Sovjeti so sestrelili ameriško letalo

Sovjeti so sestrelili ameriško letalo



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Ameriško zunanje ministrstvo jezno obtožuje Sovjetsko zvezo, da je sestrelila ameriško letalo, ki je zašlo v vzhodnonemški zračni prostor. v incidentu so umrli policisti na letalu. Sovjeti so se odzvali z obtožbami, da je bil let "huda provokacija", incident pa je bil grd spomin na povečane napetosti med Vzhodom in Zahodom v času hladne vojne.

Po navedbah ameriške vojske je bilo letalo na vadbenem letu nad Zahodno Nemčijo, piloti pa so bili dezorientirani zaradi silovite nevihte, ki je letalo pripeljala skoraj 100 milj stran od smeri. Sovjetski napad na letalo je povzročil jezne proteste State Departmenta in različnih voditeljev kongresa, vključno s senatorjem Hubertom H. Humphreyjem, ki je obtožil, da so Sovjeti namerno sestrelili letalo, "da bi dobili ofenzivo" v agresivnem manevriranju hladne vojne.

Sovjeti pa niso hoteli sprejeti ameriških protestov in odgovorili, da imajo "vse razloge, da verjamejo, da to ni napaka ali napaka ... To je bil očiten vdor". Sovjetski uradniki so tudi trdili, da je bilo letalu ukazano pristati, vendar so navodila zavrnili. Kmalu po incidentu je bilo ameriškim uradnikom dovoljeno odpotovati v Vzhodno Nemčijo, da bi našli telesa in razbitine.

Tako kot številni drugi podobni incidenti hladne vojne - vključno z aretacijo osumljenih "vohunov" in zasegom ladij - je tudi ta dogodek povzročil burno besedno izmenjavo med Združenimi državami in Sovjetsko zvezo, vendar nič drugega. Oba naroda sta se morala spoprijeti z večjimi težavami: ZDA so bile vpletene v vietnamsko vojno, Sovjetska zveza pa se je spopadla s širjenjem razkola s komunistično Kitajsko. Smrti pa so bile še en opomnik, da so lahko razgreti sum, povečana napetost in nabito retoriko o hladni vojni izbruhnili v nesmiselno smrt in uničenje.


Kako je ZSSR zajela ameriška letala

Pogled zrak-zrak spredaj levo letala F-111 med polnjenjem goriva nad Severnim morjem.

Hladna vojna med ZDA in Sovjetsko zvezo je postala zlato obdobje za vojaško letalstvo. Borci in bombniki, ki sta jih dve velesili dobavili nasprotujočim si stranem v številnih konfliktih pooblaščencev po vsem svetu, niso imeli majhnega pomena pri njihovem izidu.

Pogosto je bil rezultat ne le zračnega boja, ampak celotne lokalne vojne odvisen od tega, čigava letala imajo boljšo hitrost, manevriranje in odpornost. Zaradi česar je bilo še toliko pomembneje ujeti sovražnikovo letalo & rsquos in ga podrobno preučiti.

Lov na sabljo

Pogled letal F-86 na liniji letenja, ki se pripravljajo na boj.

Med korejsko vojno v zgodnjih petdesetih letih so bili sovjetski lovci MiG-15 in ameriški lovci F-86 & lsquoSabre & rsquo v veliki meri enakovredni. Obe strani sta poskušali priti do enega od drugih letal & rsquos, vendar je to uspelo le ZSSR.

Aprila 1951 je skupina testnih pilotov pod vodstvom podpolkovnika Dzyubenka prispela v Severno Korejo. Njihova naloga je bila prisiliti F-86, da pristane na severnokorejskem letališču.

Čeprav je bila misija skupine & rsquos neuspešna, je Sabre kmalu prišla v sovjetske roke. Med bitko 6. oktobra istega leta je sovjetski pilot podpolkovnik Jevgenij Pepeljajev ameriškemu letalu naredil tako skrbno izračunano škodo, da je slednji skoraj brez poškodb pristal na severnokorejski obali. Ameriškega pilota je prevzela iskalna in reševalna skupina ameriških letalskih sil, a je bilo letalo zaseženo in poslano v Moskvo.

Štirje severnoameriški lovci F-86E Sabre ameriških letalskih sil iz 51. krilnega lovilca-prestreznika, ki je bil nad Korejo 22. maja 1953.

ZSSR se je odločila kopirati & ldquokiller MiG-ov & rdquo, saj je bil F-86 v zahodnem tisku vzdevek. Stalin je oblikovalcu Vladimirju Kondratyevu dal leto dni časa, da ustvari & ldquosovjetsko sabljo & rdquo. Vendar pa Kondratyev ni uspel pri tej nalogi in po Stalinovi smrti je bil projekt opuščen. Na koncu je bilo odločeno, da si izposodimo posamezne enote, sestavne dele in materiale ujetega lovca za uporabo v sovjetski letalski industriji.

