History 19/01/20 “Black day of the US air force”: how the Soviet MiG-15 shot down 10 “flying fortresses”

the U.S. Army is using the flags of NATO, officially fought on the side of South Korea, and the Soviet Union supported the North Korean Republic. To this end, Moscow sent to Korea military advisers and pilots that control a jet fighter MiG-15. The most fierce battle of the Soviet and American pilots was along the southern shore of the Yalu river. The U.S. military called this part of Korea “MiG Alley”. It was a battle that went down in history of the U.S. air force as “Black Thursday”.

the Plans and forces of the parties

on Thursday 12 April 1951 the American command decided to conduct the largest air RAID of the war. The target — bombing of the railway bridge over the river Yalu, without which the supply of the North Korean army is impossible. To perform the job in the sky up 28 heavy bombers B-29 Superfortress, which translates as “heavy duty flying fortress”. Accompanied them from 80 to 100 fighters of different modifications.

On the interception of an American air Armada flew 48 Soviet jet MiG-15, which was set the task of not engaging in battle with the fighters to destroy the bombers. Soviet pilots from a great height by twos and chetvertoe swooped down on the enemy. As American bombers protected on all sides by heavy machine guns, the MiGs attacked from a safe distance.

MiGs against the “flying fortresses”

Member of the attacking group, captain Lev Ivanov, described the first moments of the battle: “Knocked out “Fortress” on the first turn, with eight hundred meters, then broke through the barrage and the second phase put the emphasis, so that only shreds flew. The crew jumped with parachutes, there’s ten people there, not less. Here everybody was under fighter cover, and spun the carousel.”

Suddenthe first attack has borne fruit, the participant of the battle, the pilot ACE Sergei Kramarenko recalled: “…Located just above the bombers. Our MiGs shot “flying sverhkreposti”. One fell off the wing and it falls apart in the air, three or four burning cars”. The Americans jumped out of hot cars with parachutes and the number of white domes in the sky thought it was landing. Soviet aircraft, spent ammunition, continued to circle over the enemy, providing psychological pressure on him. The American pilots did not survive the battle and turned back.

summary of the battle

In 10 minutes the US air force lost 10 “fortresses” and 4 fighter, all the surviving bombers received damage. 120 American pilots were in Korean captivity. Among the survivors of the crew were killed and wounded. The Soviet air force came out of the battle unscathed.

the Defeat in the skies has forced U.S. commanders to reconsider the concept of a possible war with the Soviet Union. It turned out that jet fighters MiG capable without the support of the anti-aircraft artillery and ordered the persecution for one fight to bring down the 25% bombers. Therefore, from an alleged air strike on the USSR Washington refused.

the Overall

the Most successful Soviet pilot of the Korean war was Nikolai Sutyagin, 21 shot down an American plane. One less aerial victory was Eugene Pepelyaev. Chief American ACE, Joseph McConnell, recorded on his account 16 downed Soviet pilots. The United States claimed that the fighting in “MiG Alley” of their military killed 900 Soviet aircraft. The Soviet side spoke about 1097 stricken American fighters and bombers, which cost 319 machines.

Alexander Brazhnik

© Russian Seven

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