- By the late 1950s, American pilots were frequently fighting North Korean and Soviet pilots over Korea.
- That November, US Air Force and Navy pilots scored their first victory by a jet.
- More than 70 years later, U.S. fighter pilots are still a force to be reckoned with around the Korean Peninsula.
November marks the 72nd anniversary of the first-ever dogfight between jet fighters.
The specific date of that first dogfight is still hotly debated as both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy achieved milestones in two aerial battles of the Korean War.
The first involves the Air Force Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star Piloted by Lieutenant Russell Brown, it occurred on 8 November 1950. Grumman F9F Panther Piloted by a lieutenant. William Amen on November 9th.
Both took place in the same region and involved the same opponents. The MiG-15 fighters were piloted by Soviet pilots who were secretly deployed to support North Korean forces.
The date of the first dogfight is still unclear, but the battle marked the beginning of a new era in aerial combat.
United Nations forces led by the United States quickly Established Air superiority after the Korean War that began on June 25, 1950.
The North Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) is considerably smaller than the United States and its allies, has little combat experience, and is armed primarily with Soviet-made propeller aircraft (mainly the Yak-9, Yak-11 and La-7). was doing. , and Il-10s.
On the other hand, the US and UN forces have aviators and mechanics with World War II combat experience, better prop plane, and most importantly, a new jet. The backbone of the U.S. Air Force’s fighter fleet was his F-80C Shooting Star, and the U.S. Navy relied on his F9F Panther for carrier-based aircraft.
The war was the first major battle for the United States Air Force, formed in September 1947, and the first time jet aircraft played a major role.
American aircraft stationed in Japan score kill Within a day of the start of the fighting, and on 27 June, the F-80C scored its first kill when Lieutenant Robert H. Dewald shot down a KPAF Il-10.
The Air Force’s F-80C flew over 15,000 sorties in the first four months of the war. Along with naval carriers, she participated in dogfights, supported long-range bomber raids, and intercepted KPAF fighters whenever they appeared.
Allied air superiority helped reverse the course of the war on the ground, and on October 1, UN forces crossed the 38th parallel and brought war to North Korea itself.
Unsettled by these developments, China and the Soviet Union increased their support for North Korea. China went to war on her October 19th, with hundreds of thousands of troops clashing with UN forces. The Soviet Union sent dozens of its newest MiG-15 fighter jets and pilots to fly them.
Operating from Chinese bases across the Yalu River, Soviet MiGs with Chinese or North Korean markings engaged in dogfights with US and allied aircraft.
1 November, the first day that MiG-15s fought Allied aircraft, Soviet claimed He shot down American F-51 Mustangs and F-80C fighters, but Air Force records for the day show no enemy aircraft losses.
Air Force “first”
First real jet-on-jet dogfight, according to Air Force Occurs after 7 daysNovember 8.
During a massive bombing raid on the KPAF airfield in Sinuiju, as four F-80Cs were completing a strafing attack on anti-aircraft guns, the lead jet, piloted by Lt. noticed a MiG-15 approaching.
Two MiGs dove into Lieutenant Stevens and Russell Brown, swooping down in front of the Americans as they turned. Stevens followed in his MiG first and Brawn in his second. Stevens managed to fire on the MiG, damaging his left wing and returning to China.
Meanwhile, Brown was in hot pursuit, but the MiG was a faster aircraft. Brown’s F-80 started buffeting above Mach 0.80. As the MiG attempted to turn, Brown fired four of his busts, causing the MiG his pilot to capsize and plummet.
Brown continued in pursuit. At 600 miles per hour, the MiG was still about 1,000 feet away. Brown fired four more bursts, sending black smoke out of the MiG’s fuselage. A final burst caused the MiG to explode in the air.
Brown stopped diving just 2,000 feet off the ground. The dogfight lasted about 60 seconds.
For decades, Brown’s engagement was believed to be the first kill in a jet-on-jet dogfight.
After the Cold War, Russian documents claimed that the MiGs Brown engaged actually returned to base. Fly to the same place just one day later.
On November 9, fighter-bombers and attack aircraft from the aircraft carriers USS Valley Forge and USS Philippine Sea were launched to attack the Yalu river bridge between Sinuiju and China. The attack aircraft were escorted by F9F Panthers who conducted combat patrols during the bombing mission.
As US aircraft launched their attacks, Soviet MiG-15 squadrons attempted to intercept them. Noticing his MiG approaching, Lt. Cmdr. William Amen ordered the Panthers to join the fight.
Armen soon realized that he was following a single MiG-15. Although he was faster than the Panther, MiG inadvertently allowed Armen and his wingman to turn and yaw, closing the gap in an attempt to shake them. As a result, the US Navy pilot attacked his MiG with his 20 mm cannon.
The MiG then plummeted. Amen followed. Despite buffeting as the Panther approached maximum speed, Armen was able to fire more bullets into the MiG-15. , turned upwards with only 200 feet to spare.
The damaged MiG was out of luck and crashed into the slope of a hill. Piloted by Soviet squadron leader Capt. Mikhail F. Grachev, it was the first loss of his MiG-15 recognized by the Soviet Union.
Importance of aerodynamics
Despite early victories by UN pilots, the arrival of the MiGs in the military proved to be a significant problem, forcing the US Air Force to almost completely cease daytime bombing.
United Nations forces began checking the MiG threat when the United States introduced the F-86 Saber in December 1950. The F-86 soon became the primary fighter for U.S. and allied air forces, while other jet fighters transitioned to attack or reconnaissance roles. .
The area along the Korean-Chinese border where the Brown-Amen engagement took place was the site of intense aerial combat until the end of the war, earning it the nickname “”.Mig Alley.”
Seventy-two years later, military planners still hold the Korean peninsula’s air power in high regard.
US and South Korean military took place recently Their largest ever aerial exercise, reflecting their continued reliance on air superiority and recent tensions.
The exercise, dubbed Vigilant Storm, involved approximately 100 US and 140 South Korean aircraft and flew more than 1,600 sorties. Attack aircraft, 4th and 5th generation fighters, and strategic bombers participated.
Vigilant Storm is Expansion Response to North Korea’s missile test in November. This included mock attacks, air maneuvers, close air support training, and emergency air operations, conducted 24 hours a day for nearly a week.
US B-52 bomber and F-22 stealth fighter in December flied It will display power alongside South Korea’s F-15 and F-35. It is the first time in four years that an F-22 has been deployed to South Korea.