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The Memory Project: Eric George Smith

Eric George Smith (Air Force) of Ontario was one of only 22 RCAF fighter pilots to undertake a combat role during the Korean War. He served with the United States 5th Air Force and flew the cutting edge F-86 Sabre at the dawn of the Jet Age.


 

Eric George Smith (Air Force) of Ontario was one of only 22 RCAF fighter pilots to undertake a combat role during the Korean War. He served with the United States 5th Air Force and flew the cutting edge F-86 Sabre at the dawn of the Jet Age. After his operations in Korea ended, he returned to Canada to train 400 fighter pilots and continue a distinguished military career until his retirement in 1968.

[audio http://www.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Smith_Eric_KOREA-EDIT.mp3]

EXCERPT:

I never had any kills, but I had a tangle on two different occasions. I had one [enemy fighter] behind me dropping down, trying to shoot me down, but he was a very poor shot I guess. And of course, their method was, they could fly at 50,000 feet and we couldn’t get above 42,000 feet. So they’d dive down, take their pass and back up to altitude where you couldn’t get them. So when I reversed on him and by the time I got on his tail, he was zooming skyward. But I’ll tell you, with that one trying experience, we were in the middle of 46 Migs but we made it with a very smart withdrawal over the, when you’ve got two against 46, it was too one-sided.


 
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