hortly after the end of World War II, the Korean Air Construction Association was founded on August 10, 1946 to publicize the importance of air power. Despite the then-scanty status of Korean armed forces, the first air unit was formed on May 5, 1948 under the direction of Dong Wi-bu, the forerunner to the modern Korean Ministry of National Defence. On September 13, 1949, the United States contributed 10 L-4 Grasshopper observation aircraft to the Korean air unit. An Army Air Academy was founded on January, 1949, and the ROKAF was officially founded on October, 1949.
The outbreak of the Korean War and the 1950s
F-51D fighters were among the first aircraft deployed by the ROKAF.
The 1950s were a critical time for the ROKAF as it expanded tremendously during the Korean War. At the outbreak of the war, the ROKAF consisted of 1,800 personnel but was equipped with only 20 trainer and liaison aircraft, including 10 T-6 Texan (Korean:건국기, Hanja: 建國機, Geongukgi) advanced trainers purchased from Canada. The North Korean air force had acquired a considerable number of Yak-9 and La-7 fighters from the Soviet Union, dwarfing the ROKAF in terms of size and strength. However, during the course of the war, the ROKAF acquired 110 aircraft: 79 fighter-bombers, three fighter squadrons, and one fighter wing. The first combat aircraft received were F-51D Mustangs, along with a contingent of US Air Force instructor pilots under the command of Major Dean Hess. The ROKAF participated in bombing operations and flew independent sorties. After the war, the ROKAF Headquarters was moved to Daebangdong, Seoul. Air Force University was also founded in 1956.