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MiG-19 FARMER - Operations

The MiG-19 and F-6 participated in many regional conflicts: the Vietnam War, the civil war in North Yemen (1966-1967), "Six Day War" (1967), the Indo-Pakistani War (1971), the Vietnam War (1972-1975) in Cambodia (1979), Afghanistan (1979-1989), in the battles against the Kurds in Iraq (1974), Iran, in the conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.

Pilots of the Air Force of the People's Democracies, like colleagues in the air defense of the Soviet Union, repeatedly intercepted violators airspace. Egyptian and Syrian MiGs took part in wars with Israel. For six years (1965-1971) the Chinese J-6 shot down, mainly over the Taiwan Strait, more than 20 American and Chinese aircraft. Suffered losses and Air China.

The MiG-19 was often used against violators of the State border of the USSR (the first incident occurred July 4, 1956). May 20, 1960 a pair of MiG-19 (Commander Captain L.Shkaruba) on the territory of the GDR was put agaisnt an RB-47 reconnaissance aircraft. The first aerial victory was July 1st of the same year, when the captain V.A.Polyakov at an altitude of 9000 m shot down an RB-47 in the vicinity of Cape Kanin Nos. In the late 1950s through the early 1960s the MiG-19 Soviet pilots shot down many reconnaissance balloons. Also many intsindentov airspace fell to pilots Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Cuba and China. In the 1950s the MiG-19 [in red] performed aerobatic group of pilots inspectors defense led by the commander of air defense aircraft twice Hero of the Soviet Union Colonel-General E.Ya.Savitskim.

It was the real world aircraft used "as intended" only air defense pilots. The first attempts by the MiG-19 to intercept high-altitude reconnaissance came in 1956. In the fall of 1957, to intercept air targets, the MiG-19 of the 9th Guards IAP PVO sortied from the airport Andizhan (Turkmenistan). The pilot was able to climb "only" 17,000m and visually detect the plane, which went in excess of 30,000 m. The pilot did not believe - command did not believe in the existence of an airplane that can fly to the horizon at an altitude of 20 km. Such aircraft, however, there was a - it was a U-2.

The hunt for U-2's (and his like scouts) became the main task of air defense in the coming years. Four MiG-19P from Andijan unsuccessfully raised in April 1960 to intercept U-2s.

In 1960 the U-2 was at the center of international politics. The end in the flight of foreign spy planes over the interior of the Soviet Union was set 01 May 1960, when the spy plane was shot down by a missile S-75. CIA civilian pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the USSR while photographing missile sites at Sverdlovsk and Plesetsk. The Soviets reportedly fired fourteen newly developed SA-2 surface-to-air missiles at his U-2. Though none hit Powers' aircraft, one of the missiles -- at the extreme limit of its range and radar tracking ability -- exploded behind the U-2, and the shock damaged the fragile aircraft. Powers bailed out of his stricken U-2 and was captured.

During the engagement, there was also a red-on-red incident in which defenders shot down one of their own MiG-19 fighters. Under the missile salvo scrambled to intercept the intruder were couple of MiG-19P 764 IAP PVO. Unfortunately, the Soviets not only brought down U-2. In the engagement, the Soviets also accidentally shot down one of their own MiG-19 fighters, killing its pilot. Fighter S.I.Safronova senior lieutenant was shot down. The circumstances of the tragedy became known only in the 1990s.

The first, but not last, the victory of the MiG-19P (and MiG-19 in general) was won by 1 July 1960: in the Arctic in the Cape Kanin Nos, shot down an American RB-47.

An RB-47H was shot down over international waters by the Soviet Union on July 1, 1960. The United States Air Force RB-47H based at Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas, departed from Brize-Norton Royal Air Force Base in England. The flight's planned route kept the plane over international waters. A MiG-19 fighter intercepted the American RB-47H over the Barents Sea. At 1803 hrs, Soviet Pilot-Captain Vasilij Polyakov, seeing that it was not obeying his commands and was attempting to flee to international waters, opened fire on the aircraft and cut short the reconnaissance flight east of Cape Svyatoj Nos.

Captain Freeman B. Olmstead and Captain John McKone successfully ejected and survived only to be picked up by a Soviet fishing vessel. The aircraft commander, Major Willard Palm, however, perished in the Barents Sea. Ten days after the shootdown, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev announced that they had shot down the bomber and captured the two crewmen. The pair were imprisoned in Moscow's Lubyanka prison, and accused by the Soviets of espionage, punishable by death, for allegedly violating the Soviet sea frontier.

Shortly after the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, Premier Nikita Khrushchev extended an offer to free Olmstead and McKone. After 7 months of imprisonment and interrogation the guards drove Captain Freeman B. Olmstead and Captain John McKone to the American Embassy. They were handed over to U.S. officials to be reunited with their families without having disclosed any information to the Soviet government.

During the nine years of American involvement in the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the Vietnamese Peoples' Air Force (VPAF) quickly grew from an ill-organised rabble of poorly trained pilots flying antiquated communist aircraft into a highly effective fighting force that more than held its own over the skies of North Vietnam. Flying Soviet fighters like the MiG-17, and -21, the VPAF produced over a dozen aces, while the Americans managed just two pilots and three navigators in the same period.

Many wild claims (most were innacurate) were made by the young and mostly inexperienced North Vietnamese pilots. Officially, there were 16 VPAF Aces during Vietnam War (13 were MiG-21 pilots, and three were MiG-17 drivers, there were no MiG-19 aces).

In Vietnam, as in the USSR, the MiG-19 remained in the shadow of the MiG-17 and MiG-21. By 1972 the NVNAF had four fighter aviation regiments, a fighter aviation training regiment and a military transport air regiment. These were based on five airfields. The fighter aviation regiments were armed with the MIG-21, MIG-19 and MIG-17 aircraft and were concentrated in the central and northern provinces based on the airfields at Gialam, Hoi-Bai, Yen-Bai and Kep. The MIG-19s were made in China and were not used in combat.

The Pakistani F-6 was widely used in the war with India (1971). Pakistani figures are striking: a downed F-6 versus 12 aircraft shot down on the F-6. F-6 Pakistan Air Force also used to attack ground targets.

In the late 1980s the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) took delivery of a small number of J-6's from North Korea. These aircraft flew against other J-6's and aircraft of the Iraqi Air Force.

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Page last modified: 14-02-2016 20:07:23 ZULU