Info / Photo Collections - Kimpo Air Force Base


Kimpo played a major role during the Korean War, and the USAF designated this airfield as K-14. Most of these pictures are from June 1950 - December 1954 (Korean War and Armistice) timeframe era.

The airfield was originally constructed in 1939–1942. In 1958, the airport was redesignated as Gimpo. The name "Gimpo" comes from the nearby city of Gimpo, of which the airport used to be a part.



Kimpo Air Base Aerial (K-14) 1954

Photo from pilot Ken Ewing's slides

Map (K-14)




First F-86's arrive in Kimpo - December 15, 1950


"Kimpo Secured" Bulletin Board

Airmen at the Fifth Air Force headquarters in Korea on Feb. 23, 1951 gather around bulletin board which announced the news flash "Kimpo Secured". From left to right are Corp. R.B. Dougherty of New York City, New York; Capt. Edward L. Claxton, French Lick, Ind. Sgt. Arthur R. Hill, Circleville, O. and S/Sgt. Philip L. Foyer of Cleveland, O. (AP Photo)




Old Kimpo Air Terminal

(Mig Alley - Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea - Thompson and McLaren)



History Photo Archive from Every Man A Tiger (1950-1954)


Every Man A Tiger

An gold mine of many pictures from Kimpo. Grab a snack and click through the many photo galleries and squadron history.



Footage Farm LTD (December 1950)



Footage Farm LTD:

A video with FU-230 ,FU-236, FU-225, FU-313 and FU-142 sabres at Kimpo, December 17, 1950.



Disciples of Flight - Bill Todd (1951-1952)


Disciples of Flight

The Korea Files 1: Life at K-13 with the 4th Fighter Group (includes K-14 information)

The Korea Files 2: Taking on Waves of Enemy MiGs In the F-86 Sabre

The Korea Files 3: Charles 'Charlie' Ray Spath

The Korea Files 4: Major George A. Davis Over MiG Alley (includes K-14 information)

The Korea Files 5: Four Against Seventy Seemed a Bit Ridiculous (includes K-14 information)

The Korea Files 6: The Gun Camera

Bill Todd is a Korean War veteran and US Air Force fighter pilot who flew 72 combat missions with the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing. After four and a half years in the Service, Bill became an experimental test pilot for the GE Aircraft Engine Group, where he worked for 38 years before retiring.

Please note: Some included photos are not reflective of the story. Even though the stories are true, they are just used as a reference to the Korean War (not of his division).



History Photo Archive from Bill Colwell (1952)


USAF K-14 Kimpo, Korea 1952

A website devoted to the webmasters dad, Bill Colwell.



Staff Sgt. Claude M. Allison (1952)


F51s from the Air Force 8th Fighter Bomber Group are parked at Kimpo Airfield in October 1950. WIKIPEDIA photo courtesy of LTC (UASF Ret) Harvey. W. Gipple

Online source: StarNews Online; Wilmington man explores 1952 air crash in Korea

In 1952, Staff Sgt. Claude M. Allison was serving as a medical administrative supervisor at Kimpo Air Force Base in South Korea. Courtesy of Claude Allison.

Online source: StarNews Online; Wilmington man explores 1952 air crash in Korea



USMC Kimpo Provisional (1952-53)


Main Gate (1953)


(The 4th Fighter Wing in the Korean War - Larry Davis)



Youtube Photo Archive from Major Perry (1953)


A Pilot's snapshots from Kimpo AFB, Korea 1953. Major Perry is Air Group Commander of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing.


History Photo Archive from David Grasmick


Click on the above photo for a couple of photos from David Grasmick. His father took the above photos.


Korean War Veterans Digital Memorial (1953)


Click on the above photo for photos from the Korean War Veterans Digital Memorial website. The photos from Roy Aldrige via Jongwoo Han are all from the below website. Visit there for more other contributors.

Searched database for "kimpo":


History Photo Archive from Lt. James K. Thompson (1953)


Click on the photos to view his full color Historical Archives pictures of Lt. James Thompson, 336th Rocketeer. Volumes 01 to 07. Volumes 01-04 show the life of Kimpo Air Base, LT. James Thompson, his aircraft and fellow Rocketeers. Volumes 05-07 show life in the surrounding people and areas of Kimpo.


History Photo Archive from 2/Lt. William Starr (1954)


An excellent website showing pictures from Kimpo. Fabulous Rocketeers

"Welcome to US Air Base K-14, Kimpo, Korea. It's 1954. The Korean war is over, but the thrill of being a jet fighter pilot never ends."



