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In a message dated 12/25/02 8:43:10 PM Pacific Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
FEAF had air superiority behind the MLR but only temporarily on the other side of it, based on who was flying that day. The significant indicators that they did not have air supremacy are the gradual changeover of B-29 mission tasks to night operations and in favorable conditions (e.g. weather favoring blind bombing with radar as the searchlights were ineffective under such conditions.)
This is true. And the B-29 raids got more costly as time went on. After sustained losses in June 1952, escorts were authorized. In July, Marine F7F's from VMF(N) 513 were used as escorts, but they didn't prove effective against the Communist jet night fighters. In November 1952, the Marine squadron received F3D Skyknights. These proved to be so effective that they were the preferred aircraft for this mission.
The USAF had F-94B's as interceptors in South Korea, but because of their advanced technical capabilities, the USAF didn't want to risk them in North Korea. In November 1952 this was changed by the Air Force Chief of Staff ordered them to be assigned to join the escorts.
However, the Communists continued to shoot down B-29's and USAF planners figured that there were two Communist night fighter forces. One to decoy the escorts away, while a second force hovered overhead waiting to pounce on the bombers. So, Bomber Command requested that Skyknights fly 2,000 to 3,000 feet above the bombers, while flights of F-94's flew ahead of the B-29's. This arrangement proved to be the key to protection of the B-29's.