Les recently sent a few photos of the MiG-15 aircraft that was flown from the mainland to Taiwan by a defector back in 1962. His comments follow:
I just saw your May 11th entry on the MiG-15 flown to Taiwan by PLAAF defector Liu Cheng-szu (also spelled Liu Ch'eng-ssu or Liu Chengsi, depending on which Romanization you prefer) in March 1962. Here are some photos of the same aircraft on display in front of Taipei Stadium sometime later in 1962.
I was in Taiwan for two more defections after that. The first was an IL-28 bomber flown to Taoyuan Air Base by Li Hsien-pin in November 1965, and the second was a MiG-19 flown into Tainan Air Base in July 1977 by Fan Yuan-yen.
The Fan defection resulted in some really hard feelings in TDC. There was a team of US military ready to go down to Tainan to inspect the aircraft and I think some of them had come in TDY from the States. But the night before they were to head south, the US Ambassador issued an order that no U.S. officials were to have anything to do with either Fan or his airplane. The order had actually originated from the White House; apparently the Carter administration was afraid to do anything that might offend their new-found friends in Beijing.
So the U.S. gave up an opportunity to inspect what was then the Chicoms’ front-line fighter and perhaps to debrief its pilot. I didn’t know anyone who was there at the time who didn’t consider it stupid.