>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.
Lately Diego and I have been debating incident by incident from the beginning over on ACIG.org. I'll just plug my position, he can speak for his own: almost every loss he tries to tag as MiG in the period Nov 1 '50-May 20 '51 (period of a nice paper he co-authored over there) which is listed as caused by something else in US records has some discrepancy from the Russian account: time different, place different, he needs to assume planes from completely different fighter groups in same flight of 4 planes, etc. He counts pretty much *all* damaged B-29's as lost, but photo's of some taken later can be found. He cites "POW"'s as confirmation but men who pretty obviously never existed, and can be explained by for example by a real POW on an adjacent date, etc..
His counter argument to all those sort of discrepancies tends to be "I just don't believe US records (if they contradict my claim/loss matchups)".
Generally speaking I don't think it's a serious discussion to talk about POW's or pilots "found dead in their cockpits", "Major Crown" etc. in Russian accounts who who don't show up anywhere in US records then or in DPMO's inquiries in the '90's. That's really saying the DPMO guys are frauds, because AFAIK they had full access to all US and Russian records: that's my one area of "I just don't believe". Otherwise I'm open to being proved wrong.
To give an idea the two sides, for that period IIRC there were 16 official outright US air combat losses, Diego and his co-author come up with about twice that, and I come up with around 20 admitting w/o's as losses and my research that shows one F-80 loss attributed to AAA in that period really *does* seem to match the shootdown account in detail, not just date.
Maybe others would take that same approach (US records are so unreliable that contrary to almost every air war in history it would make more sense to start with claim records rather than loss records as the baseline) maybe the situation changed later in the war (haven't studied that as closely). But for now I'd stick with the air combat losses are closer to what was recorded than 2-3 times as much.
Of course the other planes listed as lost were lost, but I think the actual reasons matter. If you're just saying F-86 units would have had lower operational losses if they'd never been deployed to Korea at all because the MiG's just weren't there, that's a point, but it still doesn't mean the operational losses were really combat losses, unless well...they really fell to MiG cannon. And air-grd types (including a good deal of F-86 ops later on) I don't see how the MiG's can claim credit for anything they didn't directly cause to be lost.
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