Harold Fischer

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For those of a similar name, see Harry Fischer and Harold Fisher (disambiguation).
Harold E. Fischer
Harold E Fischer.jpg
Harold Fischer in Korea
Born May 8, 1925
Lone Rock, Iowa
Died April 30, 2009(2009-04-30) (aged 83)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel

Col. Harold E. Fischer, Jr. (May 8, 1925 – April 30, 2009)[1] was a United States Air Force fighter pilot. After service with the U.S. Navy in World War II, followed by service with the U.S. Army, he transferred into the USAF.

Serving with the 39th Flying Training Squadron, Fischer saw action in the Korean War, shooting down eleven MiG aircraft in his more than 175 combat missions. On April 7, 1953, he was shot down and ejected from his F-86 Sabre north of the Yalu River, in a dogfight with three MiGs that extended into Chinese territory, an area that the Air Force had specifically ordered its pilots not to enter.[2] Contrary to these facts, the Soviets did not admit their operations alongside the Chinese in the Korean War, and dispute the consideration that a Chinese pilot had shot down Fisher.[3] The retired Colonel Harold Fisher would meet Han Decai again, and become friends, gifting Han Decai with a model of an F-86 Sabre Jet.[4]

Fischer was taken captive by Chinese military personnel and imprisoned near Shenyang, Liaoning Province. Although the Korean Armistice Agreement called for the release of all 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.[5]

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

He also served in the Vietnam War, mainly as a helicopter pilot. He flew more than 200 missions over South Vietnam.

Fisher served for a full 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 in Section 59.


  1. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (May 8, 2009). "Harold E. Fischer Jr., an American Flier Tortured in a Chinese Prison, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Interview with Harold E. Fischer: Korean War Jet Ace and POW". historynet.com. January 16, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ Сейдов, Игорь (2007). "Красные дьяволы в небе Кореи". Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ Davis, Rebekah (May 25, 2009). "Harold E. Fischer Jr. dies at 83; Korean War ace". Los Angles Times. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ Davis, Rebekah (May 10, 2009). "Col. Harold E. Fischer Jr., 83". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 

External Links[edit]

Harold E. Fischer Personal Papers SDASM.SC.10047 .O/S, San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives

Harold E. Fisher, Jr. (Photo Collection), Flickr, San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives