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Old 15th April 2011, 04:49
Daniel Nole Daniel Nole is offline
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Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

To the early years 90s was only a version of the Air War over Korea. Mainly the versions USAF, US Navy were the only published and was, near of be the only availables(very few material RAAF or from other UN nations air arms envolved in this war was available). Nothing was ear from the "boys of the other side of the street". Was a history type one way or one side.

Then, the archives were open, pilots, the annonymus of yesterday, the boy of this MiGs, start to talk and in a very few short time, a new version, of the history was born. This one is more complete, now we have two versions and two points of view, two ways, but sometimes is true, can be also confused, if we compared with dates, numbers, details, etc of the "old history". Not a easy work for investigators and historicals.

This is a list o events, to see and compare with the old version at some particular dates at the Korean Air War. Of course, are discutable but that offer another point of view.
Some examples:

1-Nov 8, 1950 The first combat between Jets and the kill of Brown.

Well, that is one of the most symbolic events and is near of be always present in each book or publication about Korean Air War.
Still today, if we can find books with always mentioned this victory of the F-80C of Brown againts the MiG-15 of Kharitonov. V-VS dont admitted this victory, first MiG loss was the Nov 9th and was againts the US Navy Panthers(VF-111, W.T.Amen) of the CV-47 Phippine Sea. This victory is full admitted by both sides.

2-Dec 22, 1950 4th FIW againts 177th IAP and 6 F-86 kills

Another hard myth at the side of the USAF. We are in April 2011 and still today we can read that in recent publications.
Today we know the names of the pilots, the place, the hour,the details, etc, and continued with this grotesc overclaim had not sense. Two MiGs were shot down(Barsegyan KIA, Zub Wounded), and a third damaged(Deinege). End score of the 22th Nov : 2 MiG-15 and one F-86A-5(and not six MiG-15 and one F-86A-5).

3-The MiGs no coming up after Dec 22, 1950

"MiGs stayed on the ground after Dec 22, 1950". We can read this in many books, as a sugestion of cowardy or something like this by the MiG pilots after the "lesson" of the 22th Dec. Nothing of more wrong. 29th GIAP and 177th IAP flew missions the 24, 27, 29 and 30 December and claimed in this periode 11 victories, including 5 F-86s, and two F-80C full admitted(if are overclaims or no, is not the point, but the MiGs were in the air)
Also in the same periode was crowned the first Ace of the V-VS Stepahn Naumenko of the 29th GIAP.

4-March 17, 1951

"An F-80, flown by Lt. Howard J. Landry of the 36th FBS, collided with a MiG-15. Both went down with
their pilots. Fifth Air Force lost no other aircraft in aerial encounters during the month."

After the USAF , the March 1, 1951 with 2 B-29 (44-69667, 44-61830)reduced to scrap by the MiGs and also the 44-69746 heavy damage over Sinuiju the Mar 30, 1951(and maybe also written off after his emergency landing a Itazuke with wounded aboard)cannot be considered as losses. But a photo of a MiG showing some 10 hits of 0.50 by a F-86, yes, that is a MiG kill...

5-April 12, 1951

Well, thats is near of be a scandalous the version as mentioned of this event in the books. This day the MiGs score a big victory(the USAF dont loss nothing in admitted that today). And what we read in the books? "at least 70 MiGs"," "It proved to be a costly experience for the MiGs pilots, however as they lost ten of their within minutes",","and the pay the price, for six of the confirmed MiG kills fell to the B-29s 0.50-cal turrets","Another four jets were gunned down by 4th FIW"," Forty-six B-29s attacking the Yalu River bridge at Sinuiju and 100 escorting fighters encountered between 100 and 125 MiGs, which shot down three bombers and damaged seven others. However, B-29 gunners destroyed seven MiGs, and F-86 pilots downed four more, the highest daily MiG tally thus far",etc,etc.

Please, we are in 2011, no in 1954...

Kozedub's 324th IAD complement about this time was 60 MiGs, still many MiG-15s first version with RD-45F engine(was the only Division fighting in Korea about this time).
44 MiGs were send to intercept the 48 B-29s, 34 F-84 Thunderjets and 18 F-86A-5 and Kozedub rest a Antung with very few reserves.

