Mig 17 in Korean War?

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by Bucksnort101, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Bucksnort101

    Bucksnort101 Well-Known Member

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    Latest book I am reading "Mig Alley to Mu Ghia Pass: Memoirs of a Korean War Ace" by Cecil G. Foster makes reference to him shooting down a Mig 17 in late 1952? He states that he saw an aircraft that he had not seen before with multiple "rails' on each wing and that he had not seen this on a Mig-15 before. Encounters starts by seeing another Mig 15 chasing and shooting at this aircraft, then breaking off. Then Mr. Foster jumped in and finished the job.
    I always thought the Mig 17 was made operational several years after the Korean conflict ended? Am I correct, or where they in use during the Korean war?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    MiG-17s were not used during the Korean War, period. An error or mistake in identity. The MiG-17 went into prodution in 1952. The Chinese were the first ones to use it in combat.
     
  3. Bucksnort101

    Bucksnort101 Well-Known Member

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    That's what I figured, but Mr. Foster seems quite convinced that it was something different. He mentions "rails" on the wings as somthing different, but both the Mig 15 and 17 have "wing fences" on thier wings so the rail term is confusing to me.
    Strange part is the other Mig 15 giving chase and firing upon said aircraft. In Mr. Foster's account he said the aircraft just flew in a straight line and did not attempt any evasive manuevers when the Mig was firing upon him. The attacker only broke away when he spotted the F-86 coming his direction.
    One would assume the Mig 15 pilot made a mistake in identity as well since the F-86 and Mig 15 so closely resemble each other.
     
  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I have read though that US pilots did report what appeared to be a MiG-15, but with obviously superior performance. The book is upstairs and I could quote the title if folks are interested. Pilots reported demonstrably better climb, acceleration and speed. However the variant was never noted.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's actually pretty interesting.
     
  6. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    I don’t know and I’m not disputing you but, since, as you said, the MiG-17 was in production prior to the end of the Korean war and we now know the Russians did have pilots flying against our forces - isn’t it possible (even probable) that they would have “tested” the MiG-17 in combat at that time?
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    No - the Soviets were giving MiG-15 production priority and the -17 didn't go into mass production until late 1952. Even though some operational "lessons learned" were incorporated into the -17, there is no hard evidence to suggest that the Soviets introduced the MiG-17 in Korea. The afterburning MiG-17s entered production in early 1953.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The first production batch of MiG 17 left the factory in August 1951, and were assigned to combat units, in October 1951, for 'Operational Testing'. Is it possible that this included sending one or two to North Korea, or China? If so, then this could explain the sighting perhaps?
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I doubt it. If a MiG-17 would have been used over MiG alley, it would have been flown by a Soviet and would not have been alone. The MiG-15 has "multiple rails" on it's wings and I think it was just a matter of recognition. Early production MiG-17s had the same engine as the MiG-15. Although the refined design gave the airframe more speed, there wasn't a great advantage over the F-86.

    Although the Soviets were generous with their deployment of the MiG-15 over Korea, I don't see them deploying the MiG-17 in Korea that late in the game. JoeB, chime in anytime! :)
     
  10. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    There certainly were confirmed cases of "honchos" (caucasian) flyers in support of NK. Whether they were "defectors" as was pronounced by NK propaganda or Russian pilots is certainly up for debate. I would suspect mostly the latter with only a rather infintesimal small percentage being WWII allied pilots fighting for the communist cause.

    I frankly have no reason to doubt that the Russians likely put up some late technology into MiG-15s for testing. US pilots noted on many occasions that when these "honchos" were encountered they did not exhibit the operational tactics of a typical NK fighter sweep directed by a GFI controller, but usually were single airplane encounters and the skill level/engagement tactics were completely contrary to the norm. In fact on some occasions, our pilots debriefs have resulted in suppression of such encounters.

    Kinda reminds me of the end of WWII wherein we had some US/Russian encounters that resulted in kills/injuries and they too were suppressed. Makes you wonder what other types of encounters we don't know about.

    c.f. Blind Man's Bluff
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It is now known fact that the Soviets sent pilots to North Korea. Debatable are their combat claims which have been up for discussion for a number of years (again, I wait with baited breath for JoeB to jump in here). Agree Matt, I doubt the Soviets would have let the MiG-17 loose that early in the game especially when they just had their @sses handed to them.
     
  12. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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  13. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    #13 JoeB, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
    During 1952 US pilots in Korea on a number of occasions reported encounters with a/c that generally resembled the MiG-15 but had wing fences. Intel types eventually concluded that this was the 'Type 15', the Western designation at the time for the Lavochkin 168, a would be competitor to the MiG-15 never produced in large quantity. It had wing fences and a high wing (rather than the MiG-15's mid wing) but also T-tail and nose intake, still generally resembled the MiG from a distance.

    So, in various daily intel reports on Korea operations in 1952 you see reports of such and so Type 15's sighted that day alongside some larger number of MiG-15's sighted. Here's a random example I pulled from my files, from the May 16 1952 Daily Intel Summary, 5th AF:

    '[May] 13[time]1620/I [location] YD 2070...six MiG-15's and two Type-15's attacked Able Flight (four F-84's)...claims one Type 15 damaged; negative friendly damage'. The Soviet 821st Fighter Regiment reported an action at the same time and general area in which they claimed an F-84 destroyed, but I have no documents saying for sure they were or weren't using any a/c other than MiG-15's.

    And at least a few claims for type Type 15's destroyed were made at the time IIRC, but it seems that eventually the USAF revised all these credits to being against MiG-15's, as no Type 15 victory credits appear in the official listing (which was published IIRC in the early 1960's). The claim Foster mentions in the book as occuring Dec 6 1952 is probably his victory credited December 7 and he misrecalled the date, all his credits are officially v MiG-15's. I don't have docs for Dec 7 at hand, but as I recall generally the 'Type 15' sightings had died down by then.

    AFAIK there is no absolute confirmation in Soviet sources of the actual use of the La-168 in Korea, but an article in a Czech aviation magazine some years back claimed that it was in fact the case, that a small quantity had been used in combat trials in Korea.

    OTOH I've never seen a reference in US docs to any belief that MiG-17's had been encountered in Korea, nor does any Soviet/Russian source say so, that I know of.

    Joe
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Thanks Joe! :)
     
  15. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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  16. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Always interesting what comes along in this forum.....
     
  17. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    I was born in 1942 .... and so by 1952, when the Korean War was winding down, and I was buying "greatest airplanes" bubblegum trading cards and starting to read comic books, and go to movies .... the Korean war was a very immediate theme .... :). I had bad dreams about waves of padded Chinese troops with burb guns coming out of the night.

    There was a trading card for the Mig 17. IIRC , not a photo, an artist's rendition, and the aircraft had a purplish tinge to it and a high T tail. It was very much like this aircraft, and not at all like the actual Mig-17 - as it turned out. :)

    MM
     

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  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Remember this movie?

    [​IMG]

    After seeing that movie all I wanted to do is zoom around the sky in a sabre and kill MiGs. And can't forget the P-4 and oxygen mask!
     
  19. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I the middle 50's I got a Aurora model of a Mig 19, when photos finally came out of a actual Mig 19, the model looked nothing like it. I thought it just came from somebody fertile imagination, but now I realize it looked a lot like one of the Wunderwaffe 46 dreams.
     
  20. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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