Kar zadeva Američane, so za zajem MiG-15 1. novembra 1950 začeli operacijo Moolah, ki je severnokorejskim pilotom obljubila veliko nagrado, ker so se v Južno Korejo odpravili na uporabne lovce. Vendar je operacija padla. Šele 21. septembra 1953, ko je bilo vojne že konec, je prebeg No Kum-sok v letalsko oporišče Kimpo pri Seulu pristal MiG-15.

Lov na Aardvarka

General Dynamics F-111A (SN 63-9768, tretje predprodukcijsko letalo) z neokrnjenimi krili pri uvajanju letala 15. oktobra 1964.

17. marca 1968 je v Vietnam prispelo šest najnovejših reaktivnih bombnikov F-111 & lsquoAardvark & ​​rsquo iz ZDA. Zaradi svoje sposobnosti, da se pojavi nepričakovano in skoraj tiho, hitro udari in izgine brez sledu, so Severni Vietnamci to letalo poimenovali & lsquoWispering Death & rsquo.

Sovjetski obveščevalci so prvič videli & lsquoAardvark & ​​rsquo spomladi leta 1967 na pariškem letalskem sejmu v Le Bourgetu. Kljub temu, da ga je ameriška vojaška policija strogo varovala, so ga sovjetski agenti večkrat in iz različnih zornih kotov fotografirali. Vendar pa najtežja in najpomembnejša naloga proučevanja letalskih & ldquoinsides & rdquo & ndash še ni bila opravljena.

V resnici se & lsquoWispeing Death & rsquo ni izkazalo za tako grozljivo. Le nekaj tednov po prihodu v Vietnam sta sili zračne obrambe vietnamske ljudske vojske rsquos sestrelili dve letali tipa lsquoAardvark & ​​rsquo, drugo pa ujeli in poslali v ZSSR.

Obstaja več različic, kako je bil ta & lsquoAardvark & ​​rsquo zasežen. Po enem izmed njih je bil F-111, ki je opravljal nočni let na nizki nadmorski višini, & ldquodrowned out & rdquo, torej so bile njegove komunikacije z bazo zakrčene, medtem ko je sovjetski pilot v lovskem letalu prisilil ameriško letalo na tla in pristala na letališču v Severnem Vietnamu.

Hkrati drugi dvomijo, da je imela Sovjetska zveza dovolj tehničnih zmogljivosti, da bi zagozdila ameriški radijski signal letala & rsquos. Po tej teoriji so bili piloti preprosto podkupljeni in sami so prekinili komunikacijo s svojo bazo.

Na splošno je vojna v Vietnamu postala bogat vir trofej za Sovjetsko zvezo. Poleg F-111 je Moskva dobila v roke še letala F-4, A-37 in F-5E, helikopterje CH-47A & lsquoChinook & rsquo, raketo AIM-7 & lsquoSparrow & rsquo ter še nekaj sto modelov ameriškega orožja in vojaško strojno opremo.

Če delno ali v celoti uporabljate katero koli vsebino Russia Beyond, vedno zagotovite aktivno hiperpovezavo do izvirnega gradiva.


Med korejsko vojno se letalske sile uradno niso sestale, saj Sovjetska zveza v spopadu ni bila bojevnik. Avgusta 1945 je ZSSR napovedala vojno Japonski in začela ofenzivne akcije proti japonski vojski. Ko so se Sovjeti preselili v japonsko okupirano Korejo, so se v tej regiji uveljavili, s čimer so na koncu postali Severna Koreja in zaveznik Sovjetske zveze. Skoraj 72.000 sovjetskih uslužbencev je služilo v Severni Koreji, sovjetsko in ameriško vlado [1] pa so zatirali njihovo prisotnost [1]. Zračni spopadi med piloti ZSSR in ZDA so bili številni. Sovjeti so leteli z letali, ki so imela kitajske ali severnokorejske oznake in jim je bilo sprva prepovedano govoriti v ruskem radiju. [1] Prepoved je bila kmalu odpravljena zaradi očitnih težav pri uporabi korejščine za komunikacijo v kritičnih bojnih situacijah. [2]

Za razliko od Severne Koreje je nacionalistična Kitajska leta 1945 vdrla v francosko Indokino (Vietnam), da bi si regijo ob koncu druge svetovne vojne povrnila od okupatorske japonske vojske [3], vendar se ji ni uspelo uveljaviti v Severnem Vietnamu. Študentski piloti MiG iz Severnega Vietnama so bili za do tri leta poslani na Kitajsko in v Sovjetsko zvezo. Študentski operaterji SAM Severnega Vietnama so bili poslani v ZSSR na približno šest do devet mesecev usposabljanja. [4] [5] Sovjetski in kitajski komunistični piloti so bili omejeni na preizkušanje letečih MiG -ov, ki so bili izvoženi v Severni Vietnam iz njihovih držav. [6] [7] Zaradi nujnosti, ki jo je povzročila operacija Rolling Thunder, in dokler ni bilo mogoče usposobiti raketcev iz Severnega Vietnama, so bili leta 1965 sovjetski operater/inštruktorji protiletalskih raket PVO SAM napoteni v Severni Vietnam in do leta 1966 odgovorni zaradi padca približno 48 ameriških letal med obrambo Severnega Vietnama. [8] [9] Kljub temu je prijavljen en pilot asa iz ZSSR, polkovnik Vadim Shcherbakov, ki je zaslužen za 6 ubojev zrak-zrak. [10]

