On October 23, 1951, one of the deadliest air battles during the Korean War would be come to be known as Black Tuesday. The 307th Bomb Wing conducted a bombing raid on Namsi Airfield with nine B-29s sent in three flights. However, the mission was met with fierce resistance from an estimated 84 MiG-15 fighter planes, resulting in the destruction of three B-29s.
The attack on Namsi had been planned using the SHORAN system, which led the bombers directly overhead the airfield of Taechon and its formidable anti-aircraft batteries. The aircraft were damaged by anti-aircraft fire as they overflew, making them vulnerable to MiG attack. Soviet radars detected the raid, and three regiments of the 303rd IAD were launched to intercept, followed by two regiments of the 324th IAD. The MiGs split their force to keep the F-86s tied up and swept down through the F-84 escort, causing significant damage to the B-29s. Three bombers were shot down, three more were so badly damaged that they had to divert to Kimpo to make emergency landings, and the remaining three aircraft recovered to Okinawa, but two of them were also seriously damaged. One F-84 and four MiG-15s were lost in the battle, and three additional MiG-15s were damaged.
TSgt Fairchild was the central control gunner on a B-29 Superfortress piloted by Capt James R. Lewis. He is credited with shooting down two of the four MiGs during the Black Tuesday bombing raid on Namsi.