Thread: Top Jet Aces
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Old 16th August 2007, 18:54
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Csaba B. Stenge Csaba B. Stenge is offline
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Csaba B. Stenge
Re: Top Jet Aces

Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
There was an issue of AVIONS last year(?) covering an 18-kill Russian pilot in Korea, I think it was Pepelyayev. The majority of his kills (perhaps 2/3rds?) were directly matched to US losses, so suggestions of excessive Russian overclaiming doesn't seem to apply there.

And we are to assume that Israeli fighter pilots never overclaim?
I always write, that the overclaiming was very common.

I did not state above, that the Israeli pilots never overclaimed, I stated (as it is my humble opinion), that Epstein shot down more planes, than Sutyagin and Pepelyayev (and my opinion is not based on a single article)

The Soviet pilots overclaimed in Korea, and quite intensively (far more, than the UN pilots). For example, the Soviet MiG pilots claimed more, than 1100 kills (one source even says more, than 1300) This number including more, than 650 Sabres. Ths US sources states, that only 78 Sabre was shot down in air-to-air combat (and the other type losses were much more less, of course, I can present you examples or details, if you want some) If you even count, that some returned and later written off planes were not counted, the 650 is very far from the 78 (and you must know, that some Sabres, which were really lost in air combat, were shot down by Chinese pilots, not by the Soviets, since the Chinese claimed and shot down significant number of planes too, for example probably they shot down George Davis as well).

I have read an article once about Pepelyayev, the author has some - I must say - childish efforts to synchronize Pepelyayev's claims with the real losses of the US planes. He neglected the other Soviet pilot's claims (i.e. if in a single engagement the Soviets claimed 4-5 or more kills, and it was one real loss, according to him it was shot down 'evidently' by Pepelyayev, he counted 5-6 losses, which were marked as AA hits by US sources as 'erroneous', 'evidently all were shot down by Pepelyayev' and even in this method, he found 4-5 pure overclaims) I have many detailed US loss materials from Korean war (BTW the Korean war loss database are available via online too, check here:

I checked nearly all of Pepelyayev's claims in my materials and found overclaims and just damaged planes too (and events, when too many claims agains a few loss, as said above)

Evidently, both Sutyagin and Pepelyayev were very good pilots, but both shot down in real less planes, than for example McConnell, or Epstein. I don't have Egyptian loss materials, but the Istraeli Air Force evidently investigated his claims and you must be sure, that the Israeli successes were not produced by their propaganda, but by their pilots...
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