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HISTORY - ACCOUNTS - Ken Sanguinetti
Last Ordinance dropped in Korea

I read with interest the history of VMFA 251, but I found an unofficial error in the statement that the last ordnance was dropped on 27 July 1953. The last bombs and rockets were dropped by 2nd Lt. Chauncy Clark in early 1955 (my memory isn't good enough to give an exact date). This was after the "official" end of hostilities.

Here is how it happened:

Four AD's from VMA 251 were assigned to fly CAP over the MLR (38th Parallel). The flight was led by 1st Lt. Bob Gillion, I was flying as section leader with Lt. Clark as my wingman (tailend Charlie) we were in a racetrack pattern over the MLR when I noticed these little gray clouds appearing at our altitude directly in front of use, I got on the mike and said we are being fired on, break left. We broke left but since Chauncy Clark was hanging back he was able to spot where the Antiaircraft fire was coming from and called out that he had them in sight and was rolling in for a run on the target. We were under positive radar control and under the command of the Air Force and the controller came up on the radio and told us to break off the run and return to base. Lt. Clark came up on the radio and said "your transmission was breaking up and unclear but that he understood he was cleared in for a live run" and he continued his run. Since I was now his wingman I followed him down in the run and watched him fire 12 - 5 inch rockets and drop in salvo three bombs (I think they were 500 pounders). All the while the Air Force controller was saying break off, do not drop your ordnance. Since my radio worked fine I did not drop and ordnance but just followed Lt. Clark down in case he got hit. I saw him pull up and watched fireworks as his bombs and rockets hit. Then the flight joined up and we headed home to K 6. When we landed we found that the flight leader Lt. Gillion had an eight inch hole in his horizontal stabilizer and a six inch hole in the oil cooler. And of course the NCO in charge of fixing Chauncy's radio did find a loose wire.

So you see, 2nd Lt. Chauncy Clark of VMA 251 has the distinction of being the last pilot to drop ordnance on the North Koreans.

Kenneth C. Sanguinetti (former 1st Lt. VMA 251)