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Not so well known Red jets in Korea


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#1 Pete57

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:30 AM

The best known jet used by 'the other side' in Korea is the MiG-15 and its 15 Bis development, but the Commies employed other jet types in more or less active combat roles.

Yakovlev Yak-17UTI. Its main role was to transition ChiCom and N.Korean pilots to jets. It was flown by Soviet instructors, from Chinese bases.
One is the most likely victim of the Douglas F-3D-2 flown by Maj.. William T. Stratton and radar operator Sgt. Hans Hoglind, of VMF/N/-513 (who identified it as a 'Yak-15'), in the first night, jet vs. jet engagement.
Several authors have dismissed it as a case of poor aircraft recognition, but given the USMC hard training in night aircraft-recognition-by-exhaust-pattern, I find this unlikely.
Soviet sources confirm a 17UTI being flown by the 64th IAK inspector general was listed as MIA while flying this type of aircraft on that date.

Ilyushin Il-28. The FEAF estimated that, in the winter of 1952/1953, the Joint Communist Air Force had about 100 of them at its disposal and two made a provocative flyby, along the Yalu River, in full view of the 4th Fighter Wing F-86 Sabre's - patrolling just across the river - on 12.17.1952.
Although there is no evidence it was ever used in active combat in the Korean Theater of Operations (despite of the other side's claims to the contrary) its potential as a night intruder against the Allied airbases in Japan, forced the FEAF to keep in Japan resources that could have been more actively used in Korea instead.

Lavochkin La-15. Althogh its combat use is still being strongly denied by the Russians, an article appeared a few years ago in a Check modeling magazine, describing how a 22-aircarft unit was sent for combat test purposes to China, but the austere conditions of the Chinese airfields' runway proved too much for the La-15's flimsy landing gear, prompting their return to the USSR and the type's premature withdrawal from service.
4th Fighter Wing pilots had some encounters with an unusual type of aircraft that "...looked like a MiG-15, except that the wings were high up on the fuselage...", in 1952, which they identified as type 15 and one Lt. Carey managed to close in an open fire on one of them registering some hits.

Regards,

Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end -
Quote byTexas A&M Student


#2 Ricky

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:36 AM

Picture time!

Yakovlev Yak-17UTI
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Ilyushin Il-28
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Lavochkin La-15
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#3 Double T

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 01:42 AM

Good stuff guys. An interesting subject for sure.
The Il28... wasn't that the "Beagle?"

Tim

#4 GregP

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:42 AM

Yes. Basically a Soviet B-45.

B-45: 1st flight 1947. Retired 1959. 570 mph, 46000 feet. 22000 pounds of bombs. 143 built.

Il-28: 1st flight 194. Retired 1980s. 560mph. 40000 feet. 6600 pounds of bombs. 6,731 built.

Sure, it didn't carry a lot. But it was rugged, was the first jet bomber for most users, and flew well. 6,316 built in USSR. Licence-built in China as the Harbin H-5, 319 built in China.

#5 Pete57

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:14 AM

Yes. Basically a Soviet B-45.

B-45: 1st flight 1947. Retired 1959. 570 mph, 46000 feet. 22000 pounds of bombs. 143 built.

Il-28: 1st flight 194. Retired 1980s. 560mph. 40000 feet. 6600 pounds of bombs. 6,731 built.

Sure, it didn't carry a lot. But it was rugged, was the first jet bomber for most users, and flew well. 6,316 built in USSR. Licence-built in China as the Harbin H-5, 319 built in China.


Both aircraft were used in the Korean conflict, a small detachment of RB-45C’s was being operated by the 91st SRW.
The aircraft stood better chances of evading the enemy jets than the RB-29's and RB-50's operated by the same unit, but it still was not immune from MiG's interception one being in fact shot down on Dec. 12, 1950, prompting FEAF headquarters to shift the aircraft missions from daylight to night reconnaissance .

The 91st SRW RB-45C's were the first in the world to use inflight-refuelling on operational, reconnaissance missions.

One aircraft - s/n 48-037 - was painted gloss black overall to verify if this made the aircraft more difficult to track, at night, by the enemy spotlight (it did!).
On the night of Dec. 17/18, 1952, this particular aircraft flew a recon mission that took it over Vladivostock, USSR, and several targets in China, before it safely returned to Japan.

From a distance, the RB-45 looked very similar to the Il-28 and there were cases when US pilots almost opened fire on RB-45's that were returning from their missions 'up North' thinking they had an intruding Il-28 in their gunsights, instead.

Regards,

Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end -
Quote byTexas A&M Student


#6 Flo

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:45 AM

That's interesting Pete. Generally speaking, painting things black makes them more visible; maybe the gloss finish was the key?

#7 Kutscha

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 12:44 PM

That's interesting Pete. Generally speaking, painting things black makes them more visible; maybe the gloss finish was the key?


