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regula50

Interview with Vladimir Zabelin(Korea)

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Interview with Vladimir Zabelin.

 

Maj Zabelin flew in Korea with the 821th IAP, part of the of the 190th FAD(Fighter Aviation Division). The unit was deployed at Myaogou AB(Tatung-Kao for the US)starting operations on Feb 14, 1952 and utilising the MiG-15bis from the departing 303th FAD. Zabelin score a total of nine kills in Korea(8 with the 821th IAP and 1 with the 256th IAP as CO of this unit).

A good interview with details of the daily routine at the Manchurian airfields, complication by this time to fight with two Wings of F-86s(51th FIW start operations in Dec 1951), and improved models of Sabres(F-86E)the problems with the wing droping(Valezka), the bad quality of the drops tanks, the point of view about the "Enemy", the Chinese and North Koreans, etc, etc

 

http://www.airforce.ru/history/cold_war/zabelin/chapter5_en.htm

 

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About the bases, there are some differences with the spelling and names in english, russian or chinese.

Resuming:

 

MANCHURIE-CHINA

 

Antung(or Andun for the V-VS. Today Dandong AB)

 

Main base and technical center. A old IJA terrain, rebuilded in the early Korean war and officialy starting operations On Dec 1, 1950. MiGs starting operations from Dec 3, 1950(MiG-15bis from 50th IAD with 29th GvIAP and 177th IAP).

Long concrete rwy, with many aircrafts revetments, dispersals, bunkers, GCI center, radar coverture, strong AAA. Used by the V-VS, PLAAF and KPAFAC.

 

*****

 

Tatung-kao(or Dadonggou)(Myaogou, Manpo for the V-VS)

 

Operative from May 18, 1951 and inagurated by the 303th IAD(17th IAP, 18 GvIAP and 523th IAP). First regiment to arrived was the 523th. South of Antung, very near of the coast.

The base serve as home for 4 Regiments(so 160 MiGs),usually, three regiments V-VS and one regiment PLAAF. Each regiment was placed at each side of the rwy head, two north, two south. Take offs were as instructed, to the north, avoiding ovefly of the sea.

The base was also the most exposed, very near of the gulf coast, bording the Yalu and just in range of the F-86s. Today the base was abandoned and the terrain was destined to agricultural use.

 

*****

 

Langtou

 

A PLAAF airbase, 14km SW of Antung. First PLAAF fighters, 10 MiGs of the 4th FAD 10th Regiment arrived there by Dec 12, 1950, before moving to Antung and start operations on Dec 28, 1950.

Today, the base is abandoned, runways and aprons seem have become regional granary sites.

 

*****

 

Anshan(Takushan or Dagushan)(Anshan for the V-VS)

 

Over the coast but far to the west. Used as reserve base to complement Antung by Dec 1950, then in 1951-1952 as reserve to cover also Myaogou. Used from 1951 mainly by PLAAF MiGs. Today as active base with PLAAF.

 

*****

 

Fencheng(Dapu or Dabao for the V-VS)

 

Big base and good equipped, so 60 km NW of Antung. Used to cover main operations from Antung and Myaogou. Used mainly by the PLAAF and "preparatory" base for the V-VS before jumping to Antung or Myaogou.

 

*****

 

Lyoyang

 

Used in early times, Nov 1950, by the 28th IAD MiGs(67th IAP and 139th GvIAP)before Antung entry in service.

 

*****

 

Shenyang(Or Mukden)

 

Used by the 151th GvIAD(28th and 72th GvIAP)by Nov 1950. Far from the Yalu to the NW, initial base of arrival for pilots and MiGs, destined to be deployed in combat over Korea. HQ and technical center.

 

*****

 

Taoxian(or Mukden West)

 

Support and preparatory base by the middle of 1952, before deployment to Antung or Myaogou.

 

*********************************************************************************************

NORTH KOREA

 

Only two bases were used by the MiGs and a very short time or exceptionally.

 

Uiju

 

The base was ended by Oct 1951. The first KPAFAC MiG regiment(447th from the 435th IAD)was deployed at Uiju by Nov 1951, flying the first mission on Nov 7, 1951, utilising ex early MiG-15s(Fagot A)from the 176 GvIAP and 196th IAP). Discovered by the USAF, the base was bombed by the B-29s several times, F-86s straffed the base destroying four MiGs on the ground on Nov 18, 1951. The deployment under this circunstances in North Korean territory was impossible and the regiment was re-deployed at Antung by the end of the month. That was the only time of deployment of MiGs in bases at North Korean territory. At the end of the war, Jul 1953, Uiju received 200 MiGs transported by ground and crossing the river, before the clausules of armistice take place.

 

*****

Sinuiju

 

Emergency airfield used only as refuelling point. This airfield was one of the most attacked targets of the Korean War and his dirty rwy and terrain received thousand of bombs and rockets. In early times used by piston fighters and bombers of the KPAFAC; then, no more used, and his rwy(so many times repaired)became a emergency strip for MiGs running out of fuel or with no enough to reach Antung or Myaogou. Landing there was very risky.

Edited by regula50

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About Anshan(Takushan or Dagushan)(Anshan for the V-VS)

 

"Over the coast but far to the west".

 

Correction sorry, I have checked the info.

Anshan is also by the NW and not over the coast, at 162km from Antung and very near of Lyaoyang.

Fencheng(Dapu or Dabao)is a 45Km NW of Antung and Mukden, 215km NW from Antung.

 

This distances explain the importance of front line bases, Antung and Myaogou,over the Yalu River and with 45 to 215km less to flight for return to base after the mission.

Edited by regula50

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another one, and REALLY good, is

 

Red Wings Over The Yalu;  China, the Soviet Union and the Air War in Korea by Xiaoming Zhang

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Yes, very good book, maybe by the moment the only one in english relating the PLAAF operations in the Korean War. 

This book also resolve a mistery about the first MiG-15 wreck recovered by the Royal Navy on Jul 9, 1951.

This was the second attempt to deploy the PLAAF MiGs in Korea but that run very bad and during only some four days.

On Jul 7, 1951 the 12th Regiment(4th PLAAF Fighter Division)was deployed at Myaogou, starting operations the 8th under escort of the V-VS 523th IAP.

Next day, they were escorted by the 17th IAP but the Chinese loss his escort and went over the sea(forbidden for the Soviets)and the MiGs encounter some B-29s.

Inexperienced and still too green the eight MiGs try to attack the bombers but with results null, and worst, the regiment CO, Da-Hai Zhao was shot down.

The MiG made a relative soft crash in a beach and was spotted by one Sea Fury from the aircraft carrier Glory the next day. 

The wreck was photographed on Jul 13, 1951 and a team of the CIA with an YH-19 helicopter inspect the place for a recovery operation.

The operation was autorized and the work of recover of the MiG wreck was completed by Jul 20, 1951.     

 

PLAAF postponed all his MiG operations after the failure of Jul 9 and the third tentative(Sep 25, 1951)was the good one. After this day, PLAAF MiGs remained in operations to the last day of the war in combat over Korea.  

 

 

Edited by regula50

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wow! i'm starting learning something different about korean war! a war almost unknow to european as me

thank you sirs!

Edited by alex71p

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Great book, Wrench. Another book I've enjoyed reading to get the Russian impression of things is "Mig Menace Over Korea" by Nicolas Sutiagin, for its descriptions of how the Russians conducted their operations over Korea. The first impression I got was that violations of the border were much more common than previously thought. Like any pilot stories, you can't take everything at face value, especially claims, but you can get good impressions of what both sides thought were happening now, something that we never had before. 

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