No Kum-Sok (born c. 1932) is a former lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...
of the North Korean Air Force
North Korean Air Force
The Korean People's Army Air Force, , is the name of the unified aviation forces of North Korea. The KPAF is the second-largest branch of the Korean People's Army with an estimated 110,000 personnel. It possesses between 1,600 and 1,700 aircraft of different types, mostly of Soviet and Chinese...
during the Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...
In politics, a defector is a person who gives up allegiance to one state or political entity in exchange for allegiance to another. More broadly, it involves abandoning a person, cause or doctrine to whom or to which one is bound by some tie, as of allegiance or duty.This term is also applied,...
to South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...
. On September 21, 1953, he flew his MiG-15 to the Kimpo Air Base in South Korea, claiming that he wanted to get away from the "red deceit." He received a $100,000 reward offered by Operation Moolah
Operation Moolah was a United States Air Force effort during the Korean War to obtain through defection a fully capable Soviet MiG-15 jet fighter. The MiG-15 was introduced by Communist forces on November 1, 1950 over the skies of Korea...
for defecting with his aircraft, which he claimed to have not heard about prior to his defection. He later emigrated to the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
, graduated from the University of Delaware
University of Delaware
The university is organized into seven colleges:* College of Agriculture and Natural Resources* College of Arts and Sciences* Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics* College of Earth, Ocean and Environment* College of Education and Human Development...
, married and became a U.S. citizen. He worked as an aeronautical engineer for Grumman, Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...
, General Dynamics
General Dynamics Corporation is a U.S. defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2008 it is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. Its headquarters are in West Falls Church , unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Falls Church area.The company has...
, General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...
, General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...
The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1912 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995.-Origins:...
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...
, and Westinghouse
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
' was created by Northrop Grumman's acquisition of Westinghouse Electronic Systems Group in 1996. The Electronic Systems sector is a leading designer, developer, and manufacturer of a wide variety of advanced defense electronics and systems. The division has 120 locations worldwide, including 72...
. He was joined in the U.S by his mother, who had been evacuated from North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...
. After emigrating, he anglicized his name to "Kenneth Rowe".
He also wrote a book, A MiG-15 to Freedom (ISBN 0-7864-0210-5) about his defection and previous life in North Korea. Rowe retired in 2000 after working 17 years as an aeronautical engineering professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a private university in the US specializing in aviation and aerospace engineering. It teaches the science, practice, and business of aviation and aerospace. Called "The Harvard of the Sky" by Time Magazine in 1979, Embry-Riddle has a history dating back to...
In February 2004, while a guest at Eglin Air Force Base
Eglin Air Force Base
Eglin Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located approximately 3 miles southwest of Valparaiso, Florida in Okaloosa County....
in Florida, USA, he was offered the opportunity to fly in a MiG-15UTI operated by the Red Star Aviation Museum. After the flight, his first in a MiG since the day he defected, he commented "It is a fast, fast car".
After No surrendered his aircraft, it was taken to Okinawa, where it was test-flown by Capt. H.E. "Tom" Collins and Maj. Chuck Yeager
Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager is a retired major general in the United States Air Force and noted test pilot. He was the first pilot to travel faster than sound...
. The MiG-15 was later shipped to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...
. It is currently on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
National Museum of the United States Air Force
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the official museum of the United States Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base northeast of Dayton, Ohio. The NMUSAF is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum with more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display...
Popular CultureNo's defection is the basis of one of the missions within the video game Chuck Yeager's Air Combat
Chuck Yeager's Air Combat
Chuck Yeager's Air Combat is a 1991 computer aircraft simulation game produced by Electronic Arts. Famed pilot Chuck Yeager was a technical consultant in the game and his digitized voice is featured in the game, giving encouragement and praise before and after missions.The game is characterized for...