Why did the British paint their bombers black on the undersides?

#8 Pete57

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:43 AM

As mentioned in my original post of all the less known jet types to have been employed by the Communist Air Forces in Korea, the Lavochkin Type-15 / La-15 is the one whose presence is most controversial.

Read any book or article, both on paper or on the net, by current Russian experts and you’ll find out that although there are claims by US/UN crews of having spotted or even engaged this type of aircraft, they can simply be dismissed and attributed to cases of wrong identification due to the US/UN crews’ poor aircraft recognition skills!

I don’t want to get into lengthy discussions on the Commies’ aircraft recognition skills, suffice to say that practically none of the Lockheed F-94's they claim to have shot down in Korea (more than one in plain day-light!) were such, with gun camera evidence showing F-80’s, F-84’s and F-9F’s instead – at least, Uncle Sam has consistently admitted F-94’s were indeed in Korea!

I’ve recently run into the online collection on intelligence-related documents at the CIA – the CIA FOIA – Special Collection Korean War (link) – where one can find several instances of the “Type-15” with “Shoulder wing jet” or “high wing jet” on several reports: too many indeed, IMHO, to support the Russian theory…

Herebelow an extract in chronological order:

From file 1 June 1951 Current Intelligence Bulletin (1951-06-01), page 3

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN 6 June 1951

A recent Air Force operational summary includes a delayed report of a 10 May sighting by a B-26 pilot of an enemy twin-jet fighter in northwestern Korea. The UN
pilot "definitely identified" the enemy fighter as very similar to the German ME-262 (which bears the superficial characteristics of the Soviet Type 8 jet). While inferior gunnery seemed to negate the possibility of air-borne radar, the enemy aircraft may have been vectored in by ground control. FEAF speculates that this third sighting of an enemy twin-jet aircraft may indicate the presence of a new type aircraft
in Korea "for combat testing, possibly with a view to adaptation , for use as an all-weather night fighter. "

Comment: While no confirmation of the type or performance of these new aircraft has been received, it is probable that the USSR is conducting operational tests of newer types of jet aircraft along the Sino-Korean border. Additionally there have been two sightings of enemy jet aircraft of an unidentified type believed to be Type 15 Soviet fighters.


From file 2 July 1951 Daily Korean Bulletin Jul-Sep (1951-07-02b), page 23

DAILY KOREAN BULLETIN 14 July 1951 SIC 9619

Referring to a recent report that an RF-80 vas attacked by 20 enemy jet aircraft of high-wing type, the Far East Air Force comments that possibly these jets were Type 15 fighters, and if so this is the largest number of this type ever observed in Korea. While three other encounters tend to confirm that the Type 15, has been committed to combat in Korea, such commitment has not been made on a significant scale. Mae effectiveness of the Type 15 as compared with the MIG-15 has not been definitely established, although some reports indicate that the Type 15 might be slightly
superior.


From file 20 July 1951 Daily Digest (1951-07-20), page 1

…It is equally, true that the Soviets have improved jet aircraft under development which bave not been seen in combat.1 The Soviet MIG-l5 and Type 15 jet fighters used in Korea are best described as being generally comparable to the US F-86 Sabre Jet . …

From file 17 October 1951 Daily Digest (1951-10-17b), page’s 2 & 3

UN fighter pilots’ observations of enemy aircraft: During the course of an encounter between 80 MIG-15 and 32 F-86’s in the Sinuiju-Slnanju area on the afternoon of 12 October, UN pilots observed the following:

(1) One enemy aircraft in a flight was "a shoulder wing type and was believed to be a Type-15.” The UN aircraft passed within 100 feet of the enemy plane and observed the figure "1.” but no other markings.
(2) A MIG pilot was wearing a dark colored, close fitting helmet. The enemy pilot also wore an oxygen mask but no goggles, and appeared to be light oomplexioned.”

Comment: While still not confirmed, it is entirely possible that the enemy is employing the Type-15 for combat testing purposes and is attempting to conceal its presence among the more familiar MIG-15’s.

It would-appear difficult to detect the coloration of an enemy pilot under conditions of high-speed jet combat. It is probable, however, that Soviet personnel are piloting some of the enemy jet aircraft encountered in Korea.


