Red Eagles: America’s Secret MiGs
Authored by Steve Davies
From the late 1960s until the end of the Cold War, the United States Air Force acquired and flew Russian-made MiG jets, culminating in a secret squadron dedicated to exposing American fighter pilots to enemy technology and tactics.
Red Eagles tells the story of this squadron from the first tests of MiGs following the Vietnam War when the USAF had been woefully under-prepared in aerial combat. These initial flights would develop into the “black” or classified program known internally as Constant Peg.
At a secret air base in Nevada, ace American fighter pilots were presented with a range of differnet MiG jets with a simple remit: to expose “the threat” to as many of their brethern as possible. Maintaining and flying these “assets” without without spare parts or manuals was an almost impossible task, putting those flying the MiGs in mortal danger on every flight.
Despite these challenges, in all more than 5,900 American aircrews would train against America’s secret MiGs, giving them the eskills they needed to face the enemy in real combat situations.
For the first time, this book tells the story of Constant Peg and the 4477th Red Eagles Squadron in the words of the men who made it possible.