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Procopius

The MiG-15 shot down by Risner on 9/15/52

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Is there any information on the MiG-15 claimed by James Robinson Risner on September 15 1952 over Antung Airfield? The dogfight seemed a notable one, and I was wondering if any postwar work had turned up the Russian side of the story.

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I don't know the pilot's name you're looking for.

While searching for you answer I just found out Brig. Gen Risner had passed away just this past October sad.gif .

I loved watching his interview on Dog Fights. Talk about the quintessential American country boy!

He flew fighter jets easier than I can drive a car.

R.I.P. Brigadier General James Robinson Risner salute.gifsad.gif .

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As ever with these things, it's a muddled picture...

Skywar.ru lists the following as Soviet losses for September 15th, 1952:

1) MiG-15 - Sen.Lt. Zubtchenko (pilot OK) - 578 IAP - Damaged by F-86, destroyed after landing

2) MiG-15 - Sen.Lt. Nikitin (pilot OK) - 578 IAP - Damaged by F-86, landed safely, written off

3) MiG-15 - Sen.Lt. Efimov Ivan (killed) - 676 IAP - Shot down by F-86

4) MiG-15 - Maj. Karatun (ejected safely) - 676 IAP - Shot down by F-86

5) MiG-15 - Sen.Lt. Vasilyev (ejected safely) - 878 IAP - Ran out of fuel in bad weather

6) MiG-15 - Sen.Lt. Barannykov (ejected safely) - 878 IAP - Ran out of fuel in bad weather

7) MiG-15 - Sen.Lt. Chumatchenko Michael (killed) - 878 IAP - Hit high ground in bad weather

8) MiG-15 - Sen.Lt. Goncharov (pilot unhurt) - 878 IAP - Overran runway in bad weather

5-8 can be discounted straight away, as they are non-combat losses, which leaves 1-4. Either 1 or 2 seems the most likely, and would tie in with the MiG being 'shot down' whilst landing, except that Krylov and Tepsurkaev state that the 578th didn't arrive at Antung until 26th September 1952 - and, in any case, Antung isn't 35 miles inside China, as Risner stated. It's also worth noting that, contrary to several reports on Risner's claim, there's no mention of any other aircraft being written off i.e. if his MiG did crash, it didn't hit a line of parked fighters.

On the balance of probabilities, I'd say that Risner's claim was probably Zubtchenko, with Nikitin a distinct second choice and Ivan/Karatun also candidates. Of course, much like 1Lt Russell Brown's claim to have shot down a MiG-15 on 8th November 1950 (the alleged first 'Jet vs. Jet' kill) there's always the chance that Risner didn't actually shoot anyone down that day.

Vince

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Interesting. One would think that given the spectacular nature of the fight, that the incident would have been well-documented on the Russian side as well. That's kind of disappointing that, IMO, the evidence seems to incline towards the kill not happening, or not happening as Risner remembered it, sort of like that RN Sea Fury vs. MiG-15 claim. I wonder if his gun camera footage is still extant?

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