How many aircraft did Chuck Yeagar shoot down?

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Feb 25, 2005
Jal, New Mexico
I think he shot down 27, but i'm not sure.
 

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I have yet to see factual evidence that CY shot shown any aircraft of the IAF while he was Air Attache in Pakistan. Such actions would be highly, highly irregular to diplomatic protocol and would not have served the best interests of the USA. What I have read that Yeager claimed is (1) that his personal USA-marked Queenair was destroyed on the ground by IAF fighter-bombers; (2) that he visited the wreckage of downed IAF aircraft retrieving serial numbers etc., and (3) he proclaimed the Pakistani pilots among the best-experienced combat pilots he knew of.

Evidence otherwise, please. :)
 
Yep - IIRC the PAF had F-86F's, slower than a MiG 21 but very close in lower/mid altitudes and way more maneuverable.

Wouldn't surprise me, it was certainly more than the MiG 15 could handle.

I've also got a recollection that somewhere in the development cycle of the F-16 it proved even too much for the Fighting Falcon to handle in a turning fight. Don't remember where or why or what the Sabre was doing (i.e. chase, DACT, ???), perhaps one of you more learned gents can set me straight on that.
 
one kill in ww2 was credited to another pilot. he had just escaped from france ( through spain ). prior to this they wouldn't let pilots like this return to active duty due to the fact they had info on the resistance. yeager fought this and iirc even talked with ike. he was placed back with the 357th but wasn't cleared to fly combat....I think he was on a training flight when they ran into a group of EAs which he proceeded to shoot one down....but since he wasn't supposed to be doing that the kill was awarded to someone else. not sure if he was ever awarded this later on or not.
 
I have yet to see factual evidence that CY shot shown any aircraft of the IAF while he was Air Attache in Pakistan. Such actions would be highly, highly irregular to diplomatic protocol and would not have served the best interests of the USA. What I have read that Yeager claimed is (1) that his personal USA-marked Queenair was destroyed on the ground by IAF fighter-bombers; (2) that he visited the wreckage of downed IAF aircraft retrieving serial numbers etc., and (3) he proclaimed the Pakistani pilots among the best-experienced combat pilots he knew of.

Evidence otherwise, please. :)
You have highlighted the reason behind Yeager's disavowal of said action.. I personally don't care one way or the other. That said I knew the Weasel leader Billy Sparks (357TFS/355TFW) that trolled Robin's last MiG kill and kept it quiet for him... there will never be proof of that either.

So?
 
I have yet to see factual evidence that CY shot shown any aircraft of the IAF while he was Air Attache in Pakistan. "Such actions would be highly, highly irregular to diplomatic protocol and would not have served the best interests of the USA."

Evidence otherwise, please. :)

This link goes to a Pakistani defense forum post with excerpts from Yeager's autobiography:

General Chuck Yeager and the Pakistan Air Force

Seems to confirm your critical stance on the issue.

OTOH, I was in the IO in the Spring of 1974 on the Kitty Hawk (CAW-11) (I believe the KH was the second USN carrier to enter the Indian Ocean after the Oriskany/O-Boat) and we were threatened by Indira that any aircraft approaching within 250 miles of the Indian coast would be shot down. AFAIK, we had no plans to get anywhere near that close and the visits of both CVs were more prompted by the 1973 oil crisis. In any event, my point is that, despite whatever diplomacy was going on behind the scenes, relations between the US and India seemed to me to be pretty much in the toilet at that time.

We did a port call in Mombasa, and gave an airshow to the Shah before departing at the end of April. At the time we had begun what was termed 'Blue Water Operations." Advertised to the Air Wing personnel as a return to the type of WW2 operations that were in vogue when the USN was confronting the IJN. This change from the primarily ground forces air support role was prompted by the increasing strength of the Soviet Navy.

Despite reports to the contrary, the fact that we provided air show performances to both the Shah and the South Vietnamese brass had nothing to do with their subsequent fall a short time later. In these cases, our demonstrated support for the two regimes was 100% effective for their enemies. :rolleyes:
 
I have yet to see factual evidence that CY shot shown any aircraft of the IAF while he was Air Attache in Pakistan. Such actions would be highly, highly irregular to diplomatic protocol and would not have served the best interests of the USA. What I have read that Yeager claimed is (1) that his personal USA-marked Queenair was destroyed on the ground by IAF fighter-bombers; (2) that he visited the wreckage of downed IAF aircraft retrieving serial numbers etc., and (3) he proclaimed the Pakistani pilots among the best-experienced combat pilots he knew of.

