Korean War, some prop planes were still in use. The old planes bravely took up the battle. P-51s still prowled the skies, giving air support to UN troops. U.S. B-29 bombers took out airfields, supply routes, and dams in the North. The Superfortress was a big help to UN forces.
 
4     It was clear, however, that the rules of the game were changing. Fresh ideas were being put into practice. New planes were taking over. The big news was the jet fighter. This plane was thrust through the sky by the explosion of air from its engines. The power and speed of a jet gave it a big edge over a prop plane.
 
5     Near the end of WWII, Germany had put the first jets into the sky. The Me 262 first saw combat in 1944. Its jet engines gave it the upper hand in battle. It scored big against the best the Allies had to offer. By that time, however, materials and parts were scarce in Germany. Not many Me 262s made it into battle.

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