Today in History, November 8: 1950-
The first Jet vs Jet fighter dogfight takes place in the skies over Korea known as “Mig Alley”. USAF Lt. Russell Brown tangled with two Mig 15 fighters and shot one down in his P-80 Shooting Star. The P-80 was soon replaced with the F-86 Sabre, a far superior aircraft more comparable to the Migs.
In April 1951 a Marine pilot flying a WWII era piston engine F4U Corsair fighter aircraft being used for ground attack during the Korean War, also shot down a Mig 15 jet.
Sixty-Seven years after the first jet to jet combat over the Korean Peninsula, the Korean War, in effect, continues. There was a “cease-fire” in July of 1953. The same maniacal family still rules North Korea…for them, the war continues.
Today in History, October 22, 1962: President Kennedy announces in a speech from the Oval Office that the Soviet Union has placed nuclear missiles in Cuba, only 90 miles from Florida. Any city within the United States could be destroyed within moments.
President Kennedy announced the US Navy was conducting a “Quarantine” of Cuba, another name for a Blockade, which “could” be considered an act of war. He also made clear that any missile launched from Cuba upon any nation in the Western Hemisphere would result in an attack on the Soviet Union. Could this be interpreted as enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine?
Today we are experiencing stressful times, a showdown with North Korea. We’ve been here before, even worse. We are made nervous by the rhetoric voiced by our government. President Kennedy kept us safe by letting the Soviets and Cuba know the consequences would be dire if they acted in bad faith. At that time Castro and the Soviet government were viewed as “madmen” much as Kim is today.
Today in History, October 1: 1947 – America’s first “swept wing” jet fighter, the North American F-86 Sabre, makes it’s first flight.
Sleek, beautiful and deadly, the Sabre would go into production and arrive in Korea in time to save the day, as America’s mostly propeller driven air forces were desperately fighting the Russian Mig 15 swept wing fighter. The Sabre and the Mig both had advantages over each other, but American training, as usual, made the difference. The Sabre is my favorite jet fighter. The last one was retired from the Bolivian Air Force in 1994.