However the lack of Migs led to a propaganda opportunity. The USAF dropped a series of leaflets announcing how they could bomb targets, with the Migs being "too scared" to do anything about it. Presented with a potential loss of face the North Koreans started flying their Migs into the combat zone. Normally in groups of eight. The first encounter was a mixed package of aircraft from HMS Ocean. The Furies and Fireflies got attacked by eight Migs. The Migs made one pass without results and left the area. The next encounter was a much more deadly fight.
On 0600, August 9th, 1952 a flight of four Sea Furies were flying cover for Fireflies engaged on a raid to interdict railways near Chinnampo. The Sea furies were from 802 Squadron, and were flown by Commander Peter Carmichael, Lieutenant Pete Davies, Sub-Lieutenant Brian Ellis and Sub-Lieutenant Carl Haines. The Furies were loitering over the target area at about 4000 feet. They had been holding for about twenty minutes when Sub-Lt Haines spotted shapes moving at higher altitude against the daytime moon. These turned out to be a package of eight Migs. Yelling out a warning of "Migs, 5'oclock!" the Sea Furies split into two pairs separated by about 400 yards. Cmdr Carmichael led one section with Sub-Lt Ellis. Lt Davies led the other. All four pilots started "rubbernecking". Twisting their heads to look all over to spot the enemy. They also ditched their drop tanks, although one hung up on Sub-Lt Ellis' wing.
The Migs launched a classic attack, the first dived out of the sun shooting at Sub-Lt Ellis. Here a peculiarity of the Mig saved Sub-Lt Ellis. The differing ballistics of the cannons mounted in the Migs nose meant at long range the shots would often pass over and under the target. Sub-Lt Ellis saw tracers flashing past his aircraft and yelled out a simple Command of "Break!". This caused both sections ot start doing a scissors manoeuvre, where both aircraft weave towards each other. As they did so both sections turned into the attacking Migs. One Mig went head to head with Lt Davies' section, and both pilots scored hits on the Mig. It broke off and limped away with smoke coming from it. As second Mig ploughed through both sections, with all four pilots riddling it with 20mm shells. As the Mig passed through the formation it peeled away and crashed into a hillside below.
The results of the dog fight are confirmed by communist reports, sating they lost one Mig, and two damaged.
Other propeller planes are credited with shooting down communist Migs. Captain Jesse Folmar in a Vought Corsair shot one down, but was himself shot down shortly afterwards. Cross checking with communist sources show that nearly all other claims of "probables" are false. However there is one propeller driven plane that racked up a larger tally of Migs than all the others combined. Boeing B-29's have 27 Mig kills to their credit. However cross checking shows the number is about four.
|Migs attacking a B-29|