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  MiG-15    Nose 009

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KPAF November 1951

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Justin Taylan 2013

Aircraft History
Built by Mikoyan–Gurevich. Assigned to the Korean People's Air Force (KPAF). Assigned to the 1st Air Division, 2nd Air Regiment. This aircraft had a natural metal finish with squadron number 009 painted in red.

Wartime History
Operated from Anshan Airfield in Manchuria, where the 2nd Air Regiment underwent flight training.

On November 7, 1951, flown to Uiju Airfield where it was based. During early November, a black and white photograph of this aircraft was taken with Kim Il Sung and young Kim Kong Il it while parked in a revetment.

A MiG-15 to Freedom: Memoir of the Wartime North Korean Defector by Kum-Sok No page 97:
"Kim Il-Sung and General Wang Young, the air force commander, believed that much propaganda value would stem from the first North Korean jet regiment defending our country operating from Korean soil. It also looked bad for jets bearing North Korean insignia to be based in Manchuria. Kim Il-Sung, along with his second son, Kim Jong-Il, who was then about ten years old, visited the air base while I was there.
The Great leader arrived from Pyongyang in a Russian-built limousine painted olive drab, in a train of about seven sedans and five trucks. The other cars and trucks stopped farther back, but the limousine pulled up to the runway. About 50 solider and another 50 officials and plainclothes security people had arrived in the convoy. They had obviously driven at night to escape American aircraft. Kim was dressed in a Mao uniform with the puffy Mao cap, with his son in tow in a similar uniform. He alighted from his automobile at the southwest end of the runway at the apron that staged 16 fighters at standby. More fighters sat in revetments away from the runway. On a clear November day, 20 pilots of my regiment stood at attention at the southeast side of the ramp, with me in the middle. I thought security was lax because there I stood with my loaded pistol at my side. I could easily have shot Kim. I was already considering defecting, and it also seemed that many plainclothes forces kept their eyes on the accompanying military guard.
With 30 machine-gun-bearing soldiers at hand, Kim walked around the closest jet about 30 fee from me, showing a keen interest in the three cannon in the nose, especially in the larger 37-mm canon on the right side. He said, "With a plane with a weapon like this we could kill even the granddaddies of Americans." Then he turned to his son and asked him if he would like to fly a MiG-15. "Yes," replied the boy. "If you want to fly this plane," the father answered, "you will have to study very hard." This was just the second time I had seen the Great Leader, but for my dedicated pilot comrades, the visit boosted their morale tremendously."

The ultimate fate of this MiG-15 is unknown.

Because this MiG-15 was photograph with North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and young Kim Kong Il, it is prominently displayed in North Korea. This photograph is reproduced in a large frame at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where both leaders are lying in state.

A large sculpture outside the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum depicts MiG-15 009 with air crew and pilot figures. Also, the MiG-15 displayed at the museum is painted in the markings of 009.

North Korean English caption for this photograph reads: "Kim Il Sung, with young Kim Jong Il, inspect an air unit (June Juche 41 (1952))" [sic] the photo appears to be airbrushed.
A MiG-15 to Freedom: Memoir of the Wartime North Korean Defector page 97
Thanks to Raymond Cheung for research and analysis

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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