Med hladno vojno so številni narodi, vključno s Sovjetsko zvezo in ZDA, močno zaščitili svoj zračni prostor. Letala, ki so vstopila v zračni prostor nasprotnika, so bila v boju zrak-zrak pogosto sestreljena. Incidenti so na obeh straneh povzročili povečan občutek paranoje, kar je povzročilo sesutje civilnih plovil. Mnoga letala, navedena na tej povezavi, niso sestrelila letalska posadka ZDA ali ZSSR zaradi paranoje v hladni vojni, temveč neposredna dejanja aktivnih borcev (na primer dva leta Air Rhodesia).

V tabeli so navedene izgube v zračnih bojih zunaj vojnih območij, kot sta korejska ali vietnamska vojna. Ne vključuje izgub obrambe na kopnem in ne vključuje civilnih letal.


Sovjeti sestrelili ameriško letalo - ZGODOVINA

Na svetlem soncu visoko nad korejskim polotokom je srebrna koža 39 B-29 superfortov bleščala, ko so leteli v formaciji. Njihovo poslanstvo tistega dne, 12. aprila 1951, je bilo uničiti most na kitajski meji in prekiniti tok streliva in moških, ki se vlivajo v Severno Korejo.

Težki bombniki so bili ponosni na letalske sile Združenih držav Amerike, ki so hodile s hitrostjo več kot 300 milj na uro. Letalo z batnim motorjem, ki je bilo označeno kot nepremagljivo, je z zmago v drugi svetovni vojni proti Japonski šest let prej pomagalo z metanjem več deset tisoč ton bomb na otoško državo in dvema atomskimi orožji.

Za ta napad je Superfortress pospremilo skoraj 50 F-84 Thunderjetov, lovcev prve generacije. Mnogo hitrejša letala z ravnim krilom so morala občutno dušiti nazaj, da so ostala pri bombnikih.

Nenadoma so z velike nadmorske višine Američane preplavili bliskovito hitri sovražnikovi curki. Približno 30 MiG-15 se je odlikovalo z zasukanim krilom in zmogljivimi motorji, ki so začeli s topovskim streljanjem ameriške bombnike in letala. Okrašena s severnokorejskimi in kitajskimi oznakami, so s temi letali dejansko upravljali vrhunski sovjetski piloti, ki so svoje znanje izpopolnili proti nekaterim najboljšim nemškim asom med drugo svetovno vojno.

Počasni B-29 so bili enostavni za vrhunske MiG-15. Sovjeti so vstopili in izstopili iz formacij, sestrelili tri superforte in močno poškodovali še sedem bombnikov. Ameriška spremljevalna letala, ki so bila nadmašena in nadmašena, so bila proti napadu nemočna. V zmedi so celo streljali na svoja letala.

“Naši MiG -i so odprli ogenj proti ‘Flying Superfortresses, ’ ” sovjetski as Sergej Kramarenko se je kasneje spomnil. “ Eden od njiju je izgubil krilo, letalo je razpadalo na dele. Zažgala so se tri ali štiri letala. ”

Počasni B-29 (zgoraj: formacija spušča bombe nad Korejo) bi se izkazala za enostavno izbiro za vrhunske MiG-15. (Arhiv Hulton, Getty Images)

To je bil ponižujoč poraz za ameriško letalstvo. Medtem ko je večina vojaških voditeljev vedela, da so dnevi bombnikov z batom šteti, niso ’ pričakovali, da bo to tisti dan pred 70 leti, ki je postal znan kot Črni četrtek. Ameriški bombni napadi na območju Sinuiju v Severni Koreji so bili tri mesece prizemljeni, dokler se dovolj eskadrilj F-86 Sabres, mlaznega krila, ki se je dobro ujemalo z MiG-15, ne more lotiti tega novega izziva v korejski vojni.

Zračni boj nad alejo MiG ”, kot so ta sektor Severne Koreje imenovali zavezniški piloti, je spremenil potek spora med svetovnimi velesilami.

Do leta 1951 je bila trdnjava B-29 starinska, čeprav tega takrat še nismo vedeli, ” pravi Alex Spencer, kustos na oddelku za letalstvo v Smithsonianjevem nacionalnem letalskem in vesoljskem muzeju. “ Stvari so šle zelo slabo, zelo hitro za sile bombnikov. Ta bitka je spremenila naravo ameriške letalske kampanje nad Korejo. ”

MiG-15 je s svojimi zmogljivostmi šokiral zahod. To letalo je bilo videti grozljivo podobno Sabre, vendar je imelo določene izboljšave, predvsem višino stropa. MiG-15 bi lahko letel na višini 50.000 čevljev, kar bi mu dalo rahlo prednost nad F-86. Poleg tega je sovjetsko letalo nosilo topove, ne pištole: dva 23-milimetrska in 37-milimetrski. Sablja je bila opremljena s šestimi mitraljezi kalibra 50.

