Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More on MIG 1765

I've commented a couple of times previously about the MIG pilot who defected from the Peoples' Republic of China on March 3, 1962.  Those articles were on May 11, 2008 and June 11, 2008.

Today, old friend Sarj Bloom pointed me to a YouTube video that appears to be a newsreel about that period.  I don't speak the language, of course, but there appear to be stories about Chiang Kai-Shek, new farming technology and the building of a dam.  About three minutes into the five minute video, there is a story about the MIG aircraft, tail number 1765, and the pilot who flew it to Taiwan.  Here's that video:


Les D. said...

This is mostly praise for Taiwan's development under Chiang Kai-shek, and criticism of the mainland's lack of freedom. It shows scenes of "anti-communist heroes" coming to Taiwan to escape the oppression. In that same vein it mentions the Mig-15 defection, as well as two others: the 1961 flight of an AN-2 to South Korea by Kao You-tsung and Shao Hsi-yen, and the 1965 defection of Li Hsien-pin flying an IL-28 bomber. It's easy, after all these years, to forget just how big a deal these defections were at the time.

Les D.

Anonymous said...

Les, didn't the pilot and copilot
of that IL-28 want to defect and the navigator didn't so they shot him? If I remember right there was a million or so bucks/XXX ounces of gold given to the defectors.

Victor said...

According to the official announcement, the pilot(Lee, Hsian-Bin李顯斌) and the copilot(Lee, Tsai-Wang李才旺) of the IL-28 wanted to defect, and the navigator(Lian, Bao-Sheng廉保生) died of concussion during landing. The fact is the pilot compelled the copilot to divert the airplane to Taiwan, and the navigator shot and killed himself after finding out he had landed in Taiwan.

lsdufin said...

That's almost right, but their positions were a little different. The pilot and navigator/bombardier were in the front of the aircraft and, as far as I know, they decided to defect together. It was the tail gunner, alone in the rear, who was an unwilling passenger and who took his own life.

Victor said...

The navigator/bombardier/copilot(Lee, Tsai-Wang李才旺) who was also in the front of the aircraft returned to China later in the 1980s, and confessed to the Chinese government that he was forced to defect by the pilot(Lee, Hsian-Bin李顯斌). The pilot confirmed this story in 1988 in Taiwan and demanded that the Taiwanese government should grant him the entire reward instead of half of it only.

Les D. said...

Li Ts'ai-wang was the navigator and bombardier, but not a copilot. The IL-28 had only a single set of controls. Li Hsien-pin sat in the bubble canopy up top and flew the plane alone. Li Ts'ai-wang's position was in the glass-enclosed nose. These photos and diagrams may help clarify where each sat. And this entry also gives a different version of Li Ts'ai-wang's story. Still another version, at the time of the defection, claimed he was injured when the airplane crash-landed at Taoyuan (it actually did skid off the runway).

Les D.

Larry said...

This pilot created a ton of work for me in the communications center. He spilled his guts on tactics for days and days and days and all the messages had to be typed for transmission by the trick chief of the shift (me) since they were highly classified and required limited handling.

If I remember correctly, he was made an instant Colonel in the Taiwan Air Force and give about $10,000 in gold.