Israel's Forgotten Battle Against North Korean MiG-21s

By USAF - National Museum of the U.S. Air Force photo 050322-F-1234P-001, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1274562By USAF - National Museum of the U.S. Air Force photo 050322-F-1234P-001, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1274562
By USAF – National Museum of the U.S. Air Force photo 050322-F-1234P-001, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1274562

Dario Leone

History, Middle East

Yes, they really did fight.

Israel’s Forgotten Battle Against North Korean MiG-21s

The North Korean MiG-21 squadron was based at Bir Arida to defend Egypt’s south. 

During the Yom Kippur War the Israeli Air Force (IAF) actually faced an Arab coalition, rather than the Egyptian Air Force in the south and the Syrian Air Force in the north. Fighter squadrons from Algeria, Iraq, Libya, and North Korea deployed to Egypt prior to October 1973. The North Korean MiG-21 squadron was based at Bir Arida to defend Egypt’s south. The North Korean MiG-21 pilots did not engage Israeli aircraft until Dec. 6, 1973.

(This first appeared earlier in 2019.)

That day two Kurnass pairs from two squadrons, 69 and 119, were scrambled to the Gulf of Suez sector. The pairs were teamed together, with the 69 pair (Shadmi-Gur, Shpitzer-Ofer) leading the 119 pair. Meir Gur recalls in Shlomo Aloni & Zvi Avidror book Hammers Israel’s Long-Range Heavy Bomber Arm: The Story of 69 Squadron:

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