Ta oborožitev je imela uničujoč učinek na superforte B-29, pravi Mike Hankins, muzejski kustos zgodovine letalskih sil.

MiG-15 sta razvila sovjetska oblikovalca letal Artem Mikoyan in Mikhail Gurevich. (NASM) Sovjetsko letalo (zgoraj: pogled na pilotsko kabino Smithsonianovega MiG-15) “ bi lahko padlo in naredilo te napade z zadetkom, ” pravi kustos Mike Hankins. (NASM)

“ Stopnja ubijanja bombnikov MiG-15 je bila uničujoča, "pravi. “Večji top je bil narejen za odstranjevanje B-29. Dobiš nekaj teh topovskih zadetkov in vse bi lahko padlo. Slišal sem, da jih nekateri piloti označujejo kot "goreče žogice za golf".

Težko orožje in zmogljivosti na visoki nadmorski višini so naredili MiG-15 izjemno letalo. Muzej letalstva in vesolja prikazuje enega od teh letal v Boeing Aviation Hangar v svojem centru Udvar-Hazy v Chantillyju v Virginiji. MiG-15 je postavljen blizu svojega arhiva, F-86.

“Mig-15 bi lahko padel in naredil te napade z zadetkom, "pravi Hankins. “ Šli bi v strm potop, sledili poti in zadeli čim več bombnikov. Če so jih ustrelili, je bilo to super. Če so jih poškodovali toliko, da niso mogli doleteti bombe na tarčo, je bilo to tudi super. Letalo je bilo pri tem zelo učinkovito. ”

“ Še vedno se spominjam podobe v mislih: armada letal leti v bojni formaciji, "je leta kasneje novinarju povedal sovjetski as Sergej Kramarenko (zgoraj leta 2014 na moskovskem Rdečem trgu). “Naenkrat se vržemo nanje. Odprem ogenj na enem od bombnikov — Takoj začne iztekati bel dim. Poškodoval sem rezervoar za gorivo. ” (Associated Press)

MiG-15, ki sta ga razvila sovjetska letalska konstruktorja Artem Mikoyan in Mihail Gurevič, je osupnila ameriške vojaške voditelje, ko se je prvič pojavila nad Korejo leta 1950. Bil je veliko boljši od Shooting Stars in Thunderjets in jih hitro pregnal z neba.

To se je zgodilo na črni četrtek. Letala F-84 z ravnim krilom, podobna letalom iz druge svetovne vojne, so bila v bistveno slabšem položaju za racionalizirane MiG-15.

“Naša zgodnja lovska letala niso bila zelo dobra glede zmogljivosti, "pravi Spencer. “ Takratni oblikovalci so še delali na tem, kar so vedeli. S F-86 Sabre boste dobili predstavitev pometenega krila, ki je močno vplivalo na zmogljivost reaktivnih letal. ”

Toda preden so na prizorišče prispeli Sabre ’, ameriški lovci niso mogli slediti veliko hitrejšim MiG-15. Letenja treh in štirih sovražnih letal so pomanjšali nemočne bombnike Superfortress, nato pa so se hitro vrnili visoko izven dosega ameriških lovcev.

Po črnem četrtku so ameriške letalske sile prekinile svojo strateško bombardiranje na dolge razdalje in počakale tri mesece (zgoraj: skupina jurišnih lovcev F-86 Sabre je pripravljena za boj, junij 1951), dokler ne dobi dovolj F- 86 sablja v zrak nad Korejo, da se ujemajo s Sovjeti. (Začasni arhiv, Getty Images)

“F-84 so bili veliko počasnejši, "pravi Hankins. “ In tudi počasneje so ostali pri bombnikih. MiG -i so bili veliko hitrejši, ameriški piloti pač niso imeli možnosti, da bi dohiteli. Presenetilo jih je. ”

Za sovjetskega pilota Kramarenka je bil to pomemben trenutek. Njegova eskadrila ni le preprečila bombardiranja mostu na reki Yalu, temveč je svetu pokazala, da je sovjetska tehnologija enaka ameriški.

“ Še vedno se spominjam podobe v mislih: armada letal leti v bojni postavi, lepa, kot na paradi, ” je leta kasneje novinarju povedal Kramarenko. “Naenkrat se vržemo nanje. Odprem ogenj na enem od bombnikov — Takoj začne iztekati bel dim. Poškodoval sem rezervoar za gorivo. ”

Po črnem četrtku so ameriške letalske sile prekinile svojo strateško bombardiranje na dolge razdalje in počakale tri mesece, da bi lahko v zrak nad Korejo spravile dovolj F-86 Sabers, da bi se ujemale s Sovjeti. Šele takrat je bilo dovoljeno, da so B-29 nadaljevali z misijami do Aleje MiG ob kitajski meji in samo v spremstvu Sablje.

