The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

American pilot shot down four Soviet fighters in 30 minutes: he kept it a secret for 50 years

On a cold November day in 1952, Royce Williams shot down four Soviet fighters and became a legend that no one had heard of for over 50 years. How did they find out about it and what is the real “Top Gun”, the publication said. CNN.

Photo: IStock

At a January 20 ceremony in California, the 97-year-old former Navy aviator was presented with the Navy Cross, the second-highest military award.

The head of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, said that among the many proposals he considered for issuing higher awards for sailors, the Williams case "stands out from all the others."

“It is very clear to me that his actions were truly extraordinary and more precisely met the criteria for receiving the highest award,” he said.

"Freedom doesn't come cheap," Del Toro said. “This is due to the self-sacrifice of all those who serve and continue to serve in today's armed forces. Your actions that day preserved freedom. They helped your teammates in Task Force 77. In fact, they helped all of us."

Number and superiority in armament

On November 18, 1952, Williams flew the F9F Panther, the first US Navy jet fighter, during the Korean War.

It took off from the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany, which, along with three other aircraft carriers, operated as part of a task force in the Sea of ​​Japan, also known as the East Sea, 100 miles (160 km) off the coast of North Korea.

On the subject: As a Soviet military pilot emigrated to California and opened a Russian store

Williams, then 27, and three other fighter pilots were ordered to conduct combat air patrols in the northernmost part of the Korean Peninsula, near the Yalu River, which separates North Korea from China. To the northeast was Russia, then part of the Soviet Union, which had supported North Korea in the conflict.

While patrolling four US Navy aircraft, the team leader developed mechanical problems and headed back to the task force off the coast with his subordinates.

This left Williams alone on the mission.

Then, to their surprise, seven Soviet MiG-15 fighters were identified heading towards the US task force.

“They just didn’t fly out of Russia and get our attention,” Williams said in a 2021 interview with the American Veterans Center.

Cautious task force commanders ordered two US Navy aircraft to interpose themselves between Soviet fighters and US warships.

Williams recalls how four Soviet MiGs turned towards him and opened fire.

He fired at the tail MiG, which then fell out of action. According to him, at this point, the US command on the aircraft carrier ordered him not to engage the Soviets.

No choice but to fight

Williams knew that the Soviet fighters were faster than his aircraft, so if he tried to break away, they would catch and kill him.

“At that time, the MiG-15 was the best fighter in the world, faster, able to climb and dive faster than American aircraft,” he stressed.

His aircraft was adapted for air-to-ground combat, not air combat.

As a result, he found himself alone against six Soviet jets when three other MiGs that had broken away earlier returned.

This was followed by more than half an hour of dogfight, in which Williams constantly twisted and twisted (the only way the F9F could compete with the Soviet fighter) to prevent the superior MiGs from bringing their guns on him.

“I was on the machine and did the same thing as during training,” he explained.

So it was with the MiGs.

“In some cases they made mistakes,” Williams said.

One flew at him, but then stopped shooting and dived under him. Williams suggested that his pilot was killed by gunshots.

And suddenly another MiG was right in front of him, he hit him with his cannon, and he shattered into pieces, and Williams had to maneuver sharply to avoid the debris.

According to the battle report, during the course of the battle the F9F pilot fired all 760 rounds from the 20mm cannons he had on board.

But Soviet fighters hit Williams as well, knocking out his rudder and wing control surfaces, leaving only the elevators at the rear of the plane, and he could move the plane up and down.

Fortunately, at this point it was heading towards the US task force off the coast. But one of the remaining Soviet planes was still on his tail.

Williams maneuvered up and down the roller coaster pattern as bullets flew over and under him as the Soviet pilot tried to get a good shot.

At this point, Williams' commander joined the fight and sat on the tail of a Soviet fighter, which scared him off.

But Williams still had several difficult flights to get the damaged aircraft back on board the aircraft carrier.

First, because the task force feared a possible attack by Soviet warplanes, its enhanced air defense system initially mistook Williams' F9F for a MiG, and the destroyers guarding the American carriers opened fire on it.

Williams said that his commander, having eliminated one danger, quickly put an end to it.

However, Williams still had to land his aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier, which he usually did at 105 knots (120 mph). But he knew that if he flew below 170 knots (195 miles per hour) with such damage, the plane would stall and crash into the icy sea.

And he couldn't turn around to line up with the carrier. So the ship's captain decided to take the extraordinary step of turning the aircraft carrier so that it lined up with Williams.

It worked. He tumbled to the deck and snagged on the third and final safety line.

On the deck of an aircraft carrier, the Navy crew counted 263 holes in Williams' aircraft. According to a Navy Memorial report, he was in such bad shape that he was pushed off the ship and out to sea.

But as the plane disappeared under the waves, the fact that the American-Soviet dogfight had even taken place had to disappear.

Fear of a new world war

News of Williams' heroism reached the top, and then-President Dwight Eisenhower was among senior US officials willing to speak to the pilot.

After the fight, Williams gave personal interviews to several senior Navy admirals, the secretary of defense, as well as the president, after which he was told not to talk about his heroism, as officials feared that the incident could lead to a devastating increase in tensions between the US and the Soviet Union and possibly provoke a third world war.

Williams' dogfight records were soon classified by U.S. officials, and he swore secrecy. It took over five decades for his victories to be fully recognized.

In 1953, Williams was awarded the Silver Star, but the Department of Defense statement did not mention Soviet aircraft, only "enemy". It was only about three aircraft. The fourth was not known until Russian records were published in the 1990s.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

So it was only in 2002, when the records were declassified, that Williams was able to tell even the closest people about it.

“Until the end of his successful career in the Navy, and for decades after his retirement, the details of Williams’ aerial combat with Soviet MiG-15s over North Korea remained a secret,” the US Department of Defense said in a statement. “When the government contacted him and told him that his mission had been declassified, the first person Williams told was his wife.”

In later years, groups of veterans who learned what he had done said that the Silver Star was not enough reward for Williams, and some said he should receive the highest military award, the Medal of Honor.

In December 2022, more than 70 years after the air battles of the Korean War, Del Toro stated that Williams' Silver Star should be upgraded to the Navy Cross.

California Rep. Darrell Issa, who pushed for Williams to receive the medal, called him "the best pilot and American hero of all time."

“To this day, this is the most unique U.S.-Soviet dogfight in Cold War history,” Issa said in a statement. “The heroism and valor he displayed for 35 harrowing minutes 70 years ago in the skies over the North Pacific and the coast of North Korea saved the lives of his fellow pilots, shipmates and crew members. His story will stay with us for centuries, and now it is fully told.”

Read also on ForumDaily:

Intermittent fasting is very popular: how effective it really is

How to get a green card if you are not in the USA: who is eligible and how to apply

What day is better to go to the store to save a lot of money

Egg prices are rising at an unprecedented pace: in which stores you can still find them cheaper

the USSR fighter Educational program pilot
Subscribe to ForumDaily on Google News

Do you want more important and interesting news about life in the USA and immigration to America? - support us donate! Also subscribe to our page Facebook. Choose the "Display Priority" option and read us first. Also, don't forget to subscribe to our РєР ° РЅР ° Р »РІ Telegram - there are many interesting things. And join thousands of readers ForumDaily Woman и ForumDaily New York - there you will find a lot of interesting and positive information. 

1174 requests in 2,789 seconds.