The score of the day, 4 B-29 destroyed and five damaged(some were also written-off after emergency landings). MiG losses :1 MiG heavy damage, written-off after landing(St Lt Yakolev of the 196th IAP)and another damaged: 823 blue"(CN 108023)of the 176th GIAP. Certainly one MiG written-off and another damaged are quite far of 10 claimed by the USAF.
Yakolev MiG is credited to James Jabara.

Namsi combats later this year and "Black Tuesday" losses are admitted in part by the USAF and for first time this last concede, something like a victory for the MiGs pilots.

6-"By September 1951, with some 525 MiG-15s in the Yalu area"

Overestimations of numbers of MiGs was near a constant in the Korean Air War. The real forces at this month deployed in Manchurie were:

50th IAD(176th GIAP and 196th IAP)

75 MiGs

303th IAD(17th IAP, 18th GIAP and 523th IAP)

125 MiGs

PLAAF 4th FAD

Start his second tour of operations Sep 22, 1951 with 55 MiGs and 56 pilots.

Total of MiGs: 255

A FEAF overestimation of near of 100 % of the MiGs availables by the "reds" .

7-Sept 25, 1951: Five MiGs shot down. "100 MiGs vs 36 F-86s"

We read something like this about this day: "In the largest air battle in recent weeks, an estimated 100 MiG-15s attacked 36 F-86s flying a fighter sweep over the Sinanju area. Sabre pilots destroyed five MiGs in aerial combat, the daily high for the month."

The real history is the following: they so called "100 MiGs" were the 16 MiGs of PLAAF 12th Regiment of 4th FAD led by Li Wenno in his first operative sortie of his second tour. (Some sources speak also of a cover of V-VS MiGs). The combat was near Anju and the 4th FAD, one of the better PLAAF trained division about this time, obtained a average results. His losses were the MiG-15 of Hua, Long-yi shot down by 1th Lt Booth T. Holker and the MiG of Li Wenmo damaged aparently by 1th Lt Charles F. Loyd(334th FIS).When he finally landed at Antung , there were more than thirty bullet holes in his MiG fuselage, wings, landing gear and cockpit canopy.(X.Zhang)
In return Li Yongtai score several good 23mm hits in the left wing root at the F-86A-5 of Loyd.
End score: 1 MiG shot down , one MiG damaged. One F-86A-5 damaged.(and not 5 MiG shot down).Despite the loss of one MiG, the results were not so bad for the PLAAF 4th FAD in this difficult engagement with the high experienced 4th FIW F-86 pilots. But that was no always so; in Oct 16, the 4th FAD engaged again the 4th FIW and the results were disastrous for the PLAAF, lossing this day the 12th Regiment eight MiGs and two pilots(USAF claims this time were near right of the real score with nine MiGs claimed).

8-Oct 27, 1951: "B-29 gunners shot down six MiGs"

"MiGs flew approximately 200 sorties, the high for the month. On a last medium bomber daylight raid, B-29 gunners shot down six MiG-15s, their highest number of enemy aircraft downed on any day of the war."

Really?, they were no 60? No more comments...

9-November 27, 1951 Maj. Richard D. Creighton crowned as ace

Very dubious, two MiGs were loss and full admitted by the V-VS (176th GIAP) this day and boths kills were also the first kills of Maj George Davis(A. Yesipko KIA, A.P.Verdysh KIA). No PLAAF or other MiGs were lost. USAF claimed this day four MiGs with lossing in echange by MiGs one F-84E and one F-80c. As with Jim Jabara the 20th May, after V-VS records and MiG losses, no Ace title was obtained this day.

10-November 30, 1951

The 4th FIW Intercept this day a raid of Tu-2s of the PLAAF 24th regiment of the 8th BAD escorted by La-11 of the 2th FAD and a high cover of MiG-15 of the 3th FAD.

The PLAAF was targeting for second time the island of Taehwa-do and the strike was composed by 9 Tu-2 bombers of the 8th Bomber Aviation Division flying in three bombers in each flight, a escort of 16 La-11 of the 2th FAD and a escort high cover of 24 MiG-15 of the 3th FAD.

Unlucky for the bombers, they were five minutes ahead of schedule and the MiGs were right in schedule and coming five minutes later in combat. Five minutes is a lot of time in air combat. The only escort available when the 31 F-86 of the 4th FIW(Col B.Preston)struck and start his attack were the 16 La-11 of the 2th FAD.

"A bad day for the red commanders " we read in this books or something like this. Yes, can be ,but also that was no so much heroic to attack 9 piston bombers , escorted also by 16 piston fighters with 31 Sabres.(And we dont mention the experience of the USAF flyers compared with the inexperienced PLAAF pilots of this time).

