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MiG15 Korean war video


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Videos are always fun to watch, thanks TimeKilla.


Here's some info on Russian pilots in Korea, there's details on who and what units participated and the article might help to put into perspective the type of war being fought in Korea at the time.




From the above article some notable quotes.


Until 1950, no MiG-15 interceptor regiments were stationed in the Far East. They were concentrated in the Moscow Air Defense District to protect the capital against US bomber attack. As a result, the squadrons earmarked for Korea were drawn from elite units. The first large Soviet aviation unit sent to Korea was an air defense interceptor division commanded by Col. Ivan Kozhedub, who, with sixty-two victories, was the top Soviet ace of World War II. Due to the pilot's celebrity status, Stalin personally ordered Colonel Kozhedub not to fly combat missions. The division's lead elements left Moscow in mid-November. At that time, a MiG-15 interceptor regiment numbered thirty-five to forty aircraft, and a division usually included three regiments.


The primary goal of the Soviet regiments was to deter Air Force B-29 bombing missions against targets in North Korea. The Chinese Air Force had different plans; it hoped to win sufficient control of the air to permit bomber and attack regiments of the CPVAF to conduct close air support missions for Chinese ground forces during its spring 1951 offensive.


The first large-scale dogfights between Soviet and US units took place in April 1951. Soviet and Chinese MiG-15s were marked with North Korean insignia. Soviet pilots even wore North Korean uniforms. Radio contact between Soviet pilots was supposed to be conducted in Korean. It was a language that few, if any, Russian and Ukrainian pilots understood. As a result, Soviet pilots took with them a small tablet with a list of common messages. Korean statements were spelled out phonetically in Cyrillic letters.


Not surprisingly, these efforts to' camouflage the nationality of the Soviet pilots proved impractical in the melee of air combat, and the rules gradually were relaxed. In the war's later years, Soviet MiG-15s often flew with Soviet insignia. Throughout the war, however, Soviet pilots operated under certain restrictions designed to reduce their chances of being captured by UN forces.


For example, Soviet regiments were ordered to stay over Communist-controlled areas and were forbidden to fly over the Yellow Sea. In May 1951, Lt. Yevgeny Stelmakh was shot down during an attack on B-29 bombers. He safely ejected but landed in UN-controlled territory. He committed suicide with his pistol rather than face certain capture.


Soviet pilots soon made their presence felt. Their increasingly aggressive tactics exacted a toll on the aging B-29s. Colonel Kozhedub's regiments were first used en masse to stop the April 12, 1951, B-29 raid on the Sinuiju bridge. Three B-29s were shot down, the heaviest US losses up to that time.


Dogfights in MiG Alley


The air divisions of the new 64th Air Defense Corps burst onto the scene in June 1951 in a series of large-scale dogfights with F-86 Sabres over MiG Alley. Because the nationality of these new and unexpectedly tough pilots was far from certain, US Sabre pilots dubbed them "honchos," from Japanese for "squad leader" or "boss."


Far East Air Force (FEAF) intelligence soon reported that "more proficient pilots have recently been committed in Korea." The growing aggressiveness of the MiG-15 pilots forced FEAF's Bomber Command to curtail B-29 raids in the MiG Alley area of northwest Korea unless accompanied by fighter escort. MiG-15s also began systematic attacks on jet fighter-bombers, thereby impeding the railway interdiction campaign then under way. The outnumbered F-86 Sabre pilots continued to exact an unequal toll against the MiG-15s, but they could not prevent heavy B-29 losses during daylight.


By September 1951, with some 525 MiG-15s in the Yalu area, Soviet and Chinese leaders were confident enough to begin planning the deployment of Chinese and new North Korean MiG-15 regiments into North Korea itself, outside Chinese sanctuaries.


The dogfights that occurred in the fall of 1951 highlighted the disparity of skills between the Chinese and Soviet pilots. In one year, China's Air Force had expanded from virtually nothing to one of the world's largest air arms, with more than 1,000 combat planes. The Chinese candidly admit that their pilots in Korea were poorly prepared but felt that the operations were a necessary learning experience. Soviet pilots were, on average, more experienced than their Chinese counterparts but not as well trained as their US foes. Many were veterans of World War II, but it appears that only a handful of wartime aces went to Korea.


