Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-15 Fagot

in North Korean Air Force service
 

Key Facts

Total Delivered: 45
Total Still Active: 0
Total Now Stored: 0
Service Entry: 1968
Retirement: 1990
Main Role: Fighter
Origin: USSR

History

The MiG-15 jet fighter was used in large numbers by the DPRKAF. The first air-to-air combat between UN fighters and MiG-15s occurred on November 1, 1950. The MiG-15 fighter units developed into a major threat against UN air superiority over Korea. The exact number of MiG-15’s destroyed during the Korean War has been debated ever since the end of the war. However, 803,5 MiG-15s are listed as destroyed by USAF aircraft in air-to-air combat. How many of these were operated by DPRKAF, Chinese, the joint Chinese/Korean Air Army and Russian units respectively are unknown.

During the Korean War, the USA put up a huge effort to acquire an airworthy MiG-15 in order to evaluate the Soviet fighter’s performance characteristics. Large numbers of leaflets promising $100,000 as well as political asylum were dropped over the north. There were no takers, but on September 21, 1953, Lieutenant Ro Kim Suk landed his MiG-15bis at Kimpo AB. The MiG-15bis was eagerly evaluated by USAF test pilots, including Chuck Yeager. Incidentally, Ro Kim Suk claimed he had never heard of the $100,000 offer!

Following the armistice in 1953, the MiG-15 became the standard DPRKAF fighter. Large numbers were handed over by Soviet units. It may be presumed that additional deliveries were made. The exact number of MiG-15 Fagot-A and MiG-15bis Fagot-B fighters in DPRKAF service is unknown, but it may be presumed that several hundred aircraft entered service. By the 1980s, the MiG-15 had been largely withdrawn from use as a front-line fighter, but in all likelihood remained in use as an advanced trainer.

The table below is adapted from Yefim Gordon’s book Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, and lists known details of DPRKAF MiG-15s. The aircraft marked * are MiG-15bis, with the others being earlier-model MiG-15s. As many Soviet-operated aircraft during the Korean War were handed over to DPRKAF charge, details of these have been included as well. However, it is unknown if any of the Soviet aircraft listed below were, in fact, transferred to the DPRKAF.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
03 red …03?    
07 red …07?    
12 red …12?    
13 red …13?    
16 red …16?     **, 32 IAD/913 IAP Antung AB, 1953
17 black …17?    
20 blue …20?     MiG-15, 50 IAD/177 IAP
22 black …22?    
93 red …93?     *, 32 IAD/913 IAP
033 red …33?    
039 red …039?     *, unconfirmed
044 red 134044     *, 133 IAD/415IAP, 2 ½ kills
079 red …079?     MiG-15, pres in China. Nine kill markings.
122 red ..1..22     *,303 IAD/17 IAP/1 AE, Miaogow AB
125 black 111025     MiG-15, 324 IAD/176 GvIAP/2 AE, Antung AB
132 red 121032     *, 303 IAD/17 IAP, Miaogow AB
138 red 121038     *, 303 IAD/523 IAP, Miaogow AB
146 red 121046     *, 303 IAD/523 IAP, Miaogow AB
183 red 121083     *, 303 IAD/17 IAP, Miaogow AB
188 red 121088     *, 303 IAD/18 GvIAP
192 red 121092     *, 303 IAD/GvIAP
226 red 122026     303 IAD/18 GvIAP
231 red 122031      
271 red 2015371     *, 216 IAD/518 IAP
300 red 123100?     *, 351 IAP Antung AB not confirmed
325 red 123027     *, 351 IAP Antung AB not confirmed
327 red 123027     *, 303 IAP/18 GvIAP
343 red 123043     *, 303 IAP/18 GvIAP
344 red 123044     *, 303 IAP/18 GvIAP
345 red 123045     *, 303 IAP/18 GvIAP
349 red 123049     *, 303 IAP/18 GvIAP
349 blue 1315349 or 2315349     *, 324 IAP/178 GvIAP/2 AE Antung AB
351 red 123051 or 1315351     *, 303 IAD/523 IAP Miaogow AB
393 red 2315393     *, 32 IAD/913 IAP Antung AB Four kills
406 red 2415306     *, 32 IAD/913 IAP
408 red 2415308     *, 
502 red 2515302     *, 133 IAD/726 IAP
503 red 53210503 or 125003 or 2515303     *, Joint Chinese/Korean Air Army
518 blue 53210518 or 125018 or 2515318     *, Joint Chinese/Korean Army
546 red 5321046     *, 351 IAP Antung AB
683 red 0615383     *, 303 IAD/523 IAP Miaogow AB
684 blue 0615384     *, 324 IAD/176 GvIAP/2 AE Antung AB
686 blue 0615386     *, 324 IAD/176 GvIAP/2 AE Antung AB
688 red 0615388     *, 190 IAD/821 IAP
689 red 0615389?     *, 324 IAD/196 IAP. To 351 IAP Antung AB
708 red 0715308     *, 303 IAD/523 IAP Miaogow AB s/d Oct 23, 1951
720 red 0715320     *, 50 IAD/29 GvIAP/1 AE Antung AB
723 red 0715323     *, 50 IAD/29 GvIAP/1 AE Antung AB
729 red 0715329     *, 324 IAP/176 GvIAP
735 blue 0715335     *, 50 IAD/29 GvIAP/1 AE Antung AB
751 blue 0715351     *, 50 IAD/29 GvIAP/1 AE Antung AB
768 red 0715368     *, 303 IAD/523 IAP Miaogow AB
773 yellow 0715373     *, 50 IAD/29 GvIAP/3 AE Antung AB
780 yellow 0715380     *, 50 IAD/29 GvIAP/3 AE Antung AB
785 yellow 0715385     *, 50 IAD/29 GvIAP/3 AE To 324 IAD/176 GvIAP/1 AE Antung AB as code 785 Blue
823 blue 108023     324 IAD/176 GvIAP Antung AB
899 red 1815399 or 53210899 or 5899    
925 red 10925     303 IAD/16 IAP
926 red 2915328     *, 32 IAD/535 IAP Antung AB
931 black 2915331     *, 32 IAD/535 IAP/1 AE Antung AB
976 red 2915376     *, 351 IAP Antung AB
1032 red 1015332?     *, Joint Chinese/Korean Air Army Preserved Pyongyang, 8 kill markings
1355 red 1315355?    
2057 red 2015357     *, Defected to South Korea on Sep 21, 1953 Evaluated by USAF, serial 7616, Preserved NMUSAF
2249 red       *, Joint Chinese/Korean Air Army? Preserved Datangshan Air Museum, China


Pictures

None available at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2009/2010 (Ian Carroll)
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15: The Soviet Union’s Long-lived Korean War Fighter (Yefim Gordon)

Other Sources

To be added.


See other operators of the Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-15 'Fagot'


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