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Capt. Harold "Hal" Fischer: Double MiG Ace and POW

Capt. Harold “Hal” Fischer. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. Harold “Hal” Fischer. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Capt. Harold "Hal" Fischer exhibit in the Korean War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Capt. Harold "Hal" Fischer exhibit in the Korean War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Harold Fischer had great success as a fighter pilot in Korea, and he also endured captivity in communist China long after the end of hostilities. On his first tour in Korea, Fischer flew ground attack missions in F-80s in the 8th Fighter Bomber Wing. He stayed in the Far East and transferred to the Sabre-equipped 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing.

Fischer scored his first MiG-15 kill on Nov. 26, 1952. He increased his tally through February 1953, including one day in which he shot down two MiGs. He scored his 10th and last MiG victory on March 21, 1953.

During a mission on April 7, 1953, Fischer's engine caught fire -- he was either fired on by another MiG or his engine ingested pieces coming off the MiG he was shooting at. Fischer ejected and was captured by Chinese soldiers.

Instead of placing Fischer in a North Korean POW camp, the Chinese held him in Manchuria. While there, Fischer was tortured and kept in solitary confinement. He managed to escape, but was recaptured. The Chinese did not release Fischer until May 31, 1955, nearly two years after hostilities had ended (and North Korea had returned those it had held as POWs).

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