North Vietnamese MiG-21 Fishbed pilot tells the story of when he shot down a USAF B-52 Stratofortress during Operation Linebacker II
, 2022-12-27 17:04:46,
The MiG-21 is one of the world’s most famous jet fighters. This Soviet-made aircraft first flew in 1955, and more than 50 countries have used various versions. Western forces code-named the MiG-21 “Fishbed,” and some versions have flown well into the 21st century. The USSR built more than 10,000 MiG-21s before ending production in 1985.
In the Southeast Asia War, the MiG-21 was a dangerous adversary. Fast as US jets, it was more agile than the F-4 Phantom II, its main opponent. Although American forces lost about 50 aircraft to North Vietnamese MiG-21s, the US Air Force shot down 68 MiG-21s in air combat.
The Fishbed was also used against the B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers involved in Operation Linebacker II, the heaviest bombing of the entire Vietnam War against Hanoi and Haiphong.
Beginning on Dec. 18, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) pounded military and transportation targets with B-52s and tactical fighters. After 11 days of intense bombing, the North Vietnamese finally agreed to return to the peace table in Paris. Consequently, the U.S. restricted its air attacks on North Vietnam to the area south of the 20th parallel.
On Jan. 15, 1973, the U.S. announced an end to all mining, bombing and other offensive operations against North…
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