Like China, the USSR used the conflict as a training ground for airmen, rotating no fewer than twelve divisions through Korea during the war. A Polish MiG-15 pilot who defected in 1953 said that many of his Russian instructors had served in Korea.


The Soviets made vigorous efforts to maintain technological superiority over the F-86 Sabres. By 1951, USAF pilots began to see the MiG-15bis, with its more powerful VK-1 engine. In the summer of 1951 an improved MiG-15bis, with better guns, went into service. By the winter of 1951, Fifth Air Force concluded that large numbers of MiG-15s on the Yalu, and their increasing proficiency, posed an unacceptable risk to daylight B-29 missions. There were simply not enough F-86 Sabres to provide escort. As a result, the B-29s shifted to night missions using Shoran bombing systems.


The Soviet 64th Air Defense Corps attempted to counter this tactic by dispatching two night fighter regiments to Korea. One regiment, commanded by Maj. Anatoly Karelin, was originally equipped with Lavochkin La-11 piston-engine fighters. The Soviets had no suitable radar-equipped night fighter in 1952, so the Karelin unit was trained to operate in conjunction with radar-directed searchlights. The regiment soon shifted to MiG-15s, and Major Karelin, with nine victories, became the top nighttime ace.


A Change in Soviet Attitudes


By 1952, Chinese and North Korean regiments were taking over much of the air war. The Yalu air bases were home to two Soviet PVO divisions, two Chinese divisions (with reinforcements nearby), and one North Korean division. A change in Soviet attitudes toward the war is evident in the refusal of the Soviet military leadership to dispatch newer MiG-17 fighters to Korea in 1952-53. By 1952, improvements to the F-86 Sabre largely negated the technical advantages the MiG-15bis had enjoyed. The technological balance could have shifted back to the Soviet pilots with the MiG-17, but the Kremlin continued to refuse to send them. Only in the final weeks of the war did Moscow relent.


Then, in April 1953, came Operation Moolah, in which the UN Command offered a cash bounty to defecting MiG pilots. The USSR jammed Russian-language radio broadcasts of the offer, but B-29s pamphleted several Soviet regiments. Moscow does not admit that the project succeeded. After May 1953, however, the quality of MiG-15 pilots over Korea dropped markedly. There is every reason to believe that Soviet pilots stopped flying combat missions altogether.


Soviet accounts claim that by the end of the war, their forces had shot down no fewer than 1,200 US aircraft. Colonel Kozhedub's division alone claimed 258. China, rather modestly, claimed only eighty-five kills. Soviet claims are grossly exaggerated and reflect a tendency to accept claims without verification. The US Air Force acknowledged only 139 air-to-air losses--121 fighters and eighteen bombers. Sabre pilots claimed 792 MiG-15s.


The highest ranking Soviet ace of the conflict was Col. Yevgeny Pepelyayev, a regimental commander in Colonel Kozhedub's division who claimed twenty-three victories. The second highest was the corps commander, General Lobov, with fourteen.


The number of Soviet aces is not known. This writer has been able to identify twenty-one pilots awarded the highest military decoration, "Hero of the Soviet Union." Only two of the decorations were awarded posthumously. Usually the USSR decorates living pilots only if they are aces. At least two other pilots made five or more kills, but these pilots did not receive the Hero of the Soviet Union award. Given these facts, the list of purported aces may number more than twenty.


Intelligence accounts at the time recognized the presence of Soviet pilots but not of major regiment- or division- sized units. It is possible that such transfers were detected and that the intelligence remains classified today. In any event, recent Soviet articles resolve the longstanding mystery of the origins of the "honcho" pilots of the Korean air war.

Edited by Invader ZIM
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There were a lot of rather interesting situations combat pilots found themselves in. Below, 6 minutes in the video is his fight with a Russian Honcho at extremely low altitude, and before that, the interesting info on the American ranging radar gunsite that allowed the .50cal API rounds to be effective.


Part 3 is how Risner pushed his wingman with his F-86, about 4 min in.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L5j7hQwWSw Part 2


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQEZqwvt4js Part 3

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Thanks Invader ZIM very interesting stuff there. :thumbup:



Crazy dogfight footage eh?

Heh LOL. If the MiG had got behind him, it wouldn't have taken nearly as many hits.


I remember the episode where someone had to push their wingman back over the frontline, nose-to-jet-pipe.

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