Three daring defections to a small Danish island in the Baltic Sea gave the West a unique opportunity to uncover the secrets of the MiG-15bis fighter


The third, and last, of the Polish Air Force MiG-15 defections to Bornholm: 2nd Lt Zygmunt Gościniak landed his licence-built WSK Lim-2 wheels-up next to the half-finished runway at Rønne airport on 25 September 1956. The Polish pilot had expected to see a large air base, and was surprised to find only a small airfield on the Danish island.

On 5 March 1953, the day Soviet dictator Josef Stalin died, a young Polish Air Force pilot defected with a brand-new MiG-15bis jet fighter to the small Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. This spectacular incident started one of the most successful military intelligence operations of the Cold War.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view. You can also access it if you’re subscribed to one of our Key Publishing magazines.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our introductory offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.