The November 30, 1951 mission was a complete disaster for the PLAAF and the losses were 4 tu-2, 3 La-11 and one of the later incoming MiGs of the 3th FAD. This MiG was credited to George Davis and the PLAAF later acknowledged that the flight leader of the 3th FAD died in action over Taehwa-do while trying to rescued his bomber comrades(X.Zhang)

The claims: USAF claims were for 8 Tu-2(first were six, then two more were added of the reported 12 Tu-2)3 La-11 and the MiG. In few words, claims were made for the double of Tu-2 really shot down. In the other side, one F-86 was damaged by the 23mm of one of the La-11(Wang Tianbao). I have never read in the "old literature pre-1990" from Korean Air War something about this damage F-86E(50-625)this day. A lot of "Bad Day for the reds" but nothing to say about losses or damages in the fields of the "good boys". The PLAAF had also had claimed a second F-86 damaged this day.

11-Dec 13, 1951 "13 MiGs destroyed(other versions say 14)"

The version pre 1990s : "Twenty-nine F-86s encountered 75 MiG-15s over Sinanju, and in a wild melee the F-86 pilots shot down nine MiGs, giving USAF pilots a total of 13 aerial victories for the day".

Actual and real score of the day: Eight MiGs and two F-86A-5 destroyed. The inexperienced PLAAF 14th FAD 40th Regiment was surprised by the attack of the 4th FIW, before coult even drop thei wings tanks and loss 7 MiGs very fast.V-VS loss one MiG of the 18th GIAP(I.A.Gorsky-KIA). In enchange two F-86A-5 of the 4th FIW were shot down(49-1159, 49-1199), the second one by one MiG of the 3th FAD, escorting in this moment the rookies of the 14th FAD in one of his first missions.Certainly is a victory for the 4th FIW, but again, no a hard one to obtain in this conditions, another overclaim this time of five-six MiGs, and not admitted "officialy" his losses of two F-86 this day.

12-Feb 10, 1952 Maj George Davis shot down

No much to say, a well known topic a overclaim of one MiG, with no F-86, or camara, or photos availables to confirmed the victories. But, well, he was in his last mission and he loss his live this day in the process.

13-March 20, 1952

The pre 1990 version say: "Near Sui-ho Reservoir area, MiG-15s attacked a USAF patrol. The F-86 pilots destroyed five MiGs and damaged approximately 13 others".

Well, only one is admitted, Kolesnikov of the 494th IAP shot down by Felix Asla Jr. of the 335th FIS 4th FIW. After the USAF version, the kill claim of Capt Robert Love of the 335th FIW is quite curious. He had expended all his munition in the MiG and this one continued to flight straight and level. His wingman 1th Martin J.Bambrick then ask Love to get into position to finish him off, and and Love replied in the negative and say the pilot was already dead. Both F-86s left the MiG and continued his patrol. Later , it was confirmed to the pilots that the jet had indeed lost altitude in a glide and crashed into the ground some distance off to the west. After the USAF that was enough to confirm the kill of Love.

So vague all this confirmation, no photo, "some distance off to the west" that can mean many things and nothing, no geographic location o near some locality or point specific. And V-VS or PLAAF dont admitted this loss.
Counting this dubious kill we have still 3 overclaims.

MiGs claims for the day were for a SAAF F-51D(45-11704), this one confirmed.

14-April 4, 1952 : "10 MiGs destroyed"

We can read: "Fifth Air Force Sabre pilots destroyed 10 MiGs while losing one F-86. Col. Francis S. Gabreski,
commander, 51st FIW, destroyed a MiG to become the eighth jet ace of the war."

The F-86 destroyed is confirmed and one second damaged was also claimed by the MiGs. MiG losses : 2.
A overclaim of eight MIGs.(kills of Gabreski and one of Wescott admitted)

15-May 3, 1952: "5 MiG destroyed"

Version pre 1990 :"Sabre pilots destroyed five MiG-15s, with Maj. Donald E. Adams, 16th FIS, destroying two and Capt.
Robert T. Latshaw Jr., 335th FIS, downing another to increase the number of aces to 14."

Actual score: 4 shot down(3 from 494 IAP and one from 148 GIAP)

Version pre-1990 forget again to say one F-86E(50-652) was also shot down by the MiGs.