From file 01 April 1952 Daily Korean Bulletin Apr-Jun (1952-04-01b), page 1

DAILY KOREAN BULLETIN OCI 4886 2 April 1952

…A total of 382 MIG-15's and three Type 15' s were sighted, of which 87 were engaged. …

page 4 OCI 4887 3 April 1952

FEAF aircraft destroyed five MIG-15' s and one Type-15 and damaged four MIG's and one Type-15. …

page 5 OCI 1,888 1, April 1952

In three engagements over northl1est Korea, FEAF planes destroyed two MIG-l5's, probably destroyed a Type 15, and damaged four MIG's and one Type 15; Two F-86's received major damage. …

page 10 OCI 4801 8 April 1952

During the last two weeks of March, the US Fifth Air Force, operating over
Korea, observed the following new developments in the air war: the Communist MIG-15 formations have been encountered at lower altitudes -- between 20,000 and 40,000 feet; the Type 15 jet has appeared again in numbers with some modification of its armament and a greater degree of aggressiveness; …


page 28 OCI 4902 21 April 1952

Within a two and one half hour period 63 F-86's had eight engagements with 105 MIG-15' s and two Tyne-15' s over northwest, Korea. Nine MIG's were destroyed and eight MIG's and one Type-15 were damaged; no friendly losses were reported.
FEAF planes flew a total of 915 sorties.

page 30 OCI 4903 22 April 1952

Revised figures for air engagements reported in the Daily Korean Bulletin of 21 April are seven MIG-l5's destroyed, four damaged and one Type-I5 damaged.
One F-86 was lost. …


page 44 OCI 4911 1 May 1952

A total of 112 enemy jets was observed in northwest Korea, of which 51were encountered in eight engagements by F-86's, F-80’ s, and F9F's. Six MIG-15's were destroyed and three MIG's and two Type-15's were damaged. One F-80 was lost and an F-86 and F9F received major damage. …

page 93 OCI 6024 5 June 1952

A UN F-51 pilot, on 31 May, while observing two MIG-15's or Type-15's which were probably on a reconnaissance mission, stated that one of the enemy planes fired what appeared to be two rockets. Fifth Air Force comments that this is the first observation of the possible use of rockets by MIG-type aircraft in Korea, and it is possible that the Communists are experimenting with rockets on such planes for use in a ground attack role. Far East Air Force states that the Soviets have the capability of mounting such rockets on MIG's and that they are fully conscious of the advantages of this type of weapon in both an air to air and air-to-ground role.

From file 01 July 1952 Daily Korean Bulletin Jul-Sep (1952-07-01b), page 7

DAILY KOREAN BULLETIN Central Intelligence Agency Office of Current Intelligence 6049, 5 July 1952

On 4 July, UN land-based aircraft flew 909 effective sorties, of which 540 were combat. Two medium bomber missions were flown. Communist jets were much in evidence, as 84 MIG-15's and 2 Type-15's were observed in flight. Of those observed, 47 were encountered with 10 definitely destroyed, 2 more claimed destroyed, and 8 claimed damaged. (Most of these were hit by UN F-86's during the Sakchu raid.).

page 129

On 16 September 903 effective sorties were flown by UN land-based aircraft of which 510 were combat. UN pilots observed 111 enemy MIG’s and one type-15 in the ChoDgohon and Yalu River area and encountered 56 of the MIG’s. A total at four enemy aircraft were destroyed, 3 damaged, and 4 probably damaged With a loss of one UN Sabre. There were no bomber missions flown on 16 September.

page 137

On 20 September, 20 enemy MIG's were observed and 4 encountered in the Yalu
River area, There was no damage to either UN or Communist aircraft. On the following day 133 MIG's and one Type-15 were observed, also in "MIG Alley." The
UN pilots encountered 80 of the MIG's and the Type-15, destroying five of the
MIG's. …


All MIG-15? What’s your opinion?

Regards,

Edited by Pete57, 23 April 2012 - 06:46 AM.

Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end -
Quote byTexas A&M Student


#9 Ricky

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:19 AM

I'm undecided. The La-15 and MiG-15 were almost identical, except that one had a mod-wing and one a shoulder-wing. Given the number of mis-identifications we know happen in aerial combat (for example in another topic we learned how USN aviators mistook Zeros for Me-109s) I can well believe that pilots thought they saw something that wasn't.

#10 Pete57

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:03 AM

I'm undecided. The La-15 and MiG-15 were almost identical, except that one had a mod-wing and one a shoulder-wing. Given the number of mis-identifications we know happen in aerial combat (for example in another topic we learned how USN aviators mistook Zeros for Me-109s) I can well believe that pilots thought they saw something that wasn't.


Indeed from a distance the two aircraft may have appeared similar and, in some instances, MiG-15's may have been mis-identified as being La-15's.

However, there are at least two instances where mixed formations of MiG-15's and La-15's were encountered, on March 20, 1952, when Lt.Carey damaged one 'high-wing jet' and on October 12, 1952, when the US pilot got so close (100 ft) to the enemy jet that he could report a number '1' on the nose...had USN aviators hypothetically met a mixed formation of Me-109 and Zeros, I'm more than sure they would have been able to tell one type apart from the other...

Regards,

Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end -
Quote byTexas A&M Student





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