Lev Schukin

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Lev Kirillovich Schukin (Lev K. Schukin) (born October 29, 1923 - May 2, 2009) was a MiG-15 pilot of the Soviet Union. He was a participant of World War II. He was also a flying ace during the Korean war. [1]

Serving with the 18th GIAP (of the 303rd IAD) on his first combat sortie on 1 June 1951, he and his flight attacked a group of F-51s and Shchukin claimed the F-51D of Harry C. Moore, who was killed. A few days later on 6 June he scored his second victory, an F-80C.

On 17 June 1951 he participated in combat between 25 F-86s and 30 MiG-15s of his unit, and after shooting down one F-86, he was also downed, probably by Captain Samuel Pesacreta. Shchukin was hospitalised for a month. He flew again on in late August and on 29th surprised a group of RAAF Gloster Meteors of No. 77 Sqdn; Shchukin shooting down one of them. The pilot become a POW.

On 2 October 1951 he bounced a F-86 Sabre "Lady Frances" of Colonel Francis S. Gabreski, Executive Officer of the 4th FIW, the aircraft written off after landing.

Four more UN aircraft were claimed in October: a F-80C on 22 October (Louis Esposito, KIA), one F-84E on 23 October (John Shewmaker, MIA), one RAAF Meteor the following day (Harold Foster, written off), and a RF-80A on 30 October (Grant Madsen, KIA). On November 13 1951 Shchukin became Hero of the Soviet Union.

Colonel Gabreski and Shchukin met for a second time on 11 January 1952, and this time Shchukin was severely injured in the back after ejecting. After a long rehabilitation he managed to walk again, but prohibited from flying. During the Korean War he flew 212 combat sorties, participated in 17 aerial battles and was credited with 15 air victories, and was also shot down twice.

Promoted to Polkovnik (Colonel), Shchukin graduated from the Air Academy in 1956 and became an aviation advisor in Egypt and North Vietnam in the 1960s. He retired in 1977.

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