Etc, etc, etc, etc, for many other air combats in the Korean War, version pre-1990.


To continued, some favourites of the "old literature" pre-1990:


16-East German pilots flying MiG-15 in Korea.

Well, the fantasie and the speculations in the cold war had give sometimes unexpected and near incredible conclussions.

17-Ex Luftwaffe veterans pilots flying MiG-15 in Korea.

And that continued. After the USAF is like everybody is capable of flight and fight in a MiG-15 ; exception : a Soviet.

18-Varsovie Pact pilots flying MiG-15 in Korea.

Like number 7. Fantasie land a discretion

19-All weather German(DDR)squadron with very skilled pilots flying MiG-15

Like number 7.

20-A downed "Red "pilot was straffed at sea by other MiGs to avoid capture by the UN forces.

I have never read something like this in the actual literature about the Korean Air War. St Lt Evgeniy Stelmakh of the 18th GIAP was shot down by one F-86 and ejected over Korea. He fight then with some chinese(took them as American saboteurs) and after gunfight he comited suicide with the last bullet of his TT pistol. Larionov, wigman of Pepelyayev was shot down over the Yellow Sea but any mention of this type.

But today we finded other types of mentions or references and there not specially favourable for some pilots of the USAF, straffing ejected MiG pilots in his parachute. Kramarenko was one of these straffed and two at least were killed in his parachutes. Nothing to do with made a photo of the ejected pilot for confirme the victory, there were burst of 0.50 intentional... Some source mentioned William F. Shaeffer as the pilot trying to kill Kramarenko in his parachute. Zabelin also mention criminal events of this type.

21-All skilled MiG-15 combat pilot were instructors.

This is one of the favorites in many USAF oriented publications. When a USAF pilot find a "Honcho", must be a Instructor. In reality , no all instructors were skilled combat pilots and no all skilled combat pilots were instructors. But this one is hard, and as say before is a great favorite in all this books as near of be, always present somewhere.

22-792 MiG kills againts 78 Sabres lost

Well, this one is the Best seller of the Korean Air War.
Other number mentioned 110, 103, etc. But the MiGs are always there in the ratio of 7:1 ; short time after the end of the Korean war the number was 14:1.
Real losses for the MiG, were by the 593 MiGs in combat and some 659 all causes. If you take in all causes the number of F-86 losses you have there some 184 F-86 losses; Stephen Sewell go more far and mentioned 271 F-86 all causes lost. If you take in consideration this all causes for the USAF , you have there 1035 losses(other souces cited :1335 losses and 945 not combat losses), more 814 of the US Navy, more 368 USMC . We speaking now of 2217 aircrafts and to this ammount still must added RAAF, SAAF,ROKAF etc,etc. Certain sources cited the number of 3625 aircrafts and helicopters losses all causes by the UN forces in the Korean war. The AAA Chinese, North Korean or Soviet was the real winner if we like speak of scores in airplanes destroyed(USAF alone admitted officially the loss of 816 by AAA).

23-Debris and engine failure or explosion

In official records in losses causes there are a lot of engines failure on Korea, specially for the F-86s and curiously many times when the MiG were not so far. And also sometimes there were also a lot of debris in flight everywhere.

24-The air superiority

In my modest opinion they were in Korea, two winners, The MiG succeded in forbidden the air space to the B-29s in daylight(for that was designed originally, as a bomber destroyer) and the F-86 forbidden the air space south to the MiGs and avoid the construction of new airfields in North Korea Territory. Real advantages for the UN forces were not so much, Chinese Army operated always without air support at and the end of the war , there were a lot a supplies availables. The war againts the rail, roads and supplies routes , despite the efforts, the millons of bombs, rockets, napalm etc had not annuled the resuply of the Chinese forces and in his last offensive at July 1953, the artillery fire a colossal amount of shells againts the south positions.

Estimated number of MiGs in front line operations at Manchurie at the end of the war: 690 MiGs(3 V-VS divisions, 6 PLAAF Divisions, one KPAFAC Regiment, one V-VS Night Fighter Regiment).

The MiG-15 main function was to intercept and destroy bombers and fighters bombers and no a competence or race of pilots hability in dogfight. Is like the Battle of England , Spitifre and Hurricanes go for the german bombers , no for the Bf 109 or the Bf 110s. Many times Park avoided the combat of his units when he know only Messerschmitts were crossing the channel to challenge the RAF. That was the same for the MiGs. The objetive was the F-84s,F-80s and mainly the B-29s with his heavy load of bombs and destruction.

