This is the story of the first jet versus jet war, the largest in number of victories and losses, and one of the few military bright spots in the Korean War. It tells how an outnumbered force of F-86 Sabres limited by range and restricted by the rules of engagement, decisively defeated its foe. Based on the latest scholarship, author Kenneth Werrell uses previously untapped sources and interviews with sixty former F-86 pilots to explore new aspects of the subject and shed light on controversies previously neglected. For example, he found much greater violation of the Yalu River than thus far has appeared in the published materials. The F-86 became a legend in "The Forgotten War" because of its performance and beauty, but most of all, because of its record in combat.
The Korean conflict was a pivotal event in China's modern military history. The fighting in Korea constituted an important experience for the newly formed People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), not only as a test case for this fledgling service but also in the later development of Chinese air power.
Xiaoming Zhang fills the gaps in the history of this conflict by basing his research in recently declassified Chinese and Russian archival materials. He also relies on interviews with Chinese participants in the air war over Korea. Zhang’s findings challenge conventional wisdom as he compares kill ratios and performance by all sides involved in the war.
Continue reading “Red Wings over the Yalu: China, the Soviet Union, and the Air War in Korea (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series)”
The entry of the United State's premier jet interceptor into the Korean War was triggered by the ever-increasing presence of the Soviet-built MiG-15 south of the Yalu River. The possibility of the USAF losing air supremacy over the Korean Peninsula was unacceptable. The 4th Fighter Wing got the call for combat in Korea. They were made up of a combination of new pilots right out of jet training and the older combat veterans of World War II vintage. This combination of pilot types wrote and re-wrote the text books on jet warfare. Of the 40 jet aces that the war produced, the 4th Wing boasted 24 of them. They also were the dominating MiG killer outfit with the USAF.