V muzeju Udvar-Hazy Center je na ogled tudi lovski krilec, F-86 Sabre in prihod MiG-15. (NASM)

“ Več mesecev je bitka vplivala na operacije B-29, "pravi Hankins. “ Omejuje, kaj so bile letalske sile pripravljene storiti in kam so bile pripravljene poslati bombnike. ”

Čeprav mnogi strokovnjaki menijo, da je enakovreden Sabri, Spencer meni, da bi sovjetsko letalo lahko imelo rahlo prednost. Bilo je trpežno letalo in ga je bilo lažje vzdrževati, ugotavlja.

“Mig-15 je bilo zelo robustno letalo, "pravi Spencer. “To je bila značilnost, ki so jo sovjetski oblikovalci ohranjali skozi celotno hladno vojno. Njihova letala so lahko delovala v precej težjih razmerah in na precej bolj grobih letališčih, kot so to zmogla naša letala. ”

O avtorju: David Kindy je novinar, samostojni pisatelj in recenzent knjig, ki živi v Plymouthu v Massachusettsu. Piše o zgodovini, kulturi in drugih temah za Air & Space, Vojaška zgodovina, druga svetovna vojna, Vietnam, Letalska zgodovina, Časopis Providence ter druge publikacije in spletna mesta. Preberite več člankov Davida Kindyja in Follow na Twitterju @dandydave56

Neverjetna zgodba o tem, kako so ustrelili prikritega borca

Učinkovitost F-117 je bila podprta s protiukrepi proti vsakemu bodočemu sistemu protiraketne obrambe, ki bi mu letalo ustrezalo. Na primer, letala EA-6 Prowler bi lahko uporabili za elektronsko zaviranje senzorjev izstrelkov, letala "Wild Weasel" pa bi lahko ciljala na mesta SAM, ko bi se njihovi radarji vklopili.

Leta 1998, po letih nemirov in upora, se je začela odprta vojna med srbsko vlado, ki jo je vodil Slobodan Milošević, in Osvobodilno vojsko Kosova, kosovsko militantno skupino, ki deluje na Kosovu pod nadzorom Srbije. Po poročilih o etničnem čiščenju Albancev na Kosovu je Nato glasoval za posredovanje proti Miloševiću, da bi končal vojno, zračni napadi na Srbijo pa so se začeli v noči na 24. marca 1999.

Sodelovanje ZDA v tej kampanji je vodil F-117 Nighthawk. Nighthawk je bilo eno prvih resničnih letal "stealth", ki je bilo med zalivsko vojno leta 1991 zelo uspešno, pri tem pa ni izgubljeno niti eno letalo.

Učinkovitost F-117 je bila podprta s protiukrepi proti vsakemu bodočemu sistemu protiraketne obrambe, ki bi mu letalo ustrezalo. Na primer, letala EA-6 Prowler bi lahko uporabili za elektronsko zaviranje senzorjev izstrelkov, letala "Wild Weasel" pa bi lahko ciljala na mesta SAM, ko bi se njihovi radarji vklopili.

Oba protiukrepa pa nista bila prisotna v noči na 27. marec, ko je podpolkovnik Dale Zelko v F-117 Nighthawk odletel proti Srbiji. Poleg tega so nekatere previdnosti, ki so bile uporabljene v prejšnjih vojnah, popustile. Ko so leta 1991 F-117 začeli racije na Bagdad, nikoli ne bi imeli istih letalskih poti v Iraku in iz njega. Po drugi strani bi to storili ameriški F-117 na Kosovu in v Srbiji.

Medtem ko je bil F-117 nominalno neviden za radarje, je imel usodno napako, ko so se odprla vrata za bombe, njegov radarski podpis se je razširil, kar mu je omogočilo lažje ciljanje.

Srbska vlada ni zanemarila prednosti Nata, vedeli pa so tudi, da vojna v ZDA ni priljubljena. Utemeljili so, da bi s sestreljenjem odmevnega letala, kot je F-117, lahko osramotili Clintonovo upravo in prisilili zgodnji konec ameriške vpletenosti.

Zato je srbska vojska v noči na 27. marec postavila Zelku prefinjeno past. Srbski vohuni, nameščeni v Italiji, so opazovali vzlet letala Nata iz tamkajšnjih letalskih baz. Srbska zračna obramba je uporabljala dva ločena radarska sistema. En radar z nizko pasovno širino, P-18 "Spoon Rest D", je bil uporabljen za sledenje F-117, čeprav ga je lahko zaznal le s razdalje 15 milj in je bil preveč nenatančen, da bi usmeril raketo proti njemu, ta radar je bil skoraj nemogoč odkriti z Natovimi protiukrepi, zato bi ga lahko pustili prižganega. Drugi sistem, SNR-125 "Neva-Pechora"-ali SA-3 "Goa", za Nato-bi lahko uporabili za vodenje raket, vendar je bil bolj ranljiv za napad. Zato so bili radarji SNR-125 običajno vklopljeni le v kratkih rafalih dvakrat na noč.