Daniel

Last edited by Daniel Nole; 17th April 2011 at 00:58.
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Old 19th April 2011, 01:08
Daniel Nole Daniel Nole is offline
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Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

10-November 30, 1951(Update)

I have mentioned at the end:

"The PLAAF had also had claimed a second F-86 damaged this day".

Well , that is confirmed if we check some comentaries of the day an the official text coming together with the Second Silver Star gived to Maj George Davis.

First, Mayor Winton Marshall with a short commentary about his victories:

"And I have been shot at myself 10-15 times, including once where the enemy pilot scored some really good hits and badly damaged my aircraft. And that was by a LaGG-9 propeller-driven aircraft!"

Ok, the ID of the enemy PLAAF attacking plane is not exactly right(actually a La-11), but is enough and clear: "a propeller-driven aircraft".

Now, a fragment from the citation coming with the Silver Star for Maj George Davis:

"...Despite the intense fire from the enemy bomber formation, he pressed home four more attacks with such effectiveness that he personally destroyed three enemy bombers. Major Davis was forced to withdraw after expending nearly all his ammunition and running critically low on fuel. While proceeding southward toward friendly territory, Major Davis heard a distress call from the element leader of his Flight. Although fully aware that he had less than the minimum amount of fuel remaining to insure safe return to a friendly base, Major Davis altered course 180 degrees and proceeded at full power to the location of the pilot. When he arrived he found his pilot's aircraft disabled by enemy fire and in imminent danger of being destroyed by MIG-15s, which were forming for a final attack on the damaged F-86. Major Davis immediately brought accurate fire on the enemy, destroyed one MIG-15, dispersed the remaining, forcing them to break off their attack. He escorted the disabled aircraft out of the danger zone, into friendly territory. When he finally landed, he had less than five gallons of fuel remaining..."

"Element leader" , "distress call of from the element leader of his flight", Marshall after the 23mm hits of Wang Tianbao La-11, loss conciencie, the plane go in spin ,however recovered just before hitting the water; and then he flight the badly damaged F-86 back to base. Any mention of a distress call or MiGs attacking him at this moment or shortly after.(X.Zhang)

And Korwald what say abouth this day?: silence....(Only a solitary Tigercat is listed this day)

Enough, and 100 % clear. At Nov 30, 1951, despite his losses of four Tu-2, 3 La-11 and one MiG, the PLAAF had his two F-86s damaged and can be full admitted(one by La-11 and one by MiG).

Maybe someday, apart the well known : "Bad day for the red commanders" we can finded in the books about the Korean Air War also this info included about the two F-86 damaged by the PLAAF the Nov 30, 1951(if the loss of "prestige" is too big saying all details, can be also accepted, a very very very small note of page all down)

Daniel

Last edited by Daniel Nole; 19th April 2011 at 01:58.
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Old 30th April 2011, 05:25
JoeB JoeB is offline
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Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

Hi Daniel,

I think at this point, after many very detailed replies by me item by item, you should realize that the sources you quote have frequent errors about specific US losses, particularly about damaged planes as 'written off' and non air combat losses as 'suspicious', when the authors of those sources really have no information or evidence to support this 'suspicion' or what was supposedly 'admitted', implying something else was not 'admitted'.

Also the theme of many of your entries is that the US side overclaimed in particular cases. True, but true of almost every air war in history, so I don't see what is really remarkable about it. Prior to the 1990's, the information on actual losses on the MiG side was not available, so what else could authors in the West have done?

In my humble opinion, this is more understandable than the case of some recent books written in Russia, often quoted on the internet, where the opposing loss accounts are known but simply dismissed as 'laughable', 'suspicious' etc because they are so embarrassinly at variance with the Soviet victory claims. OTOH it's harder to write air war history from a nationalistic point of view when the opposing accounts are known and systematically contradict what 'the author's' pilots claimed. It's easier for such an author if the opposing accounts just aren't known, so nationalistically inclined US authors pre 90's had an 'advantage' in this respect (what you don't know can't embarass and anger the pilot/veterans you are interviewing, and in fact one famous author of many US-side KW books I've dealt with is positively not interested in specific MiG loss accounts where known, this does not just occur on one side).

