North American F-86F-30-NA Sabre Serial # 52-4539





Crew Chief Wally Yocum and "Sweet Rose"

This web page is devoted to the 'Sweet Rose' / 'Dreaded Gomboo' North American F-86 Sabre 52-4539, and my fathers service to the Air Force. My father, Walter Yocum Jr, was the crew chief for FU-539, and Lt. Ken Ewing was the pilot. The plane was stationed at U.S. Air base K-14. He was part of the Fabulous Rocketeers (336th Rocketeer Squadron). This web site contains various pictures and information of the F-86F, and my father's air force history career.

My father was apart of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (Far East Air Force), 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, known as the world famous “Rocketeers.” The base was called K-14, located in Kimpo, which is near Seoul. Wally was assigned as the crew chief of North American F-86 Sabre 52-4539. He quickly added his sweethearts name to the nose, “Sweet Rose.” Wally was dating Rose after high school.

The pilot was Kenneth C. Ewing. Ken had “Dreaded Gomboo” painted on his side of the aircraft. The name signified an infectious disease.

The sabre was a model F-86F-30-NA. This sabre was equipped with the new 6-3 wing that allowed speeds to increase to 695 + miles per hour at low altitudes. The plane could now match the speed of the MiG and climb to altitudes of 47,000 feet. Wally claims this wing allowed tighter turns as well. This jet was also equipped with the General Electric J47-GE-27 engine that boosted thrust above 5900 pounds. Wally recalls that he would tweak on the fuel controller to make sure the Sabre achieved a high tack reading. This enabled his pilot to keep a fast plane if needed, citing that Ken needed to keep up with the squadron formation.

The plane remained in the 336th arsenal until late 1954 at Kimpo. It was dropped from inventory and transferred to the Taiwanese ROC Air Force.

F-86F s/n 52-4539 Brief History/Timeline
(Timeline of the F-86F sabre jet, not my fathers career timeline. See Wallys USAF Career/Awards for his timeline.)

Late 1952/1953: F-86F s/n 52-4539 rolls off the North American Aviation Inc. assembly line in Inglewood, California. The plane was available on January 30, 1953. The plane was accepted and delivered to the USAF on February 5, 1953. After it leaves the Sacramento air material area (McClellan AFB, CA), it travels to the Port of San Francisco CA in March 1953. 52-4539 departs the US from here.

April 1953: F-86F s/n 52-4539 gets delivered to the 6408th Maintenance and Supply Group (Far East Air Forces), Kisarazu AB, Japan

June 1953- October 1954: F-86F s/n 52-4539 joined the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing and spent June of 1953 to late 1954 being stationed back and forth between Kimpo AB, Korea and Tsuiki AB, Japan. I believe the mid 1953 to early 1954 period as the "Slo-Mo-Shun II" nose art era. Sometime after that, the sabre jet changed its nose to the "Sweet Rose" / "Dreaded Gomboo" art with blue nose. Thats the era my father was the crew chief.

October 1954 - December 1954: The sabre sleeps at Komaki (Nagoya) AB, Japan until it gets dropped from inventory and transferred to the Military Assistance Plan.

Circa 1955: The sabre joins and flies with the RoCAF. The serial number gets changed to F-86008. The s/n number is shown on the vertical tail with "008" on the rear fuselage.

F-86F s/n 52-4539 Aircraft Record Card

Click the picture or link to view the USAF 52-4539 record card.

Aircraft Record Card


To view pictures of F-86F-30-NA Sabre FU-539,
click the below graphic or photos category below.

Photos of F-86F-30-NA Sabre FU-539

Click on above photos for some of my fathers photos from U.S. Air base K-14.




Media related to FU-539

Art related to FU-539

Photos of FU-539

Models related to FU-539


Wally's USAF career/awards

Sweet Rose II

Skins related to FU-539

Tidbits (Family/History/Aviation)


See the Worldwide Map/Artifact locations of 52-4539 and 89-0488 (Sweet Rose II).

Click on the map below for larger view




News / History


November 16, 2017

After the 24539 sabre's service in the USAF, it was then transferred to the RoCAF (Republic of China Air Force). After searching much time looking for it, a breakthrough happened. I received an email from David, the son of Gen. Frederick Wu-O Chiao. Frederick was the Commander of 5th FG 1954-1955 - the very first FG equipped with F-86's in the RoCAF. He was stationed at Taoyuan AFB at that time. In his photo collection, was this gem! It was exciting to see this picture! Thank you David.

