|Hmm. To respond:|
Sorry, the impression is not one which is as false as assumed. The losses were real and impacted on FEAF thinking.
It was Soviet orders from Stalin that the 64th IAK NOT be used for close air support. Stalin did not want to give the US a "smoking gun" premise for open (e.g. nuclear) warfare, and from most reports our Department of State was hoping he didn't either. There were at least one Il-28 regiment staged in theatre as well as other close support aircraft and bombers, but there was no question of their being used. When one force is ordered to fight with one and and not move from a fixed position, it limits the results of the fight.
FEAF used most of its air power after October 1951 for what we today term Battlefield Air Interdiction -- railways, marshalling yards, bridges, staging areas, etc. There were very few raids of the sort mustered against the Supung Dam due to the amount of cooperation and coordination needed to saturate the target with airpower, and even then the Russians -- take your pick as to whether or not they were unable to respond due to bad weather or grousing as sore losers -- could not oppose the attacks.
Again, they did have near parity in country and were close in theater, but the Soviets chose to avoid direct attacks and the Chinese were too new to having an air force to do much in the way of offense. They found out on 30 November 1951 what happens when you attack with propeller-driven medium bombers against F-86 defenses. The North Koreans were essentially incapable of meaningful responses after August 1950.
Joe -- The 400 losses I cite as due to aerial combat are that: something over 200 were either shot down directly/blew up in midair in combat or crashed into the Gulf of Korea near waiting SAR aircraft and boats; the rest either crashed on landing or were mechanics' writeoffs due to damage inflicted. I know the Air Force played games with which bean pile the losses were listed in, but a loss is a loss and cannot be ignored if it doesn't fit in pile A.
Sandy -- noted. But I have a copy of a declassified FEAF electronic warfare study and the real reason seems to have been the use of radar jammers against the radars aiming the searchlights. Soviet pilots had to rely on Mark I eyeball target acquisition once the radar had vectored them into the area and was then used to aim the searchlights. Knock out the radar, no lights, no night fighters. Official USAF input to this study indicates 34 B-29s were lost to fighters in Korea, which is twice as many as admitted elsewhere.