My dad saw a pretty badly shot up B-29 that made it back to Kempo, K-14.
As for claims, it was not glory boy stuff for the US. Another pilot or gun camera film had to confirm the kill. On one mission my dad fired on a MiG from a high angle of attack but didn't think he got anything.
Later that day he bumped into Earl Brown who he was classmates with in Aviation Cadats. Earl was a Sabre pilot as well with the 336th FIS but also did the gun camera film analysis. He asked my dad, "Did you shoot today" My dad said yes but didn't think he hit anything. Earl said they found some confirmed hits on the MiG and that he should put in for a claim. So my dad did and got one confirmed claim as a result.
Understand this, getting a kill or making ace had a lot to do with squadron politics and mission rules as it did the pilot's ability to be a "hot stick". Many good young pilots ended up flying wing for older WWII veterans. As wing you never got to shoot. Some flew most if not all missions as a wing man. Further more some of the older pilots simply didn't have the good eye sight any more and many didn't understand the tactics of jets versus their previous aircraft.
My dad had 20-15 vision and could call out boggies way in front of their flight. However, the lead pilots couldn't see them. By the time they could the MiGs were flying right by them. To turn and engage wasn't going to do anything, the MiGs would be long gone. The key was to see them at a distance and start your engagement then,,,not wait and see them up close. By then it was simply too late. My dad was very frustrated at times that good bounces were completely botched by poor understanding of jet combat or simply not being able to see the enemy. Having rank and flying lead didn't always result in success.
Lastly, the book, "The Hunters" is a pretty accurate account of Sabre pilots in Korea. Many of the stories were true accounts and my Dad knows the real men and names. The movie is a far cry from the book and is just a Robert Mitchum movie, nothing more. Read the book, forget the movie.
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