An extract from “South Africa’s Flying Cheetahs in Korea” by Dermot Moore and Peter Bagshawe.

“During this difficult period in mid-1951 a high level of morale was maintained by the regular arrival of mail from home and such thoughtful gestures as individually addressed parcels from the Gift and Comfort Fund. The losses and narrow escapes had placed the pilots of the Cheetah Squadron under considerable strain, and something extra was needed to relieve the tension. That something was the inspiration of a young officer from the Eastern Cape, Micky Rorke, who felt that although the American Officer’s Club was comfortable and friendly, it lacked atmosphere, so, with the help of Flight Sergeant Bob Monroe, he decided to do something about it. In a borrowed jeep Mickey drove to Pusan and bought ten dollars’ worth of drinks at the British NAAFI.

On returning to Chinhae he built a bar next to his bed with ammunition boxes. He was now in business. His prices, with Scotch whiskey at seven cents a tot, were much lower than those charged in the American Club. The venture was a great success. Rorke’s Inn was then established in a tent a later in a wood and iron building, and the pub became an institution of the Cheetah Squadron until the end of the war. It was a rendezvous where pilots could feel at home and let off steam, where tradition and esprit de corps were fostered and where pilots could sing away their anxieties and give expression to their exuberance after a successful action, or down their sorrows after a comrade had been lost. Many of the songs that they sang were from previous wars, but some had a distinctive flavour of the Korean experience.

Unfortunately the renowned pub outlived its founder. On 15 May 1951 Micky was taking off for a four-aircraft interdiction mission, his third mission of the day. His Mustang became airborne after hitting a bump, failed to climb and crashed near a damaged B-26 bomber parked off the end of the runway. The two napalm bombs Micky released before impact, exploded and turned both aircraft into an inferno.”