But not nearly all MiG accounts in Korea are known now, so IMHO it's not meaningful to assess US overclaims in individual combats after September 1951, as of now. For example, the most recent Chinese accounts to surface in the public realm make it fairly clear George Davis was in combat with the PLAAF when shot down Feb 10 1952, but the PLAAF unit lost 3 a/c. Previous Chineses accounts suggested that Davis might have been in combat with PLAAF but didn't mention those losses (since Davis' 2 victories were the only US claims of the day, it seems to rule out Davis' loss in combat with Soviet units which saw contact with F-86's but suffered no losses, other F-86 formations *did* encounter MiG's, but made no claims).

And overall, you give a total MiG combat loss of 593, which I think I also quoted, as approximate, and approximately 815 MiG's were credited (USAF, USN/USMC, FAA), so it's not a high overclaim ratio, except for B-29's whose victory credits were almost totally erroneous. In F-86 case high overclaims occurred in some cases, but low overclaims or underclaims in other cases to arrive at moderate overclaim (by WWII standards) overall. But after fall '51 we just can't assess them case by case with the info now available.

As far as kill ratio, even one-sided accounts of this from US side did not claim that F-86's were not lost to other causes or fighter bombers and B-29's weren't lost to MiG's, the 10:1 was *air to air* combat kill ratio for the F-86 alone. The actual number of F-86's lost in air combat, if counting a/c which returned safely but were never repaired, was perhaps 90, I've concluded counting one by one (no USAF source ever revised that 78 number to 103 or to any other number, that's an often repeated fallacy). There's some uncertainty in my number but not a great deal, I believe. So the actual F-86:MiG-15kill ratio was 6+:1, quite high by WWII standards for a real ratio by one top of line fighter against another for a long period.

A/c lost to MiG debris were generally counted as air combat losses; in any case I'm counting them. As we've covered for a few individual cases, engine failures in the combat zone were not *all*, *obviously* MiG losses, and actually only a relative few coincide with days of MiG claims to be possible MiG losses, and happened in or near contact with MiG's. And as we've also covered, the numerous 1953 F-86 AAA losses were almost all clearly documented as occurring near the front lines far from MiG areas, and prior to 1953 when F-86's seldom engaged in ground attack, few were recorded lost to ground fire.

Just to note a few specific a/c fates:
All three B-29's mentioned for March 1951 were repaired:
44-69667: damaged March 1 1951 by AA or premature explosion of own bombs; was again present in the formation attacked by MiG's April 12
44-61830: damaged March 1 1951 by MiG's, also present April 12
44-69746: damaged March 30 by MiG's (along with 44-69763), both a/c appear on 98 BG mission reports in 1952-53
All four of those planes were scrapped in 1954, like most other surviving B-29's

In the April 12 attack, 3 B-29's were shot down outright 1 written off, 2 others damaged enough for the damage to be listed by serial number:
44-69682: shot down by MiG's
44-86370: shot down by MiG's
44-62252: shot down by MiG's

44-87618: MiG damage, to be repaired as training a/c (as heavily damaged B-29's often were in WWII) but stricked May 14 '51 instead

44-61385: MiG damage, repaired, lost in takeoff accident Oct 31 1951
42-94062: MiG damage, listed in 307 BG's roster in 1952, scrapped 1954
Korwald has (or had) an error listing 42-65369 on this date as well as on April 6; April 6 is correct, operational loss, no opposing claims.

The F-86's damaged on Nov 30 1951 were 48-292 and 50-680. The latter was hit in the canopy and left wing by La-11 fire. Both a/c were repaired and served till after the Korean War. 50-680 was being flown by Maj Winton Marshall. I got the serial number of that a/c from USAF records, but I've seen that damage mentioned in at least two books told from the US side, based on accounts by Marshall or his unit mates.

Joe
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Old 1st May 2011, 17:55
Daniel Nole Daniel Nole is offline
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Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

Thanks Joe.
The polemyc or controversy in not with the losses of the V-VS or PLAAF; both Air Forces had announced and admited the number of losses, allround of the 600 MiGs. The problem is the USAF, the numbers gived are still today, no realistic, few credibles and the availables sources dont help in this sense. The Navy there is more honest.
Is very difficult to accept for the V-VS for example, only 14 F-80s loss by MiGs and in the same time USAF announced 148 other losses in operational accidents.That is a lot of accidents. Or the Report Digest of 1953: 14 by MiGs, 113 by AAA, 16 unknown and "230 Others". "230 Others" is a hugue number.
Or the F-84: 18 by MiGs, 135 by AAA, 13 unknown and total losses 335!!. 169 F-84 Thunderjets losses in "Other causes" . Its a lot too.
Etc, etc for F-86, B-29, etc,etc.
Still today the RB-45 Tornado shot down by the MiGs in Dec 1950 is a point of discussion and not always acepted or admitted by the USAF.

