Episode 2615 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Ken Lee, the only Army aviator who shot down a North Vietnamese jet during the Vietnam War. The featured story comes from the Aviation Geek Club and is titled: US Army OV-1 pilot explains how he was able to shoot down a North Vietnamese MiG-17 by means of his Mohawk’s rockets and gun – OV-1 Mohawk pilot Ken Lee is the only US Army aviator to have shot down an enemy airplane in combat since the US Air Force was founded as a separate service. The story was submitted by Dario Leone.
Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
Army aviator Ken Lee was denied recognition for an incredible feat he accomplished over the A Shau Valley in Vietnam. On February 24, 1968 while flying an OV-1 on a rccon mission he was attacked by a North Vietnamese MiG-17 fighter. Lee proceeded to shoot down the enemy aircraft.
For the Army, Lee’s “victory” could turn into a major defeat if it became widely known that an Army airplane had shot down a MiG, which the Air Force considered its prerogative.
As Lee explained, “The Army was terrified the Air Force would force them to either disarm the Mohawks or even turn them over to the Air Force.” The event was officially forgotten until 2004, when Lee’s story was published in an aviation history magazine and the Army confirmed it had happened.
Listen to episode 2615 and discover more about Ken Lee, the only Army aviator who shot down a North Vietnamese jet during the Vietnam War.