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Re: Mustangs vs Il-10s, Yaks and MiG-15s
Hi, all (Ron, Cookie and Dan):
>He said that they could have murdered us if they
>did the job properly. They didn't go first class
>and our guys were both good and dedicated. I
>guess that was the difference.
Probably that was the difference since January 1952 onwards, but before that
date, the Soviet MiG-15 pilots BOTH DID THE JOB PROPERLY AND GO FIRST CLASS.
If they actually did not their duty, Why FEAF was forced to withdraw the
B-29s of daylight raids in October 1951? Why FEAF was forced to reinforce
the 4th FIW with the 51st FIW in November 1951? In June 1951 the Soviet
Honchos shot down 11 US planes (six F-86s, two F-80s, two F-51s and one
B-29) against six MiG lost, or a 2:1 kill ratio. In October 1951 such kill
ratio raised to 3:1 (12 B-29s, 6 F-86s, 2 RF-80s and 4 F-84s against 8 MiGs
lost). That seems TO DO THE JOB PROPERLY to me.
Of course, between January 1952 and July 1953 probably your countrymen were
better and more dedicated. As I said before, the policy of rotated entire
fighter divisions composed mostly by rookies and without leaving a ´core´ of
experienced veterans, gave to the US pilots the chance to win the upper hand
But even in such period, there were occasions when the MiG-15 pilots DID THE
JOB PROPERLY: take into account that on June 10 1952 the MiG-15s of 351st
IAP (the Soviet unit specialized in night hunting) shot down 2 B-29s and
damaged seriously a third one which was written off after landing (Major
Anatoly Karelin was the author of both shootdowns and Ishkhandalevsky also
did with the writte off). And there were lot of occasions when USAF took the
worst part of the engagements, despite its superiority (in general terms) in
tactics and quality of pilots.
>He said he had been on the low end of odds as high as 16 to 2...
That meant 8 to 1. FALSE. Such figures were published by USAF at that time,
and certainly Jack Broughton believed them (he had no reasons for not doing
so), but such figures were actually more propaganda than anything else. The
booklet ´MiG Alley - The Fight for the Air Superiority´ written by William
Y´Blood also believe the USAF figures and said that by October 1951 there
were 540 MiGs against 89 Sabres (an odd of 6 to 1) but if you consider that
there were only 5 Soviet regiments at that time in Manchuria (176, 196, 17,
18 and 523) and each regiment had only 36 MiGs, you have 36 x 5 = 180, or
only 180 MiG-15s against 89 F-86 Sabres. So, evidently USAF intelligence
inflated the odds. My guess is that 540 was the total amount of MiGs in the
whole China at that time, including the ones not operational. You say: ´180
vs 89 is still an odd of 2 to 1´. But remember that FEAF have hundreds of
other combat aircraft, which despite there were no matches for the MiG,
still carried bombs and should be intercepted anyway, and the MiGs were the
ones who should deal with them. I do not have accurate numbers, but I guess
that at that time (late 1951) there were about 100 B-29s, 100 B-26s, 150
F-84s, 150 F-80s, 75 F-51s and 30 Meteors, which meant 600 aircraft more (if
anybody have more accurate numbers, please send them to me). So, we have 600
other airplanes + 90 Sabres = almost 700 planes, and that meant 180 MiGs vs
700 UN planes, or an odd of 4 to 1, but against the Russians!!!
Addittionally, when the 51st Wing arrived in November 1951 there were 165
Sabres against the same 180 MiGs, or an almost 1 to 1 odd.
>The secret to our high kill ratio...you tell me.
>I guess the air-to-air result reports from our guys
>is a good indication.
The secret of the American high kill ratio was indeed the best air-to-air
training in the last year of the air war. But it was not the only one. As
Cookie said, the lack of G-suit in the Communist side was other important
reason, an that gave the edge to the US pilots in the last phases of the
But please do not believe all that the air-to-air reports say, because they
are also very inflated. USAF claimed more than 1,000 Communist planes
downed, 814 of them shot down by Sabres (including 792 MiGs) against only 78
Sabres lost in air combat, or a 10:1 kill ratio. But the truth is that only
559 MiGs were lost (335 were Soviet and 224 were Chinese) and the Sabre
losses in aerial engagments were quite higher than the ones originally
reported (my calculations are 130-140, if you Cookie have a more accurate
estimation please tell me), so the kill ratio was 4:1 at most. And if you
consider all the remaining UN planes shot down by the MiGs the amount raised
to about 300, so we got a 2:1 kill ratio. Certainly in air combat US pilots
were better than their enemies, but do not think that the edge was a so
crushing one. On the contrary, it was very thin.
>Most of the static shots of "37mm hits" on Sabres were more likely 23mm, as
>every aircraft the Soviets knew was hit by a 37mm bought it.
>(They tendedto keep them for bombers, however, and just use the
>23mm on fighters as the cannon were faster firing.)
You are right in that, Cookie, and they used the 37 mm shells against
fighters only when they were at very close range (150 meters or less) and
they were sure that would not miss.
Dan, regarding your idea that team sports prepared the future US pilots to
perform a better joint and team effort in Korea, I think that it is an
interesting theory, and even when I cannot neither support it nor denied it,
I think you probably are right in that.
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