20 Cold War-Era Warplanes of the U.S. Air Force

F-80 Shooting Star

F-80 Shooting Star

During World War II, the Army Air Force wanted a jet fighter to counter Nazi Germany’s cutting edge Me-262. In just six months, Kelly Johnson’s Lockheed Corporation designed and delivered the P-80 Shooting Star — the United States’ first operational jet. The P-80 managed to fly a few reconnaissance missions over Italy before the war ended, and made its combat debut over Korea. On Nov. 8, 1950, 1st Lt. Russel J. Brown attacked and claimed to shoot down an Soviet MiG-15 near the Yalu River — the first-ever claim of a jet-versus-jet victory. The much faster, swept-wing MiGs outclassed the Shooting Stars, which shifted to ground attack and reconnaissance roles once they were replaced by F-86 Sabres.

Author: Chris Carter

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