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Korean War Casualties (aircraft)

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Post 14 Dec 2004, 04:29
I cannot find any good info anywhere aside from American propoganda.

"Best" I could find was 350 or so MIG-15's, down to 78 Sabres.

Is this true?

Doesn't make much sense.
Post 21 Apr 2005, 23:39
I havent found a website. But the numbers are not that high. The Mig-15s I would argue are around 200. I'll research this.
Post 23 May 2005, 15:43
The Americans shot down far more Migs than they lost in Sabres.

It's not propaganda, simply truth.
Post 24 May 2005, 23:04
The Americans shot down far more Migs than they lost in Sabres.

It's not propaganda, simply truth.

Find me either the North Korean numbers, or the Soviet numbers, then I'll beleive you.
Post 06 Nov 2005, 20:36
Overall,according to official American archives of the korean era,not fewer than 810 enemy aircrafts(from which the 792 or the 97,7% were MiG-15) were shoot down by the Sabres from December 1950 until July 1953(other 4 were destroyed in the ground by F-86,while the non-confirmation air wins were 119 and the aircrafts which were simply damaged 818).The MiG's which were shoot down in an air firght were 814(while 27 were shoot down by B-29 protections guns).22 MiGs were destroyed by the UN Forces.78 F-86 were shoot down in air fights,19 from AA,13 from unknown cause and 114 from accidents(general result:224 lost aircrafts,with 47 dead pilots,65 lost and 6 wounded).
That's from the book:NORTH AMERICAN F-86 Sabre,by Vasilis Sitaras.

Today USAF says it shot down only 379 completely sure MiG-15 and 103 lost in the air Sabres.VVS archives which were revealed in 1993 talked about 1.106 wins over UN Forces,a terrible exaggeration,with only 335 losses from all causes,including accidents, and 120 pilots(from the same source,other 231 wins are from Chinese and korean MiG's).
That's from the book:The Red Stars,History of the Soviet Air Force,by Vasilis Sitaras

Authors comment:right now there is not a specific answer for losses from both sides,and maybe it will never be.
Post 06 Nov 2005, 20:52
American Sabre shot down a lot of mig-15, this is the truth.

A reason of their success is that soviet pilots didn't wear G-clothes (I don't know the translation), american did.
Post 07 Nov 2005, 06:30
The reasons to why so few F-86 Sabre has been shot down is simple:
the US only deployed a small number of F-86's in Korea, the bulk of the US air force in Korea consisted mainly of F-80, F-84, P-51 and P-47's, with some F6F, F9F, and A-1 from the navy and the marine corps. And another reason is that MiG-15's are often dedicated to bomber interception roles inorder to defend Chinese army's supply lines from the US air power, which often made them fall prey to the escorting Sabres.

Discussion about loss of F-86's is quite meaningless as the UN lost over two thousand aircrafts, and just a little over two hundred are Sabres.
Post 30 Apr 2010, 11:22
As ever happened with communist air forces.
The soviet, chinese, north korean claiming are only a LITTLE part of the huge Onu losses.
This because an american pilot could claim what he wanted.. while a communist pilot if shot down an enemy in ENEMY CONTROLLED territory couldn't claim the victory.
The same if the enemy is shot down over the sea, and the same if the enemy is shot down in territory controlled by SAM and AAA.
So the final victories were MORE then a thousend of Onu aircraft destroyed..

In soviete miltary, theren was a rigid division of air defense, and the Air force was part of It.
Then the pilots received awards for victories, but the awards more important were collective, so good pilots donated the victories to less good ones... to have a good collective avarage.
Post 05 Jun 2016, 16:22
Independent analysts combined with recent USAF admissions come up with the following.
USAF admits its previous number of only 78 F-86 losses in combat during the war was propaganda. They now admit the loss of 230 F-86s. They also admit the loss of 335 F-84s, 277 F-80s, and 58 B-29s, with about half of Fighter Bombers being shot down by MiGs, and the rest by ground AA fire, a total of 600 aircraft losses total. USN losses are unknown - they are the most press conscious service among all in the US.

USAF claims 792 Chinese marked and 270 North Korean marked aircraft shot down by USAF and USN fighters, a total of 1,062 aircraft, most of those being MiGs, and with some of the MiGs being flown by Soviet pilots.

