An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Leading Jet Ace: Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr.

The leading jet ace of the Korean War was Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr., who scored his first victory on Jan. 14, 1953. In a little more than a month, he gained his fifth MiG-15 victory, thereby becoming an ace.

On the day McConnell shot down his eighth MiG, his F-86 was hit by enemy aircraft fire, and he was forced to bail out over enemy-controlled waters of the Yellow Sea west of Korea. After only two minutes in the freezing water, a helicopter rescued him. The following day he was back in combat and shot down his ninth MiG. By the end of April 1953, he had scored his 10th victory to become a "double ace."

He scored his last victories on May 18, 1953. That morning McConnell shot down two MiGs in a furious air battle and became a "triple ace" with 15 kills. On another mission that afternoon, he shot down his sixteenth and final MiG-15.

On Aug. 25, 1954, McConnell crashed to his death while testing an F-86H at Edwards AFB, Calif.

Click on the links below to learn more about McConnell. 

Personal Account from McConnell
Description of the Mission when McConnell was Shot Down

Click here to return to the Air Superiority Overview.

 

Find Out More
Line
Related Fact Sheets
North American F-86A Sabre
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis
Line
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.