Poleg tega je prišlo do napake, ki jo je SNR-125 lahko zaklenil na letalo le, če je bilo znotraj 15 milj. Radar SNR-125, ki mu je poveljeval polkovnik Zoltan Dani, postavljen vzdolž predvidene poti leta, se je dvakrat vklopil, brez učinka.

Ker pa vohuni v Italiji niso videli vzleta Prowlersa, se je Dani odločil, da je varno poskusiti znova. Tretjič je obrnil radar-in opazil Zelkov F-117 z odprtimi vrati za bombo.

Izstrelili sta dve raketi. Prvi je na kratko zgrešil, drugi je eksplodiral pri Zelkovem F-117 in ga podrl.

Zelko je s pomočjo ameriške ekipe za iskanje in reševanje iz letala padal s padalom in se je lahko izognil srbskim zasledovalcem. Čeprav je bil njegov pobeg za ZDA izredno srečen, je bil dogodek kljub temu propagandni udar Srbije, ki je uporabil prefinjeno taktiko, vendar so prvič in edinič v njeni zgodovini sestrelili napredni ameriški prikrito letalo. "Oprostite, nismo vedeli, da je neviden," je zmagovalno razglasil naknadno propagandni plakat.

Deli podrtega letala so še vedno vidni v Muzeju letalstva v Beogradu. F-117 je bil upokojen leta 2008, čeprav nekateri še vedno delujejo.

Kosovska vojna ni bila "dobra vojna", ampak je imela eno majhno srebrno podlogo: leta 2011, desetletja po sestrelitvi, je Zelko odpotoval v Srbijo, da bi spoznal Danija, človeka, ki ga je sestrelil, in oba sta postala prijatelja .

Trevor Filseth je sedanji in tuji pisatelj za National Interest.


Tu je Rusija nazadnje sestrelila potniško letalo

Nemogoče je opazovati, kako bi se svet odzval na sestrelitev letala 17 Malaysian Airlines nad Ukrajino, ne da bi pomislili na dan, ko so Rusi 1. septembra 1983. sestrelili let 007 Korean Air Lines nad Sahakinimi otoki. je bil nasičen z inteligentnimi senzorji in dve velesili sta imeli zelo dobro predstavo o tem, kaj se je točno zgodilo v nekaj urah. Toda boj za pridobitev geopolitičnega vzvoda iz tragedije je zastrupil razumevanje javnosti.

Toda zahvaljujoč signalnim informacijam, ki jih je zbralo dejansko nadzorno letalo RC-135, za katere je ruski pilot lovca mislil, da cilja na ZDA, so skoraj takoj vedeli, da je letalo po nesreči sestrelil. Potniško letalo je po naključju letelo z magnetno smerjo 246 stopinj kmalu po odhodu iz Anchoragea na Aljaski, njegovi piloti pa so domnevali, da nadzoruje drug navigacijski sistem, saj kompasa letala ni povezal s svojim instrumentnim navigacijskim sistemom (INS ).

Američani so pričakovali, da bodo Sovjeti kasneje istega dne preizkusili novo raketo, raketo, ki naj bi pristala nekje v bližini mornariške baze Petropavlosk, kjer je bilo nameščenih več deset jedrskih podmornic. Naslov 246 stopinj KAL 007 ga je usmeril neposredno na to občutljivo območje. Ko so Sovjeti videli zanimivo tarčo, ki se je odpravila na to območje, so seveda prestregli odgovor, ob predpostavki, da bo letalo, če gre za RC-135, ostalo zunaj približno 20 km prepovedanega območja, ki označuje mejo ruskega ozemlja. Toda letalo se ni ustavilo. Letel je skozi, nato pa se je na istem naslovu kmalu spet znašel v mednarodnih vodah.

Rusi so opazovali, kako se je letalo približalo in nato preletelo drugi del sovjetskega ozemlja. Pilot Su-15, Gennadie Osipovich, del lovskega krila s sedežem v Dolinsku-Sokolu, je poskušal stopiti v stik z letalom na mednarodni frekvenci stiske. Korejski piloti verjetno niso slišali njegovih prošenj, saj niso imeli razloga misliti, da so v kakršni koli nevarnosti glede na to, kje so mislili.

Osipovič je bil pod pritiskom svojega poveljnika na kopnem, da letala ne pusti drugič zapustiti ozemlja Rusije. Kljub temu se je pokazal precej zadržano in ni hotel streljati, dokler ni imel na letalu pozitivno identifikacijo. Zakaj? Vedel je, kakšen je stavek: sestrelitev ameriškega vohunskega letala bi lahko vodila v pravo vojno.

Njegova lokacija v tridimenzionalnem prostoru ni omogočila dovolj vizualizacije letala, da bi ga identificirali kot potniško linijo. Od spodaj sta bila oba curka enaka. Na radiu pa nikoli ni izdal zavedanja, da letalo pravzaprav ni bil prej identificiran RC-135.

