It was the night of June 16, 1953. Reports were coming in, saying that the South Korean port city Inchon was set ablaze with a mass of flame boiling and mushrooming in a way that an atomic bomb would, reaching skyward right from a fuel pump. The flame set the sky alight within an area of 20 miles while the fire took a good three-day of putting out. It was estimated that about 5.5 million gallons of fuel were consumed. And who might the perpetrators of this attack be? It turned out to be a group of four Polikarpov Po-2 low-tech night raiders.
The Air Force, Navy, and the Marines all brought forth their most sophisticated radar-equipped jet fighters to ambush those pesky little aircrafts—to no avail as there were also MiG-15 jet fighters flying over the Korean sky that night. It was baffling how a set of low-tech flight trainers could fool enemies, which are equipped with the most advanced military technologies at their time. The Polikarpov Po-2 was the invention of the olden days, all the way back to the 20s, at the height of World War II.
The Polikarpov Po-2 was prevalent in the late 20s for being a primary flight trainer. The aircraft was fitted with two seats and constructed out of wood and fabric. It was powered by Shvetsov engine of 125 horsepower, with which the plane could go up to ten thousand feet on a maximum speed of 95 miles per hour. Even the most outdated car today can outrun a fleet of these aircraft. The back seat could accommodate a machine gun or mortar shells while as many as 500-pound bombs can be fitted under the wings. The famous Night Witches regiment was noted for its use of these aircraft and the Soviet air force use a unit of them to attack German troops at night. The aircraft could deliver minor damage but be hard to track let alone to shoot down.
The raid of Inchon in 1953 could be thought as being a lucky strike. Most of the attacks done by Polikarpov Po-2 prior to the 1953 event were unsuccessful. The aircrafts offered the Korean Air Force advantages as the planes typically flew low and slow. Enemy’s radars would have a hard time tracking them down as this drone of planes was small in size and constructed mostly out of fabric.