The North American F-86 Sabre Jet was America’s first swept wing fighter and used in combat during the Korean War (1949-1953). The F-86-E was pitted against the high performing USSR MIG 15.
Initially it was said that at outbreak of the war, the pilots were Soviets due to the inexperience of the North Korean and Chinese pilots. Before long however, the MiGs were piloted with Chinese and North Koreans.
Much of the dog fighting took place in what was called “MiG Alley” over the Yalu River near the North Korean and Chinese border.
Early estimates (right after the war) showed the Sabre held a 10:1 kill ratio. In later years the ratio was said to be closer to 2:1.
However the numbers seem to favor the first ratio as 792 MiGs were counted as shot down and U.S. losses of Sabres were 78.
There were 41 American pilots that were honored as “ACE” status (5 shoot downs).