USMC Captain Jesse G. Folmar shot down a MiG-15 only F4U Corsair MiG kill Korean War Sept 10 1952 Lou Drendel
On this day: 70 years ago (September 10, 1952), Captain Jesse G. Folmar (MCSN: 0-26438), from the “Checkboards” of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 312 off the jeep carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118), shot down a North Korean (marked) MiG-15 to become the only F4U Corsair pilot to claim a MiG kill during the Korean War. After successfully engaging the MiG, Folmar was himself shot down by four other MiGs. He survived the attack and was rescued.
The performance between the two aircraft is about 200 knots and 10,000 feet in ceiling, to the MiG’s advantage. However, Folmar, age 32 at the time, was no novice to his aircraft.
Born 13 Oct 1920 in Montgomery County, Alabama, he joined the Marines in WWII and learned his trade with against the Japanese.
From Folmar’s Silver Cross citaton (he also earned the Distinguished Flying Cross) for the dogfight:
When the two-plane flight which he was leading to the target area near Chinnampo was suddenly attacked by eight hostile jet interceptors, Captain Folmar immediately initiated effective defensive measures so that he and his wingman could bring fire to bear on the enemy aircraft. Aggressively maneuvering his plane to the inside of one of the attacking hostile jets, he skillfully fired a burst from his guns that ripped into the side of the jet, causing it to burst into flames and forcing the enemy pilot, with his clothing ablaze, to abandon the flaming jet which subsequently crashed into the Taedong estuary.
While Captain Folmar was maneuvering his aircraft to ward off another attack, his plane was hit and severely damaged by hostile fire, forcing him to parachute. With the hostile jets continuing to make firing runs, he landed in the water from which he was rescued by friendly forces.
By his indomitable courage, outstanding airmanship and gallant devotion to duty, Captain Folmar was directly responsible for the complete destruction of a hostile jet aircraft and contributed materially to the safe return of his wingman, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Folmar died in 2004, aged 83, and is buried in Foley, Alabama. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/14997565/jesse-gregory-folmar
For reference, the Marines’ “tally sheet” for Korea, showing Folmar as both the last Corsair victory and the only one of a prop plane against a jet. Illustration by Lou Drendel