Korean People's Air Force / 조선인민군 공군
NAME VICTORIES COMMENTS
- 16 June 1959 While flying a patrol mission over the Sea of Japan, a US Navy
Martin P4M-1Q Mercator of VQ-1 (BuNo 122209) was attacked 50 miles east of the
Korean DMZ by two North Korean MiG-17 Frescos. During the attack, the aircraft
sustained serious damage to the starboard engine and the tail gunner was
seriously wounded. The aircraft made it safely back to Miho AFB Japan (Lednicer,
David: Intrusions, Overflights, Shootdowns and Defections During the Cold War
- 20 April 1961 A US aircraft was fired on by North Korean aircraft. The pilot
was killed when the aircraft crashed while attempting an emergency landing south
of Seoul (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 27 April 1965 A US Air Force ERB-47H Stratojet of the 55th Strategic
Reconnaissance Wing (43290), was damaged in an attack by two North Korean MiG-17
Frescos over the Sea of Japan. The B-47s tail gunner returned fire, possibly
shooting down one MiG-17. The B-47 made an emergency landing at Yokota AB Japan,
with two engines inoperative and severe structural damage. The crew of Hobart
Mattison, Henry E. Dubuy, Robert J. Rogers, Robert C. Winters, George V. Back
and one other crew member, escaped injury (Petz, Roman: Zapomenutý bombardér,
in Válka revue, No. 10, 2016; Smíšek, Martin: Stratojety nad
Sovětským svazem, 3. díl, in Plastic Planet, No. 2, 2013; Lednicer, David:
- 15 April 1969 While flying a patrol mission over the Sea of Japan, a US Navy
EC-121M of VQ-1 (BuNo 135749) was attacked and shot down by two North Korean
MiG-17 Fresco fighters 90 miles off the coast of Korea. All 31 crew members,
James H. Overstreet, James L. Roach, John Dzema, John H. Potts, Dennis B.
Gleason, Louis F. Balderman, Peter P. Perrottet, Richard H. Kincaid, John H.
Singer, Dennis J. Horrigan, Robert F. Taylor, Frederick A. Randall, Robert J.
Sykora, Stephen J. Tesmer, Norman E. Wilkerson, Hugh M. Lynch, Marshall H.
McNamara, Gene K. Graham, Laverne A. Greiner, David M. Willis, Richard E. Smith,
Gary R. Ducharme, Ballard F. Connors Jr., John A. Miller Jr., Stephen C.
Chartier, Philip D. Sundby, Bernie J. Colgin, Richard Prindle, Timothy H.
McNeil, Richard E. Sweeney and Joseph R. Ribar, were all killed in the attack.
Two bodies and some wreckage was recovered by search vessels (Lednicer, David:
- 14 July 1977 A US Army CH-47 Chinook was downed over the Korean
demilitarized zone by a North Korean MiG-21 Fishbed. The CH-47's pilot was
captured and the other three crew members, Robert Haynes, Joesph Miles and
Ronald Wells, were killed. The pilot was released after 57 hours of captivity
(Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 19 February 1949 A US observation plane was shot down near Kaesong Korea by
North Korean forces. The pilot was wounded in the attack (Lednicer, David:
- 17 August 1953 A US Air Force T-6 Texan was shot down over the Korean
demilitarized zone by North Korean ground fire. One crew member was killed and
one survived (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 19 January 1955 A US Army L-20 Beaver was shot down by North Korean fire
over the Korean demilitarized zone and the crew of two were killed (Lednicer,
- 18 August 1955 A US Air Force LT-6 utility/training aircraft was shot down
by North Korean ground fire after the aircraft inadvertently overflew the DMZ
into North Korea. The pilot was wounded and the observer was killed. The pilot
and the body of the observer were returned by the North Koreans on August 23,
1955 (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 6 March 1958 A US Air Force F-86 Sabre fighter was shot down by AAA fire
over North Korea when it accidentally flew across the DMZ into North Korea. The
pilot bailed out and was returned uninjured by North Korea (Lednicer, David:
- 6 August 1963 A US Army "LT" was lost over North Korea. This was possibly a
US Air Force C-130 on a Jilli mission, dropping leaflets off the coast of North
Korea (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 17 May 1963 A US Army OH-23 Raven helicopter was shot down over the Korean
demilitarized zone. The crew of two were captured and not returned until a year
later (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 18 May 1965 A US Army aircraft was shot down by North Korean ground fire
(Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 15 March 1969 A US helicopter, evacuating wounded from a firefight in the
Korean DMZ crashed, killing 5 crewmen, 2 US infantrymen and a South Korean
infantryman (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 17 August 1969 A US Army OH-23 Raven of the 59th Aviation Company was shot
down over the Korean demilitarized zone. The crew, Malcolm Loepke, Herman
Hofstatter and one other, were captured by the North Koreans and released 108
days later (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 1 October 1970 A US Army helicopter was fired on by North Korean gun
positions along the Korean DMZ (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 9 May 1974 Two US helicopters received North Korean ground fire along the
Injin River (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
- 17 December 1994 A US Army OH-58A Kiowa (71-20796), on a training flight
near the Korean DMZ, strayed off-course and was shot down over North Korea. One
crew member, David Hilemon, was killed. The North Koreans turned over his body
to U.S. authorities five days after the shoot-down at the Panmunjom truce
village. The other crew member, Bobby W. Hall II, was taken captive by the North
Koreans and released 13 days later (Lednicer, David: c.d.).
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F / Shenyang J-5.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21F-13 / Chengdu Jian-7.
Sources & Literature
- Dorr, Robert F.: Airwaves Warrior, in in FlyPast, No. 4, 2017.
- Levine, Barry: Downing of Deep Sea 129, in Aviation History, No. 03 (Vol. 32. No. 4), 2022.
- Mitzer, Stijn - Oliemans, Joost: The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun, Helion and Company, 2020. ISBN 978-1-910777-14-5
- Морозов, Вячеслав: Самый горячий фронт холодной войны (ВВС КНДР в военном противостоянии на Корейском полуострове после 1953 г.), in Авиация и Космонавтика, № 2, 2014.
- Морозов, Вячеслав – Антаков, Вадим – Котлобовский, Александр В.: Громкие эпизоды тихой войны, Стать о применении Авиация в противостоянии на Корейском полуострове (1953-2004 гг.), Авиация и Время, № 1, 2005.
- Petz, Roman: Zapomenutý bombardér, in Válka revue, No. 10, 2016.
- Smíšek, Martin: Stratojety nad Sovětským svazem, 3. díl, in Plastic Planet, No. 2, 2013.
- East, Don C.: A History of U.S. Navy Fleet Air Reconnaissance, Part I, The Pacific and VQ-1, http://www.coldwar.org/histories/HistoryofUSNavyFleetAirReconnaissance.asp. [Online, accessed 13-March-2018]
- Lednicer, David: Intrusions, Overflights, Shootdowns and Defections During the Cold War and Thereafter,
- Reconnaissance Aircraft attacked, damaged or shot down, The Spyflight Website,