That´s the point. No the MiG losses, but the USAF announced and published losses. Historical, they were always overclaims and propaganda in the Air War, but when several pilots had observed a enemy pilot ejecting or crashing and after the loss is not admitted, that dont help.

Daniel
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Old 1st May 2011, 22:17
Daniel Nole Daniel Nole is offline
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Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

Quote:
44-61385: MiG damage, repaired, lost in takeoff accident Oct 31 1951
Hi Joe, I think is a mistake there , they are not a B-29 44-61385, this one must be near sure the 44-61835. Reversed numbers maybe.

Regards

Daniel
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Old 9th September 2011, 16:49
Miguel A Miguel A is offline
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Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

According to Mr. Diego Zampini and Mr. Igor Seidov

270 Sabres were killed by VVS MiG-15
293 VVS MiG-15 were killed by Sabres (89 during Maple Special missions)

What should I believe?

6+:1 or 1,08:1 ?

Mr Zampini and Mr. Seidov had researched declassified Soviet records of that time. They have writen a book in which they explain almost each case.

I'm asking for help in this theme.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 9th September 2011, 19:26
mars mars is offline
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mars
Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel A View Post
According to Mr. Diego Zampini and Mr. Igor Seidov

270 Sabres were killed by VVS MiG-15
293 VVS MiG-15 were killed by Sabres (89 during Maple Special missions)

What should I believe?

6+:1 or 1,08:1 ?

Mr Zampini and Mr. Seidov had researched declassified Soviet records of that time. They have writen a book in which they explain almost each case.

I'm asking for help in this theme.

Thanks in advance.
Has their book been published in English?
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Old 11th September 2011, 04:58
JoeB JoeB is offline
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JoeB
Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel A View Post
According to Mr. Diego Zampini and Mr. Igor Seidov

270 Sabres were killed by VVS MiG-15
293 VVS MiG-15 were killed by Sabres (89 during Maple Special missions)

What should I believe?

6+:1 or 1,08:1 ?

Mr Zampini and Mr. Seidov had researched declassified Soviet records of that time. They have writen a book in which they explain almost each case.

I'm asking for help in this theme.

Thanks in advance.
The USAF Statistics Digest for 1953 showed a total of 78 F-86 air combat losses, listed by month. The real number is apparently around 85-90, counting a/c which returned with MiG damage but were never repaired. A very 'pro MiG' count might get close to 100 counting even slightly ambiguous cases of other loss causes as *all* turning out to be MiG losses (though that doesn't seem an objective thing to assume), but numbers beyond that cannot be supported by archival evidence on US side.

I base this conclusion on direct research in USAF records as preserved at a couple of different archives in the US, many different forms of records, a very large amount of material (individual a/c records, daily 5th AF and FEAF summaries, supplementary 5th AF reports about loss and damage, missing a/c reports, accident reports, periodic unit history reports, squadron maintenance records which survive in a few cases, etc.).

And not to directly criticize those authors without having read the book, are you sure 270 is just F-86's? The earlier edition of 'Red Devils' makes no firm statement about US losses. 270 would be somewhat closer though still too high for total MiG aerial victories in Korea, which probably totalled around 175 (150-some by UN side official count at the time).

OTOH the previous version of Red Devils quoted a total of 319 MiG-15's lost in air combat. Not all of those were shot down by F-86's. But perhaps Mr. Seidov has also further refined the number. Although, it seemed to me that he'd omitted a few in the original 'Red Devils' compared to VB Naboka's 'Nato's Hawks/Stalin's Falcons' which was a pretty direct transcription of 64th Fighter Corps combat summaries through the summer of 1951. And even Mr. Naboka's attributed a couple of losses to operational causes which seem from US archival sources to be the result of US a/c. But anyway 293 is within the already widely accepted range for *Soviet* MiG losses to F-86's.

