Harold Fischer

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For those of a similar name, see Harry Fischer and Harold Fisher (disambiguation).
Harold Fischer in Korea

Col. Harold E. Fischer, Jr. (May 8, 1925 – April 30, 2009)[1] was a United States Air Force fighter pilot.

Fischer saw action in the Korean War, shooting down eleven MiG aircraft in his more than 175 missions in the conflict. On April 7, 1953, he was shot down by Han Decai, a Chinese pilot whom he later met in 1996.[2] Fischer ejected from his F-86 Sabre north of the Yalu River, in Chinese territory, an area that the Air Force had specifically ordered its pilots not to enter. The Soviets did not admit their presence in Korea. That is why many years after the war it was still considered that a Chinese pilot had shot down Fisher.[3]

Fischer was taken captive by Chinese military personnel and imprisoned near Shenyang, Liaoning Province. Although the Korean Armistice Agreement called for the release of prisoners of war, Fisher was not freed. After a thwarted escape attempt nine months into his captivity, he was routinely tortured and ultimately admitted to trumped up charges that he had been ordered to enter Manchuria and that he had participated in germ warfare.

A mock trial led to his release in May 1955. Fischer was returned to active service two months later.

Later in his career, he served in the Vietnam War, mainly as a helicopter pilot. He flew more than 200 missions in Vietnam.

He served in the military for 30 years, receiving many decorations, including the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Born near Lone Rock, Iowa in a farm on May 8 1925. Fischer died on April 30, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada from complications after back surgery. He was 83. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.