Od leta 1985 je tukaj odličen opis dogajanja Murray Sayle:

Na tej točki je moral biti borec zadaj in pod KE007, normalnim položajem napada. Videl bi le zatemnjeno črno obliko, brez pripravljenega načina za oceno njene velikosti, rdeče in bele luči, ki jih je letalo kazalo na krmi. Na tej stopnji leta bi bile vse luči v kabini zatemnjene, žaluzije pa odprte, da bi potniki lahko spali mimo sončnega vzhoda. Borec je večkrat navedel smer "tarče" kot 240 stopinj, kar je primeren približek za nekaj sekund, ki so na voljo pilotu lovca.

Medtem ko je bil sovjetski borec za njim, je KE007 poklical Tokyo Air Traffic Control, zahteval in dobil dovoljenje za "step-climb", kar je običajno na koncu dolgega leta, ko je letalo izgorelo večino goriva in letijo višje in hitreje. Nekaj ​​sekund kasneje je borec, očitno po navodilih s tal, poročal: "Prekinil sem zaklepanje. Streljam s topovskimi rafali." Borec je očitno poskušal v sovjetskem postopku prestrezanja krilati, streljati krogle za sledenje in klicati frekvenco v sili-brez znakov odziva.

Borec je videl, a si napačno razlagal stopničasto vzpenjanje KE007 in poročal, v skladu s prepisi zrak-zemlja: "Cilj se zmanjšuje hitrost. Jaz ga obidem. Že sem pred ciljem." Očitno je to nekakšen manever, namenjen pritegniti pozornost »tarče«, vendar je kratek. Štiriindvajset sekund pozneje je borec svojemu kopenskemu kontrolorju povedal: "Moral bi biti prej. Kako naj ga lovim, že sem v tarči [kar pomeni, da borec leti zraven KE007, v ravnini z lučjo krila letala , in skoraj neviden iz pilotske kabine 747]. Zdaj se moram nekoliko odmakniti. "

Ob 1823 GMT iz zemeljskega krmilnika prihaja nekakšno naročilo, ki ga pilot lovca želi ponoviti: "Reci še enkrat," piše v prepisu. Z lahkoto lahko sklepamo, kakšno je bilo naročilo, kajti potem poroča: "Spuščam se nazaj. Zdaj bom poskusil z raketami." In nekaj sekund kasneje: "Roger. Zaklenjen sem."

Prepisi, ki prihajajo iz japonskih in ameriških virov, jasno kažejo, da je bil poskušen nekakšen prestrez. Prikazujejo tudi, da je poskus trajal tri minute in dvaindvajset sekund, kar vključuje čas, potreben za prekinitev zaklepanja, približevanje KE007, oddajo kakršnih koli signalov, ki so bili poskušani, padanje nazaj in ponovno zaklepanje. Lovec ne more biti v bližini letalskega prevoznika več kot minuto, takrat je bila posadka po zlobnem naključju zaposlena z rutinskim sporočilom v Tokio in kopilotom (na strani letala, ki borec se je približal) bi imel prižgano luč na zemljevidu, da bi videl gumbe in stikala svojega radia.

Minuto kasneje borec svojemu kopenskemu kontrolorju pove: "Zapiram se na tarčo, zaklenjen sem. Razdalja do cilja je osem kilometrov." In potem: "Izvedel sem izstrelitev. Cilj je uničen." [New York Review of Books]

Ta dan je bilo načrtovanih najmanj pet ameriških orbit RC-135 za spremljanje sovjetskih raketnih poskusov. Sovjeti so bili seveda pripravljeni na RC-135 in videli so, kar so pričakovali. Ruski piloti za zračno obrambo bi bili seznanjeni. Dejansko je bil eden od njih v času streljanja približno 30 milj od korejskega letala.

Po lastni še vedno v veliki meri tajni zgodovini NSA je posnela pogovore pilotov iz zraka v zemljo in jih nato posredovala NSA LADYLOVE, satelitski prestrezni postaji v Misawi na Japonskem. Kritični kabli, ki vsebujejo dobesedne prepise, so bili v nekaj urah v Svetu za nacionalno varnost.

Eden od stražarjev na krovu RC-135 je kolegu pozneje povedal, da je ob streljanju Su-15 mislil, da je tarča RC-135. Njegova nadomestna teorija: Sovjeti so morali izvajati nenavadno izdelano vajo zračne obrambe.

Velik del zgodovine NSA je redigiran, vendar celo agencija priznava, da "nihče v obveščevalni skupnosti ni imel razloga sumiti, da je komercialno letalo predmet vse te pozornosti".

Pravzaprav v nemiru po NSA je bil za kratek trenutek prepričan, da so Sovjeti sestrelili RC-135. Tega ne boste videli v nobeni nerazvrščeni zgodovini, vendar sem to potrdil od dveh nekdanjih uradnikov NSA, s katerimi sem opravil razgovor za prihajajočo knjigo o nepovezani temi. Nujni kabel NSA v Fort Meadeju do Misawe je zahteval potrditev, da so bili vsi RC-135 evidentirani.

