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Korean War Air Losses & Incidents Database for All Nations Opposing North Korea
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List of Pages Related to Korea
Korean Air War: An Introduction

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You searched for: “mackenzie and rcaf

#NameFirst NamesRankMilitary ServiceHonoursStatusAircraft TypeTail NumberDateIncidentSquadronGroup or WingCircumstances Of Incident        Notes        Links        Photo          
1 MacKenzieAndrew Robert 'Andy'SQLDRRCAF assigned to USAF (Canada)DFCRMCF-86F Sabre51-129061952-12-0539th Fighter-Interceptor: Cobra Squadron
51st Ftr-Int GpDowned by friendly fire while attacking MiGs1952-11-15 - 1954-12-05

Born 1920-08-10 Montreal Died 2009-09-21 Kemptville Ont. J/10976. 8.25 Victories WW2.

Highly experienced fighter pilot on exchange with the USAF in Korea, had been flying an F-86 Sabre jet when he was shot down by a comrade. It was the second time, in two wars, that he'd been shot down by American so-called friendly fire. Flying at 42,000 feet along the western coast of Korea over the Yellow Sea toward the mouth of the Yalu River, Mackenzie, one of 22 RCAF pilots to fly in combat during the Korean War, had spotted two enemy MiG-15 jets. Informing his flight leader that he was going after them, he peeled off in pursuit. Unfortunately, Major Jack Saunders of the 139th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Interceptor Wing, didn't hear him and headed in the opposite direction after his own targets. Breaking off his attack - it was strictly forbidden to attack without cover - Mackenzie was climbing to rejoin his leader when another Sabre raked his jet with fire. Since Sabres and MiG-15s both featured swept-back wings, they were sometimes mistaken for each other in the heat of battle. As Major Saunders engaged two MiGs, Mackenzie, a Second World War ace with 8ΒΌ victories, noticed bullets streaking just over his head. 'Before I could take any evasive action, my canopy was blown off. There were two strikes on my right elevator, followed by three more in rapid succession on the fuselage. I tried to break off to evade more fire, but my aircraft was out of control. I was starting to roll to the left and couldn't stop. In a few seconds I was barrelling to earth. I bailed out.' A few minutes later, Mr. MacKenzie came to rest on the ground. Unfortunately, Communist Chinese soldiers were waiting for him. Now his nightmare started, a hellishly long one that included poor food, intensive interrogations and 18 months spent in solitary confinement in Manchuria. His captors did their best to break his spirit but he never gave up hope.

Then he found himself in the Chinese prison, where he endured harsh treatment, but wasn't physically tortured. Always cold and hungry, he refused to co-operate and provide military secrets. As punishment, he was forced, for three long months, to sit at attention all day on the edge of his bed. In 1997, he described his time in solitary: 'Every minute was an hour and every hour was a day and every day was a week. Nobody knew I was still alive. Every day, [the Chinese] reminded me they could shoot me and nobody would know the difference.' Finally, in April, 1953, things changed for the better. He got a bigger room, the guards were more friendly, he was given books to read. He also made contact with one of the other prisoners. Mackenzie decided to make things a bit easier on himself and offered to draft a statement. The problem was, how was he shot down deep in China but picked up in North Korea? The answer was simple enough, he had drifted to North Korea on his parachute! This document completed, they next tried to achieve another about germ warfare. Mackenzie went berserk, which completely unnerved them. Finally, two years to the minute after he had been shot down, Mr. MacKenzie, now 70 pounds lighter, walked into freedom when he crossed into Hong Kong on Dec. 5, 1954. During his imprisonment, his mother had died without knowing if her son were alive or dead.

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