Click on photo to view larger, and also some other photos from Taoyuan at that time.




October 5, 2017

Paper work was sent out for our father to receive the Republic of Korea Service Medal.

Its background: "The medal was originally offered by the ROK in 1951 to United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters. At the time U.S. law prohibited the U.S. military from wearing medals issued by foreign governments. Congress changed that in 1954, but by then most U.S. service members eligible for the medal had returned home.

In 1998 the Republic of Korea renewed its original offer of the ROKWSM and on Aug. 20, 1999, the Defense Department approved the acceptance and wear of the medal.

Approximately 1.8 million U.S. veterans of the Korean War are eligible to receive it."

- Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs

If you feel anyone you know is eligible, follow this link to the ROK Service medal form: Click here


September 7, 2017

An excellent color photo of Tech Sgt Albert Raymond next to Slo-Mo-Shun II. This was the nose art on the sabre before "Sweet Rose". Albert Raymond was an Air Force radar and radio technician. Thanks much for his son to share this photo! Cockpit area notes C/c Dick Burns and ARM Donald Girven. They were the crew before my father maintained it.

Click on photo to view larger.



July 26, 2017

Jon Pritchard made an excellent F86 skin for FU-539 sabre. Excellent recreation that looks very realistic!

March 2017

Airfix Model World wrote an article about José Pires's FU-539 model build. The added many detailed photos of the effort that was put into building it. Click the magazine cover or link below to view. There is also another article afterwards that has Sabre related information.

March 2017

José Pires builds a wonderful replica of FU-539 from Eduards model kit. Below is a link of some pictures of the finished product, and well as a link to his message board. A detailed article was published on the March issue of Airfax Model World.


January 3, 2017

Javier Bordon paints a beautiful picture of FU-539!

Artwork and history of Javier's work



December 2, 2016

An excellent skin produced by zsoltquack on the MilViz (Military Visualiztions).

"Our motto is, and has always been, quality or why bother" - MilViz

Skin download: ZSB_MV_336th



July 15, 2016

'President Memorial Certificate' from President Obama. It reads:


The United States of America
honors the memory of

Walter E Yocum, Jr.

This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.


March 9, 2016

Tidbits of the private funeral for our family's hero at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bear, Delaware.


Pictures from March 9th


February 29, 2016

In memory of the crew chief of Dreaded Gomboo / Sweet Rose.

Walter "Wally" Yocum Jr.

(1934 - 2016)

National Defense Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
Good Conduct Medal



February 23, 2016

An incredible recreation of FU-539 from Torsten Schumacher in Germany. Many thanks to him and his time crafting such a remarkable piece!

Photos of Torsten's Incredible work



December 2015

Eduard model company added an article on FU-539 and a brief history with story account from my father. Click the magazine cover or link below to read. The full magazine can be found on Eduard's website:


December 2015

In late September, I received an email from the Eduard model company. They were interested in making a decal variation for their 'Ultimate Sabre' F-86F 1/48 scale model kit. You may now purchase it on their website (model kit #1163). Click the picture or link below to view their instruction sheet and photos of their promotional model.


November 1, 2015

My father was an honored guest before the start of the NASCAR race in Martinsville, Virginia. He spent time with Richard Petty and the Major General Garrett Harencak of the USAF (Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration). My father got to show a picture that he carries in his wallet and talk about stories of the'Sweet Rose' F-86F sabre.


September 2015

I recieved an email from an individual asking about the history of this plane. It was a nice surprise. He found a picture of a painting of FU-539 before my father and Ken Ewing took control. This was the 1953-1954 possible era of the plane. If everyone has any leads to this actual painting, please email me on the link on the bottom of the page. It appears to be painted by Eugene A. Beinert. Thanks!

Larger view of painting




June 2015

An actual replica of FU-539, made out of wood in 1955! It has been preserved, in mint condition. The pilot gave this to his brother, and he held it since. My father got to see this model in June in Virginia.

Spring 2015

'President Memorial Certificate' from President Obama. It reads:


The United States of America
honors the memory of

Kenneth Curtiss Ewing

This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.



November 28, 2014

In memory of the pilot of Dreaded Gomboo / Sweet Rose.

