Episode 1625 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about North Korean fighter pilots’ participation in the Vietnam War. The story appeared on the National Interest website and was titled: North Korean Fighter Pilots Battled American Jets over Vietnam. It was submitted by Sebastien Roblin. He has a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States.
It is a well known truism of the Vietnam War that aerial combat was a big component of the conflict. The vast array of aircraft used by the forces supporting South Vietnam ranged from small recon helicopters all the way up to the B-52 bombers.
American aircraft often ventured into North Vietnamese skies to take the war to the north where much of the support for the war in the south was being generated. The most sophisticated war planes in the US inventory along with its highly trained pilots were sent in to destroy the North’s ability to continue the war.
The North Vietnamese needed help in countering the American aerial offense. The common assumption was that the Russians came to the aid of their Marxist comrades. What we have discovered from the featured story, North Korea contributed assistance by making available 96 of their best fighter pilots to the war.
Apparently things did not go swimmingly for the fellow commie countries. Here is what North Vietnamese pilot Dinh said of the North Koreans: “They kept everything secret, so we didn’t know their loss ratio, but the North Korean pilots claimed 26 American aircraft destroyed. Although they fought very bravely in the aerial battles, they were generally too slow and too mechanical in their reactions when engaged, which is why so many of them were shot down by the Americans. They never followed flight instructions and regulations either. “
Listen to episode 1625 and discover more about the participation of North Korean fighter pilots in the Vietnam War.