Evidence otherwise, please. :)

Second that. 15 indian air force aircraft were lost in aircombat in the western sector. A list is provided here Indian Air Losses of the 1971 War (Unofficial List) - Bharat Rakshak:Indian Air Force . All the losses are associated with Pakistani pilots. Anything else is wishful thinking

Yeager's biography is a little 'loose' on facts. 104 MiGs and Sukhois sounds good on paper, but the losses include a whole bunch of Hunters, Canberras, and other types.
 
"Half of them were on the ground " That's just plain wrong.
Gabreski shot down 28 in the air, 3 on the ground, the 3 ground kills are not added to his total. Plus 5.5 Migs from Korea.

Maybe a situation of two type A individuals that didn't mix too well.
 
Timppa - he changed quite a bit after Glynnis passed away. Before that he was a nice guy to be around although even then he held a higher opinion of his views than sometimes warranted.

I didn't look at the video and have never touched on 'who do you respect/hold in contempt' discussions but I do Know this about that specific subject. Yeager felt that Gabreski lost 'too many' wingmen in his quest for scores and I believe that originated during Korean War. My father went through Air War College, Class of 1955, with Gabreski and we 'visited' each other's house often for brown water consumption and burnt meat get togethers. I though he was a class act act - but I was only 8-9 years old. His son Don was my age. I know my father respected him and his flying ability quite a bit.
 
The air force probably though he would be more useful in helping in the research and testing of the next generation of fighters .

I don't know when he was promoted from Capt. to Major, but at either rank you serve where the USAF wishes.
 
The air force probably though he would be more useful in helping in the research and testing of the next generation of fighters .

I don't know when he was promoted from Capt. to Major, but at either rank you serve where the USAF wishes.
Major in Feb 1951 while at Edwards, LtC in 55.
 
A few comments here...

I've had privilege to work in the aviation business for about 38 years now, with more than 3/4 of that time working with the military. I got to see the first F-117As being built, worked on the first B-2s and saw the first flight of the X-35, just to name a few events I witnessed. While I think I'm far from an "in the know expert," I've been blessed to see and experience things that some only dream about. In this business you hear a lot of stories and rumors, many you can dismiss immediately as BS, but some stories that sometimes seem unbelievable seem to fester over the years, and when you start hearing these stories from folks who are more into the "know" than you are you begin to wonder about their validity. I first heard about the Yeager/ PAF story from folks in a bar called "A Wing and a Prayer," located about 20 miles east of Lancaster, CA and about 10 miles south of Edwards AFB south gate. I first took this story with a grain salt, but over the years it seem to continually come up over and over again, sometimes from people who worked and flew out of EDW, some of them actually knew and worked with/ for Yeager.

Michaelmaltby, you're right - it's a story and probably more of a myth until someone could show some actual evidence that this incident really happened. Jagan - you could post "unofficial" lists all day that "might" substantiate the claims/ credits of the PAF/ IAF conflicts, many have done the same with other conflicts (the Korean War is a perfect example) where many MIA aircraft were attributed to weather or other factors but were later found out to be a victim of the opposition. In some cases some of these lists have errors that were put there intentionally from the original source for a host of reasons. (I have a photo of my uncle about to board a B-50 on its way to Japan to replace an aircraft that went missing due to weather, later to be revealed shot down during a ferret mission over the Soviet Union) Stories and myths seem to fester well in aviation until those who do research come up with some solid evidence to disprove the source (Martin Cadin for example was a great instigator of some of these stories we have taken for granted as being fact). When the source however seems credible, it seems these stories either stick around until proven false or in some cases turn out to be true.

Personally my opinion is "possible but not probable."

BTW - I think the Wing and Prayer is still in business - there's a space at the bar that is reserved for "General Yeager."

My 2 cents - the stock market looks iffy.
 

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