Ken Ewing

(1931 - 2014)



September 2014

Wally Yocum was honored by the 336th at Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina in 2014, decaling an F-15E Eagle with his name on the cockpit “Cc Wally Yocum” and “Sweet Rose” on the nose. I will refer this plane as Sweet Rose (II) on this website. Click the photo collage to see larger photos.

Click on photo to view pictures of F-15E Eagle 89-0488

Sweet Rose (II)



Spring 2014

A brick dedicated to Walter Yocum Jr at the Dover Air Force Muesum in Dover, Delaware. This was a present from his children during Christmas 2013. Dover Air Force base only places them during Memorial Day each year in their Commemoration Park. This brick noted in a flyer on DAFB museum website: Hanger Digest July 2014 (page 3).





April 7, 2014

In memory of

Rose Ann Yocum

(1934 - 2014)



August 15, 2006

The website devoted to 'Sweet Rose' was created! I originally designed this website to find any other photos of the 'Sweet Rose' sabre. I even hoped to find one in color. It was a goal, a passion. My family hasn't had much luck, but the visits to the webpage and popularity will possibly give us a greater chance.



Circa 2006

The National Air and Space Museum's Wall of Honor memorial at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Ken Ewings name is engraved as Kenneth Ewing, located in Foil 008, Panel 002, Column 004, Line 037.



November 5, 1955

My father marries 'Sweet Rose' at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
in Pennsylvania! They enjoy a trip to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon. They had four children together: Ken, Steve, Tom and myself (Eric).



June 1953 - October 1954

F-86F s/n 52-4539 joined the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing and spent June of 1953 to late 1954 being stationed back and forth between Kimpo AB, Korea and Tsuiki AB, Japan. I believe the mid 1953 to early 1954 period as the "Slo-Mo-Shun II" nose art era. Sometime after that, the sabre jet changed its nose to the "Sweet Rose" / "Dreaded Gomboo" art with blue nose. Thats the era my father was the crew chief.

My father journeyed on the USS Gen. J. C. Breckinridge on his way to Japan and Korea. He described his experiences at Kimpo as some of the most memorable experiences in his life. His sabre patrolled the skies for enemy MiG’s. Even though an armistice was signed, the unpublished skirmishes continued to happen. Wally remembers that each mission was decided early in the day based on whether the navigational landmark mountain near the base, known to all as the “Witch’s Tit”, was visible or covered in clouds. Clear days and the mission was on! Wally returned to the USA in early 1955 at the port of Seattle, Washington.



A color photo of 52-4539. This is before it was handed over to my father as crew chief and Ken Ewing at pilot.
Name on nose: Slo-mo-shun II

Click above images for full size photos



Other FU-539 references/sources


'Fabulous Rocketeer' or other websites containing FU-539:

336 Fighter Interceptor Squadron Online Scrapbook

FU-539 on Wikipedia

FU-539 on Wikipedia Commons

FU-539 on Wikipedia Republished

FU-539 on Million Monkey Theater website

FU-539 on Aviation Enthusiast Corner website

FU-539 on Joe Baugher's Home Page

FU-539 on The Modelling News (build from Cutting Mat Capers)

FU-539 on Model Web (New Zealand)

FU-539 on War Thunder

Magazines containing FU-539:

Airfix Model World

March 2017 issue

Info Eduard

December 2015 issue

Model kit reviews on youtube:

Eduard review by Viktor Mullin

Eduard review by Fine Scale Modeler

Eduard review by Flory models

FU-539 on pinterest :

FU-539 (Fabulous Rocketeers 336th F86-F Sabre Korea)

FU-539 on DeviantArt:

Javier Bordon

Books containing a reference to FU-539:

MiG Alley: Sabres Vs. MiGs Over Korea (Hardcover – July, 2002)

by Warren E Thompson (Author), David R. McLaren (Author) Page 170

MiG Alley pages with sabres in Korea



F-86 Sabre Historical Web Ring Guide
Click the photo below to visit that web region

Sabre Pilots Association

Duncan's Sabre Website

Every Man A Tiger

S/N 52-4539 Website

Sabre Website Links

User Submitted Area



Contact Webmaster

To contact the webmaster, or to post comments/links on this website; email me at:

Website created: August 15, 2006 (recent activity log)