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A MiG-15 to Freedom Kindle Edition

13 customer reviews

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Length: 231 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

No Kum-Sok and J. Roger Osterholm both reside in Florida.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3563 KB
  • Print Length: 231 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (April 11, 2007)
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083JCQS4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #578,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kalikiano Kalei on July 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Pour out and zero-in this vindictive ammunition to the damn Yankees!" So reads an inscription in red Korean characters just below No Kum-Sok's gunsight in his swept-wing MiG-15bis fighter jet . That inscription may still to this day be seen by visitors to the US Air Force Museum, where his North Korean MiG (aircraft number 2057) has been on display for the past several decades. [A small photo of `Glorious Leader' Kim Il-Sung was originally displayed next to it on the instrument panel, as it was in all North Korean MiGs, but it was removed, thrown down, and stepped upon by No Kum-Sok as his first act upon arriving safely upon South Korean soil in 1953.]

No Kum-Sok changed his name when he became an American citizen to "Kenneth Rowe", the name by which I shall refer to him here. His story of a flight to freedom from North Korea to South Korea in a MiG jet is one of the most interesting in recent aviation history, in my opinion, and all the more so because so very little is actually known by the American public today about that formative 'UN police action' that helped launch the subsequent 'Cold War' era (a `police action' in which more than 53,000 American soldiers died, despite the fact that it lasted only a third as long as the subsequent Vietnamese conflict, in which 55,000+ died).

Ken, now 76 years of age, visited us at the Aerospace Museum of California very recently (located at the former McClellan AFB site in Sacramento, CA) and spoke to a gathering of invited aviation people and the general public about his amazing life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Meshginpoosh on March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is remarkable for several reasons:

(1) Lt. No Kum-Sok does a wonderful job illustrating the horrors of Communism, particularly that of the North Korean variety;

(2) He provides good insights into how China and Russia colluded to make life miserable for Americans;

(3) His escape--nothing short of miraculous--is a testament of profound courage, skill, and maturity.

While he was in North Korea, there were many instances where he had the smarts to speak up, when to take initiative, and--perhaps most importantly--when to keep his mouth shut.

His persistence earned him a slot in the (North Korean) Naval Academy. His initiative allowed him to seek pilot training, avoiding assignment to the infantry which would have carried a lower chance of survival. His flying skills were enough to keep him alive against the Americans in their superior F-86 fighters.

After the Armistice, he wisely picked his time--and destination--for defection.

Lt. No Kum-Sok paid a horrendous price for his defection: at least five North Korean pilots were executed because of his defection. Even in America, he has had to keep a relatively low profile because of the possibility of North Korean harassment.

His bravery and hard work are a fine example for all Americans. This book should be made into a movie.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1997
Format: Library Binding
All right all right! In cyberspace I stand corrected ...its No, not Ro Kum-Sok. I never could get those Korean names straight when I lived there either. Rudyard Kipling would have loved Seoul....

This is a good book, interesting reading. As a non-flyer, non-pilot all the tech talk about MiGs vs. Sabres is a bit daunting, but if you are a fan of the Public Television show Wings, this book is for you.

The book starts with the author landing at Kimpo before some dumbfounded US personnel. Then he flashes back to his childhood under Japanese occupation. Mixed in with discussion of childhood pranks is a rapid fire, zipped version of Korean history from the Shilla dynasty to the present. While no admirer of the Japanese (like many Koreans, he stauchly refers to the Sea of Japan as the 'east sea.') he points out that the Red Army also had a record of rape and pillage. This will not sit well with selective outrage enthusiasts who use the 'comfort women' issue for Japan bashing in the region.

Kum-Sok states that the Korean Navy and Air Force collapsed early in the was the Inmingun, or North Korean Army, that held together. Kum-Soks' summary of the war is essentially the western rendition of the battles. When the stalemate developed after mid 1951, the war shifted to the skies over North Korea and Manchuria. It remains a common myth that the US did not pursue MiGs into the skies of northeast China, but after April 1952, says the author, they did exactly that with deadly effectiveness, knocking MiGs down as they slowed to land. Again, stories about air wars and battles are hard for me to follow and understand, and Kum-Sok often gets lost in endless renditions of sorties, statistics, or engineering specifications.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on December 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In 1953 a MiG-15 was flown by a North Korean pilot to Kimpo Air Base in South Korea. U.S. pilots had an opportunity to closely examine the Russian fighter that had been taking on the USAF in the skies over North Korea. Piloted by No Kum-Sok, the MiG-15 proved to be less of a "secret weapon" than had been imagined in the western press.

When I got this book I wanted to learn about the pilot, although his insights on the MiG-15 would be interesting. However, this book takes the wrong tack and tries to be about the Korean War, which is fine as much as it has to do with No's experiences of it. The book frequently goes on sidebars, some relevant but not all. However, I will say that this book does a good job in addressing the nature of communism (Just as Fulcrum and MiG Pilot do).

This book has some good black and white photos but what it could really have used was a map or two.
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