But, the PLAAF says it lost 224 MiG's in combat (a number which needs much more 'bottom up' research incident by incident to fully corroborate IMO, but I haven't complete evidence to say it's wrong). And the 1953 defector No Gum-sok said the KPAAF lost 100 MiG's to all causes during the war. His checkable statements were highly accurate, and his unit was in action suffering losss from November 1951. So I believe 50 combat losses is a conservative figure for KPAAF MiG-15 air combat losses. Add up and divide using 90 as F-86 air combat losses and it's ~6:1.

So the crux of the disagreement is total F-86 air combat losses, and secondarily if we agree a particular F-86 air combat loss total there'd be question which were due to Soviet v PLAAF and KPAAF a/c. The Soviets claimed 642 F-86's (per first edition of Red Devils), the PLAAF 211 (official), and an NK source Mr Seidov quotes mentions 44 by KPAAF. The Soviets were long more numerous than their allies and more experienced and effective on average. So of course they scored many more victories, but also claimed a lot more. My general impression based on cases where detailed Soviet and Chinese accounts are known for particular days or combat is that the PLAAF claims were perhaps more exaggerated, but not greatly more. I don't think it would be far wrong to assume the proportion of F-86's downed by the Soviets was similar to their proporation of the claims, so perhaps 70-some% of the 90 or so F-86's downed by MiG's in total.

Re: Mars, I spoke to a guy who says he is translating (to English) what I believe to be the same book.

Re: Daniel from long ago, sorry yes B-29 44-61835

Joe
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Old 12th September 2011, 16:44
Miguel A Miguel A is offline
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Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

Quote:
Originally Posted by "mars"
Has their book been published in English?
Mr. Seidov book's was published in Russian only, AFAIK.

The last thing Mr. Zampini told me was that they were preparing his book for publishing. It was not been published yet in February 2011. Here a transcription of Mr. Zampini's words (in Spanish, I could translate it if required)

Mig-15 derribados EN COMBATE POR TODAS LS CAUSAS: 538
Amplio este dato: 293 de los 314 MiG-15 soviéticos perdidos en combate lo fueron a manos de los F-86, de los restantes siete lo fueron por F-80, cuatro por F-84, dos por F9F Panther, dos por artilleros de B-29 y uno por un F3D Skynight. De los chinos/norcoreanos no tengo estadísticas, pero es válido asumir que de sus 224 MiG-15 pérdidos en combate casi todos fueron por Sabre.
F-86 derribados por MiG-15 SOVIÉTICOS : 270
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Old 12th September 2011, 20:55
JoeB JoeB is offline
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Re: Korea-MiG-15 and the other side of the history

Another way to summarize is as follows:

1. 293 Soviet MiG's lost to Sabres: per Mr. Seidov's study of Soviet archives on a case by case basis

2. 224 PLAAF MiG's lost: officially stated, though not yet subject to review on a case by case basis by any independent researcher, a few not to F-86's.

3. At least some KPAAF MiG's were certainly downed by F-86's. The defector No specified some particular incidents (for example January 25, 1952 his unit was jumped by F-86's and lost 4 a/c, corresponding to a combat reported on US side with numerous claims). And KPAAF MiG losses are definitely not included in the PLAAF's total. No's 100 losses to all causes is still the best estimate AFAIK. Remember that No gave US interrogators all kinds of other info also about Soviet/Chinese operations at Antung, units, pilots etc that turned out true. He was very reliable.

4. I found around 90 F-86 air combat losses in case by case study of USAF records, considering all known MiG claims (all Soviet ones in time and place, not just date). And case by case means finding a US report of every *combat* the Soviets recorded with F-86's: one exists in almost every case. It's not just a matter of sifting through loss info, but highly complete and detailed (in most cases) operational info.

5. Mr. Zampini claims there were 270 F-86 air combat losses. Mr. Zampini's main source of 'US records' is AFAIK the former Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office online database KORWALD. AFAIK he's never researched hard copy US archives himself. But, 270 F-86 air combat losses is simply not what the records say, whether you've reviewed them or not. A number like that comes from (selectively) rejecting what the US records say (as to cause, date, damage v. total loss, or in some past cases Mr. Zampini seemed to feel certain Soviet claim accounts were convincing enough to conclude losses the US records don't mention at all). Mr. Zampini believes he has good reasons to use this method (as I've heard him describe before) but here I'm just focusing on the difference in method.

The research method to get figures 1 and 4 is basically the same: look up each case in declassifed records, report what the records say. The research method to get the total in 5 is basically different.

Joe
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