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Personal Account from Capt. McConnell

Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr. in the cockpit of his F-86, which shows his 16 kills as red stars. “Beauteous Butch” referred to his nickname for his wife, Pearl. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr. in the cockpit of his F-86, which shows his 16 kills as red stars. “Beauteous Butch” referred to his nickname for his wife, Pearl. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Photograph of Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr. taken on May 18, 1953, the day he scored his last three kills. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Photograph of Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr. taken on May 18, 1953, the day he scored his last three kills. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr. wore this scarf in combat. It is the same scarf pictured in the photograph.The flying horse insignia was for McConnell’s 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing. The cobra insignia was for his 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. “Butch” was McConnell’s nickname for his wife, Pearl, who donated the scarf to the museum.   (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr. wore this scarf in combat. It is the same scarf pictured in the photograph.The flying horse insignia was for McConnell’s 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing. The cobra insignia was for his 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. “Butch” was McConnell’s nickname for his wife, Pearl, who donated the scarf to the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo)

North American F-86F “Beauteous Butch II” flown by Capt. Joseph McConnell (side view at K-13). (U.S. Air Force photo)

North American F-86F “Beauteous Butch II” flown by Capt. Joseph McConnell (side view at K-13). (U.S. Air Force photo)


31 January 1953

"I encountered 4 MiG 15's at 46,000' I turned left into them, then reversed my turn on the first 2. I then broke right into the second 2 and again reversed my turn and lined up on the #2 MiG of the 1st element. I hit the MiG it rolled over and dived for the ground. I followed firing occasionally. Finally the MiG crashed.

In the process of chasing the 1st MiG his leader got on my tail. After the #2 MiG crashed. I pulled into a very high "G" turn. He slid to the outside and I reversed rolling over the top. I completed the roll ending at six o'clock on the outside of the turn. The MiG continued turning and I again pulled very high "G" and pulled lead on the MiG and again started firing hitting the engine, he had an engine explosion. The MiG rolled out and I started firing from passes descending and ascending up and down through his smoke and jet wash.

At one time while coming up through the MiG jet wash and smoke and firing the MiG pulled up. When I came out of the smoke I was about to collide with the MiG. I pulled up over the tail and half rolled to keep the MiG in sight. The MiG pilot looked up at me and pulled up into me as though to ram me. I pushed forward violently to avoid hitting him and finally rolled out at 6 o'clock again. The MiG pulled up and opened speed brakes as though to bail out. I had to leave because of fuel shortage; in fact, I glided the last 90 miles. The MiG was confirmed by another flight that observed the crash."

Joseph McConnell II
Capt., USAF