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A black white photo of a Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

A Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

After World War II, there were many instances of air-to-air combat between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Korean War

During the Korean War formally the air forces did not meet, as the Soviet Union was not a combatant in the conflict. In August 1945 the USSR declared war on Japan and commenced their offensive campaigns against the Japanese Army. Moving into Japanese occupied Korea, the Soviets gained a foothold in that region, ultimately making it North Korea, and an ally to the Soviet Union. Nearly 72,000 Soviet personnel served in North Korea and their presence was suppressed by both the Soviet and American governments;[1] air dogfights between USSR and US pilots were numerous. The Soviets flew planes that had Chinese or North Korean markings and were initially forbidden from speaking in Russian over the airwaves.[1] The ban was soon lifted due to obvious problems with using Korean to communicate in critical battle situations.[2]

Vietnam War

Unlike North Korea, China invaded French Indochina (Vietnam) in 1945 to regain the region from the occupying Japanese military at the end of World War II.[3] Unable to gain a foothold in North Vietnam, as they had done in North Korea, the Soviets were highly restricted in conducting military functions in North Vietnam. Student North Vietnamese MiG pilots were sent to China and the Soviet Union for up to three years for training. Student North Vietnamese SAM operators were sent to the USSR for about six to nine months of training.[4][5] Soviet and Chinese Communist pilots were restricted to test flying MiGs which had been exported to North Vietnam from their countries.[6][7] Due to the urgency brought on by Operation Rolling Thunder, and until North Vietnamese missilemen could be trained, Soviet PVO SAM Anti-Aircraft Missile operator/instructors were quickly deployed to North Vietnam in 1965, and through 1966 were responsible for downing approximately 48 US aircraft during the course of defending North Vietnam.[8][9]

Cold War

During the Cold War many nations including the Soviet Union and the United States were fiercely protective of their respective airspaces. Aircraft which entered an opposing nation's airspace were often shot down in air-to-air combat. The incidents produced a heightened sense of paranoia on both sides that resulted in the downing a number of innocent civilian craft. Please note that many of the aircraft listed at that link were not shot down as a result of Cold War paranoia by US or USSR aircrews; but rather direct action by active combatants (for example, the two Air Rhodesia flights).

Table lists air combat losses outside of the war zones, such as Korean War or Vietnam War. It does not include losses to ground-based defenses, and it does not include civilian aircraft.

Date Location Plane shot down Interceptor Reference
April 8, 1950 Baltic Sea United States US Navy PB4Y-2 Privateer Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [10][11]
September 4, 1950 Near Vladivostok Soviet Union Soviet Naval Aviation A-20 bomber United States US Navy [12]
November 6, 1951 Near Vladivostok United States US Navy P2V-3 Neptune Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [10][13]
June 13, 1952 Sea of Japan United States US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [14]
October 7, 1952 Over the Kurile Islands United States US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [14]
November 18, 1952 Near Vladivostok Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces MiG-15 United States US Navy [15]
July 27, 1953 People's Republic of China Soviet Union Aeroflot Il-12 "Coach" United States US Air Force [16][17]
July 29, 1953 Sea of Japan United States US Air Force RB-50G Superfortress Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [14]
September 4, 1954 Off the coast of Siberia United States US Navy P2V-5 Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [14]
November 7, 1954 Near the coast of Hokkaido, Japan United States US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [14]
April 17, 1955 Near the coast of Hokkaido, Japan United States US Air Force RB-47E Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [14]
June 22, 1955 Near the St. Lawrence Island, Bering Sea United States US Navy P2V-5 Neptune Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [14]
June 27, 1958 Armenia, USSR United States US Air Force C-118 Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [18]
September 2, 1958 Armenia, USSR United States US Air Force C-130A Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [18]
July 1, 1960 Near the Kola Peninsula, USSR United States US Air Force RB-47H Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [18]
January 28, 1964 Erfurt, East Germany United States US Air Force T-39 Sabreliner Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [19]
March 10, 1964 Gardelegen, East Germany United States US Air Force RB-66 Destroyer Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [20]
October 21, 1970 Armenia, USSR United States US Army Air Force RU-8 Seminole Soviet Union Soviet Air Defence Forces [21]

See also

References

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Brune 1996, p. 215
  2. Yevgeny Pepelyayev – top ace of the Korean War by Diego Zampini
  3. Toperczer, Istvan. MiG-17 and MiG-19 Units, p. 7
  4. Toperczer, MiG-17 and MiG-19 Units, p. 10-15
  5. Davies p.53
  6. Toperczer, MiG-21 Units, p. 77
  7. Michel, p. 297
  8. Davies, pp. 8, 40
  9. Zampini, Diego (2010). "Robin Olds: Mastermind of Operation Bolo". acepilots.com. http://www.acepilots.com/vietnam/olds_bolo.html. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Samuel 2001, p. 150
  11. Baer, Dennis (2010). "The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer". aviation-history.com. http://www.aviation-history.com/consolidated/pb4y-a.html. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  12. Zhang 2004, p. 241
  13. Goebel, Greg (2010). "The Lockheed P2V Neptune & Martin Mercator". http://www.vectorsite.net/avp2v.html. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 Polmar 2001, p. 20
  15. Grossnick and Armstrong 1997
  16. Flight safety foundation, Aviation safety network", Air Force Magazine, July 2003, Vol. 86, No. 7
  17. Горячее небо "холодной войны" (The Hot Sky of the Cold War), by Alexander Kotlobovsky and Igor Seyidov (Russian)
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Goldrich, Robert L. (2010). "Published Cold War Shoot Down Incidents". aiipowmia.com. http://www.aiipowmia.com/koreacw/cw1.html. Retrieved April 4, 2010. [dead link]
  19. "Gerald K. Hannaford – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force". arlingtoncemetery.net. 2010. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/hannafor.htm. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  20. Globalsecurity.org (2010). "RB-66 Destroyer". Globalsecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/rb-66.htm. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  21. Samuel 2001, p. 151

Bibliography

  • Brune, Lester H. (1996). The Korean War: Handbook of the literature and research (1996 ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-28969-7. 
  • Davies, Peter. F-105 Wild Weasel vs SA-2 "Guideline" SAM, Vietnam 1965–73. Osprey 2011. ISBN 978-1-84908-471-0.
  • Michel III, Marshal L. Clashes, Air Combat Over North Vietnam 1965–1972. Naval Institute Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-59114-519-6.
  • Toperczer, Istvan. MiG-17 and MiG-19 Units of the Vietnam War. Osprey Combat Aircraft #25. ISBN 978-1-84176-162-6.
  • Toperczer, Istvan. MiG-21 Units of the Vietnam War. Osprey Combat Aircraft #29. ISBN 978-1-84176-263-0.
  • Polmar, Norman (2001). Spyplane: the U-2 history declassified (2001 ed.). Zenith Imprint. ISBN 0-7603-0957-4. 
  • Samuel, Wolfgang W. E. (2001). I always wanted to fly: America's Cold War airmen (2001 ed.). University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-57806-399-X. 
  • Zhang, Xiaoming (2004). Red Wings Over the Yalu: China, the Soviet Union, and the Air War in Korea (2004 ed.). Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 1-58544-340-9. 

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