History Photo Archive from 2/Lt. Ken Ewing (1954)


Click on above photos for some of 2/Lt. Ken Ewings' photo's from U.S. Air base K-14. The first and second volume show in color the life of Kimpo, various airplanes on the runway or in flight. The third volume is misc photos of military reference he saw during that same time (unknown locations).



History Photo Archive from A/2C Wally Yocum Jr (1954)


Click on above photos for some of my fathers photos from U.S. Air base K-14. These volumes show his life at Kimpo, various airplanes on the runway or in flight, and the airplane he was a crew chief for.

Youtube video of Wally Yocum's Collection



History Photo Archive from 1/Lt. Larry Stephens (1954)


Click on the above photo for a picture collection that Larry Stephens had. Photos from L. B. Stephens (Larrys son) via Otha H "Skeet" Vaughan Jr.



Youtube Video Archive from dewitt54h (1954)



Misc. scenes of Kimpo Air Base and places and things in Korea associated with flying as an Air Force transport pilot in 1954.


History Photo Archive from 1/Lt. Bob Seal (1955)


Click on the above photo for a picture collection from Lt. Bob Seal.



"Five Men, Fifty-Five Migs" by Nixon Galloway

Kimpo Airfield, Seoul Korea

Link to larger version: here

National Archives Catalog




Gimpo International Airport (1958)

Map of the airport circa 2014, with the rail station seen along the top.

In 1958, the airport was redesignated as the Gimpo international airport of Seoul by a presidential decree, completely replacing the existing Yeouido Airport.

Following the construction of Gimpo, Yeouido Airport was totally demolished. It soon became the main airport of Seoul and South Korea in general. In 1971, a new combined domestic and international terminal was opened. However, following the opening of Terminal 1 in 1977, the original terminal was converted to domestic flights only. Later, Terminal 2 was opened due to the Olympic Games.

However, Gimpo began to take more flights than it is capable of handling. Since 1980, Gimpo met a lot of problems, due to its lack of space to expand. A major problem is that it has a curfew, which means arrivals and departures are strictly prohibited during the night.

Due to these problems, the South Korean government decided to build a new airport. It was actually planned in Cheongju, 124 kilometres away from Seoul, but it was strongly opposed by Seoul and Gyeonggi Province citizens due to its inconvenience (it would be farther away than Viracopos Airport in Campinas, Brazil, which is approximately 80 kilometres away from the city of São Paulo). Finally, the new site was decided to be nearby Yeongjong Island, a part of Incheon. This was later known as Incheon International Airport. All international flights were moved to Incheon when it opened in 2001, and Gimpo has only served domestic flights from then on.

(Above information from Wikipedia)



History Photo Archive from Bill Smothers (1960)


June 1960 Kimpo, Korea ~ Visit by US President Dwight Eisenhower

Photo of preparations at Kimpo Airbase, located about 15 miles (25 km) west of Seoul, South Korea, for the arrival of US President Eisenhower in June 1960 (exact date of his visit was June 19-20, 1960). This was Eisenhower's 2nd trip to Korea - in December 1952 he visited the Korean combat zone [visit made as President-elect.].



History Photo Archive from James Roberts (1960 era)


James Robert's Website

Hq & Hq Co 2nd Engineer Group (Construction)

571st Engineer Company (Dump Truck)


"B" Company 802nd Engineers

Camp Richmond, Korea

Kimpo Korea K-14 and Oso-ri, Korea

(When it was located close to the end of Kimpo Airbase K-14)



History Photo from Belford Duplantis (1964)


Kimpo Air Base terminal

Photo of the Kimpo Air Base terminal in 1964 by Belford (Buddy) Duplantis. Buddy served a tour of duty at the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Camp Market, June 1963-July 1964.



Gimpo Domestic Era (2003)


Due to the lack of airlines, a flight to Haneda Airport in Tokyo was started in 2003. From that, Gimpo returned as international airport. Since then, several international flights in neighbor countries were added and currently it normally served particular international airlines especially to nearby countries.

Since all 3 terminals were outdated, there's a masterplan to refurbish them. It is deemed to be completed by 2017.

Gimpo currently has two runways (3600 m × 45 m & 3200 m × 60 m), two passenger terminals, and one cargo terminal.

(Above information from Wikipedia)



History Photo Archive from Tom Yocum (2017-2018)


Click on above photos for Tom Yocum's visit to Gimpo International Airport - April 2017 and January 2018.





"Fourth But First"

A website dedictated to the "Fourth but First" (4th Fighter Group) in Korea. Many sourced and donated photos of F-86 sabres/pilots in Korea (334th, 335th, 336th).





Anyone with a Kimpo Archive that they would like to share, or have me set you up a page, please email the webmaster at:




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