Rectified Soviet admission of MIG losses in the Soviet Air Force and Navy flown MiG fighters only is 307 aircraft and 110 pilots. Chinese and North Korean claims of both losses and victories remain unreliable, but 1,000 total for both air services combined would not be out of the ball park estimate. So, best estimate total - 1,307 aircraft lost via air to air combat by Communist Forces.

Rectified Russian claims on UN aircraft shot down by Soviet pilots only during the 3 years of the Korean War are as follows:
B-29s -66
B--26s - 7
USN A-1s- 16
F-80s-123 (some of which were probably Navy Panthers, not USAF F-80s)
F-84s- 181
Brit MeteorF.8 Fighter jets 26
F-86s 574
Total 1,025 aircraft.

So bottom line best estimate for the air to air combat loss ratio for the war after removing some inflated pilot claims and some national propaganda ? About 1.3 to 1 in favor of the US/UN.
Sounds about right, particularly given the WWII experience level in both the Soviet flown component force for the Communist fighter forces, and the US flown component in the UN fighter forces (many of those being WWII ace).
Post 06 Jun 2016, 15:53
Once again,

Research from independent sources in the early 2000s reveals that total air to air losses of aircraft for the UN was 230 F-86, 335 F-84, 277 F-80 (some of which may have been actually F-9F Panthers), 1 F4U, 16 A-1, 28 F-51,
65 B-29, 7 B-26, 2 RB-45 and 26 British Meteor F-8s., a total of 987 aircraft.
The US claims it shot down 792 Chinese marked aircraft and 270 North Korean marked aircraft, most of which were MiG 15s, for a total of 1,062 aircraft. Among these, the Russians are now believed to have piloted 319 of the lost aircraft, all of which were MiG 15s, with the loss of 110 pilots killed.

If all this is accurate, the Communist to UN (US and Brit) air to air loss ratio was about about 1.1 to 1 in favor of the UN, which seems about right.

The F-86 to Soviet piloted MiG 15 loss ratio was about 3 to 2 in favor of the US, which also seems about right. In the latter war years, the Soviets substituted new or un seasoned pilots for their WWII aces, and their losses increased.Their Naval Aviation units which flew MiGs in Korea had had limited combat experience from WWII, and suffered increased losses in particular in their deployments to the Korean air war.

North Korean and Chinese pilots did not fare well in Korea, and their losses were significantly higher.

The Soviet intent was to give as many of their fighter pilots as they could combat experience in Korea, but it was a costly experiment, as was the US use of the B-29 in daylight missions, during which they were slaughtered by MiGs.

Wayne E. Long
Post 14 May 2017, 14:24
Comrade Vlad wrote:
I cannot find any good info anywhere aside from American propoganda.

"Best" I could find was 350 or so MIG-15's, down to 78 Sabres.

Is this true?

Doesn't make much sense.

I spent a many times to understand, and to find the truth. It is no use to read the western books, because most of the time it is only a western propaganda intended against communists, mostly debunking soviet industry, and soviet know-how. Before studying the conflict it is important to keep in mind these following elements to understand why in the early months of the war US pilots downed more Migs as they were in better situations before the war.

Duriing this conflict, westerners, and mostly US had a significant advantages than chineses and north koreans as americans had not only more experiences but better infrastructures to train their pilots. Do not forget that US did not suffer of the barbaric nazis invasions and destructions during the second world war as it was for Soviet Union. At least 22 millions of sovets died during this conflict, at these figures U must to add several dozens of millions soviet citizens were disabled, unable to work, to fight. Most of the west of USSR's infratructes were completely destroyed. It asks you time to rebuild. US did not suffer any destructions in its soil. Aside Soviet Union, People's Republic of China was proclaimed october 1949. The infrastructures in China were non-existent. All were to be re-build. As for Soviet Union it takes time to do it. No use to tell U more about north koreans infrastructures.

The war started end of june 1950. As U can understand before the war began US had a significant advantages than others, it is no wonder why the US in the begining of war -I insist on beginning- had better scores against the Migs.
In term of features, and engineering the Mig-15, and F-86 are somehow equivalent, with slight advantages for the Mig in dogfight. As I said above, US pilots did have more experience, better infratrusctures to train their personnels, however at the end of the war the situation became more and more complexe for US, as the soviets, chineses and north koreans accumulated more experiences, and they became more lethal then the war ended in a stalemate.
In spite of these adversities the chinese, soviet, and north koreans pilots gained significant advantages in the end of conflicts forcing US to accept North Korea democratic republic.
Post 07 Mar 2018, 00:46
Korean air war statistics from sources of USA and USSR
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