COLONEL STEPHEN L. BETTINGER flew numerous fighter missions during the Korean War, where he flew with the world famous 4th Fighter Wing, out of Seoul, Korea. Colonel Bettinger flew 95.5 combat missions and shot down five MIG-15s, probably destroyed another, and damaged two more MIG-15s. This made him the 39th and last JET ACE of the war. Unfortunately, he was shot down and became a prisoner of the Chinese during the closing months of the war.This is his first interview following his repatriation in 1953 (Courtesy of the National Archives).
WORLD WAR II COMBAT: He flew the P-40 aircraft and then trained in the P-47 Thunderbolt. He joined the 12th Air Force, 57th Fighter Group, in Italy and Corsica, where he completed over 100 missions as a fighter-bomber pilot. He was credited with shooting down one ME·109 German fighter.
DECORATIONS: Colonel Bettinger was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart, Commendation Medal, POW Medal, the French Croix-de-Guerre, and the Korean Chung Moo Medal with Gold Star, personally presented by President Sigmund Rhee of the republic of Korea.
Here are some great books about the Korean War. One of the best books I have read is This Kind of War. I read it before being deployed to Korea and its simply fascinating recount of the War. Could not put it down.