MiG-17/19 Aces of the Vietnam War
At the beginning of the Vietnam War, the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF) were equipped with slow, old Korean War generation fighters – a combination of MiG-17s and MiG-19s – types that should have offered little opposition to the cutting-edge fighter-bombers such as the F-4 Phantom II, F-105 Thunderchief and the F-8 Crusader. Yet when the USAF and US Navy unleashed their aircraft on North Vietnam in 1965 the inexperienced pilots of the VPAF were able to shatter the illusion of US air superiority.
Taking advantage of their jet's unequalled low-speed maneuverability, small size and powerful cannon armament they were able to take the fight to their missile-guided opponents, with a number of Vietnamese pilots racking up ace scores. Packed with information previously unavailable in the west and only recently released from archives in Vietnam, this is the first major analysis of the exploits of Vietnamese pilots in the David and Goliath contest with the US over the skies of Vietnam.
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aerial victory airfield April attack Bac Giang Bui Van Suu cannon China claimed combat confirmed Crusaders dogfight Dong Hoi Duc Toai Duong eject enemy aircraft engaged F-4 Phantom II fired three bursts flew flying four MiG17s Gia Lam ground control Gulf of Tonkin Haiphong Hanoi heading Hoa Lac Hoang Van Ky intercept István Toperczer jets Kien killed Lam Van Lich landed safely Lich loss records Lt Cdr Luu Huy Chao manoeuvre MiG MiG17 flight MiG17 pilots MiGs missile mission Nghe An Province Ngoc Lan Nguyen Hong Nguyen Phi Hung Nguyen Van Bay Ninh Noi Bai North Vietnamese opened fire pair Pham Hung Pham Ngoc Lan Phan Van Tuc Phantom IIs Quang Trung scrambled Shenyang J-5 shot sorties spotted standby tactics targets TFS/8th TFW Thanh Tho Xuan Thunderchief turned USAF Vietnam Vinh VPAF HQ VPAF Museum VPAF pilots VPAF records VPAF’s wingman Yen Bai