By Steve Davies
From the past due Sixties until eventually the tip of the chilly conflict, the USA Air strength received and flew Russian-made MiG jets, culminating in a mystery squadron devoted to exposing American fighter pilots to enemy know-how and tactics.
Red Eagles tells the tale of this squadron from the 1st assessments of MiGs following the Vietnam struggle while the USAF were woefully under-prepared in aerial strive against. those preliminary flights could become the "black" or categorized application identified internally as Constant Peg.
At a mystery air base in Nevada, ace American fighter pilots have been offered with quite a number differnet MiG jets with an easy remit: to show "the possibility" to as a lot of their brethern as attainable. conserving and flying those "assets" with out with no spare elements or manuals was once a nearly very unlikely activity, placing these flying the MiGs in mortal possibility on each flight.
Despite those demanding situations, in all greater than 5,900 American aircrews could teach opposed to America's mystery MiGs, giving them the eskills they had to face the enemy in actual strive against situations.
For the 1st time, this publication tells the tale of Constant Peg and the 4477th purple Eagles Squadron within the phrases of the boys who made it attainable.
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Extra info for Red Eagles: America's Secret MiGs
Then we added another dimension,” Oberle confided. “This was the Russians’ complete reliance on ground control intercept for their missions. So, we added a section of GCI controllers. 3 Here he collected information that had been gathered by an electronic listening post – Templehof Air Station, West Berlin – that monitored Soviet fighter communications and observed their maneuvers on radar. Oberle explained that Henderson talked to the American GCI controllers tasked with monitoring the East German pilots: The information that he got was an example of how we put the Aggressors together.
Com — RED EAGLES — for four years before they brought it back, took it apart and did all the corrosion repair on it. ” Peck used the analogy of a typical restoration project at any aviation museum with flyable warbirds to describe what they had to work with. ” For those MiGs that required rebuilding from scratch, it took around 18 months, and there were several such examples. Heading all of this up was a supremely talented maintenance trooper, Senior (later, Chief ) M/Sgt Robert O. “Bobby” Ellis.
Ellis was a talented and wellrespected maintainer who had been involved in black projects for a very long time. Of all the characters in the Red Eagles story, he is arguably the most highly revered. He had worked on the IDEA MiGs, as well as FTD exploitation programs (including DOUGHNUT/DRILL/FERRY). He knew MiGs better than any other Air Force maintainer, and had probably been out to Indonesia to select which MiGs were salvageable. Indeed, when Soviet pilot Victor Belenko defected in his MiG-25 “Foxbat” interceptor in September 1976, Ellis was handpicked to fly out to Hakodate, Japan, to dismantle and exploit the jet.
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