Plane Type: F-86 Sabre
Scourging the red skies of Korea the North American F-86 SABRE racked up an incredible kill-ratio of over 800 E/A destroyed for a loss of 78. Development of the SABRE resulted from the Soviet MiG threat which became apparent at the end of WW II. One of two of the most successful and aesthetically pleasing USAF single-seat fighters ever, the SABRE began life as a recognizable relative to it's older sibling, the P-51 MUSTANG, with a similar, straight wing and flying surfaces planform, but was quickly redesigned to take into account captured German "swept-wing" research, the result being the high performance day fighter seen here.
In its new configuration, the prototype SABRE became the first US fighter to break the sound barrier on 26 April, 1948, only 5 months after Chuck Yeager's Bell XS-1, in October, 1947. The original design proposal, submitted to the Army Air Forces HQ 18 May, 1945 resulted in 11 significant variants, used in total by more than 28 Air Forces, some into the 1970s. Although designed as a day fighter, one major variant, the F-86D, was a well-known all-weather fighter, too. Further parallel refinement of this versatile airframe produced a series of US Navy carrier fighters, the FJ FURY series -with tailhooks, folding wings and equally high performance figures, the FJ-4B having a top speed of 715 mph and a combat radius with external fuel tanks of over 1300 miles.
Here we see an F-86E flown by Major Frederick C. "Boots" Blesse, 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron -4th Fighter Interceptor Wing some time in the Autumn of 1952, one of the most dangerous adversaries Russian and N. Korean MiG 15 pilots might have the misfortune to face in the skies over Korea.