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Soviet Aircraft Types in Korea
There are a lot of myths about what aircraft were used in Korea.
For the Soviets, they used two versions of the MiG-15 -- the original
production model, MiG-15, and an improved version, the MiG-15bis. After 1951,
just as many of the US Sabres were Es and then Fs, the Soviet units were
primarily equipped with the bis.
They used the La-11 for night fighting until they realized an empty B-26 or
B-29 was faster than the La-11, and eventually switched to MiG-15bis night
fighters (using ground radar and Mk. 1 eyeball target acquisition).
Conversion training used the Yak-17UTI, one of which was shot down by an
F3D-2 USMC night fighter in November 1952. The Soviets didn't admit it, but
it appears to have been the chief of aviation technical services of the 64th
IAK up for a night flight -- no idea if it was a joy ride or he was going to
defect, but both the F3D-2 and a MiG-15bis night fighter spotted him and open
up on it simultaneously. Both initially claimed him as the other one!
The Chinese got La-9 and La-11 fighters, MiG-9 and MiG-15/15bis fighters,
Yak-17UTI trainers, and Tu-2 bombers. Only the Lavochkins, MiG-15s, and Tu-2s
The KPAFAC got two regiments (43 each) of Yak-9D (late production all metal
versions of the WWII Yak-9 fighter), La-9 fighters to replace them, two
regiments (43 each) of Il-10 shturmovik ground attack aircraft, and
eventually 125 MiG-15/15bis fighters. They also had a mishmash of Po-2
biplanes, Yak-11 trainers, Yak-12 liaison aircraft, and the entire production
run of Yak-16 twin-engine light transports. Most of them (less the MiGs,
which came in late 1952) were toast after November 1950.
PS The Soviets reckoned that a Sabre needed 10-12 23mm hits to be fatally
damaged, but only 1-2 37mm hits. Most of the "37mm hits" in pictures are
probably 23mm ones.