Nekateri še posebej paranoični Rusi, kot je načelnik generalštaba maršal Nikolaj Ogarčov, so več dni vztrajali, da je potniško letalo lažna zastava, da so Američani naslikali RC-135, da je videti kot navaden 747, ali pa so nekako ponaredili sovjetski radar. . Ker Ogarčov ne bi dovolil kakršnega koli naključnega sestrelitve, je Reaganova administracija zlahka označila njegov blef: hej, tudi najbolj znani sovjetski general priznava, da so to storili namerno. In seveda svet ve, da je bilo letalo Korean Air Lines resnično.

Ko je Ronald Reagan pozneje Američanom povedal, da je "naš RC-135, ki sem ga prej omenil, spet v svoji bazi na Aljaski", je lagal zaradi opustitve. V zraku je bil še en RC-135.

In ko je Reagan rekel: "Da ne bo pomote. To je bila Sovjetska zveza proti svetu in moralnim predpisom, ki vodijo medčloveške odnose med ljudmi povsod. To je bilo barbarsko dejanje", če bi rekel, da zgodbe ne opisuje pravilno podcenjevanje. Reaganova ekipa za nacionalno varnost je na zelo kritičnem stičišču v hladni vojni videla priložnost, da opozori na sovjetsko agresijo - in jo vzela.


Nazadnje je letalo Nato letalo sestrelilo rusko letalo

A Russian Su-24 Fencer, a multi-role attack aircraft, was shot down by Turkish F-16s while reportedly flying in Turkish airspace Tuesday. The shoot down — while having wide-ranging ramifications for countries operating in the region — marks the first time a NATO country has shot down a Russian jet in just over 63 years.

On November 18, 1952, in the waning months of the Korean War, four U.S. aircraft carriers were steaming through the Sea of Japan with orders to strike North Korean supply lines in the city of Hoeryong, North Korea. Hoeryong sits near the mouth of the Yalu river on the spit of land that borders both Chinese Manchuria and Russia.

As the ships neared their targets, the U.S.S. Helena with a team from the National Security Agency aboard, detected radio traffic coming out of the Soviet Union, according to an account in the aviation magazine Flight Journal. The transmissions indicated that the carriers had been detected and Russian aircraft were preparing to intercept.

In response, the U.S.S. Oriskany scrambled four F9F-5 Panthers and launched them in quick succession. The F9F was an early model jet fighter used extensively in the Korean War. The single-seat, stubby looking aircraft was billed as inferior to its Russian MiG counterparts because of its slower, non-swept wing design.

As the flight of four broke the clouds, radio traffic indicated that enemy aircraft were approximately 80 miles north, but as the Russian MiG 15s came into view two of the Panthers had to return to the carrier. The flight lead had a mechanical malfunction, and his wingman was required to escort him home.

That left Lt. Royce Williams and his wingman Lt. junior grade David Rowlands up against seven MiG 15s in the skies over the sea of Japan. The Panthers were armed with 20mm cannons, while the Russians had similar armaments.

In the fierce dogfight that followed, Williams shot down four of the MiGs, a feat unheard of until that point in the war. Badly damaged, Williams was forced to fly too low to be able to eject. He barely made it back to the Oriskany for an emergency landing, and after tanking his aircraft on the flight deck, he emerged unscathed. Williams told Flight Journal that his Panther had over 260 holes in it from the Russian MiGs and it was so damaged that the flight crew merely pushed it into the sea instead of trying to salvage it.


50 U.S. AIRMEN DOWNED BY SOVIETS NEVER WERE TRACED

At least 50 American airmen shot down on spy missions over or near the Soviet Union since World War II have never been accounted for and may have been held as prisoners by the Soviets, according to several specialists on Cold War aerial surveillance.

Those estimates yesterday came after Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrote U.S. senators Friday that 12 previously unacknowledged Americans shot down over Soviet territory during the 1950s were imprisoned in the Soviet Union.

Yeltsin, in a letter to the Senate Select Committee on POW and MIA Affairs, acknowledged that for years Soviet leaders had lied to the United States.

The Pentagon said that it always became a matter of public record when a plane went down. But the intelligence specialists said the Pentagon did not identify them as spy craft and seldom said they were missing as a result of Soviet action. Neither the U.S. nor the Soviet government ever admitted that any U.S. spy planes were downed over Soviet territory other than the highly publicized U-2 flight piloted by Francis Gary Powers in 1960.

President Bush, a former CIA director, said yesterday in response to a question that he was unaware of the 12 Americans Yeltsin identified, adding, "I believe that Gorbachev denied it."

The Yeltsin letter referred only to planes brought down over Soviet territory, not those downed along its periphery, and also referred only to those being held prisoner as of Aug. 1, 1953.

But specialists on the history of Cold War aerial spying said from 1945 until 1969, the United States flew hundreds of flights over or touching Soviet territory, and thousands of flights near its borders, for example, in the Baltic or near Armenia. They said many planes were downed and at least 50 airmen are unaccounted for.

James Bamford, an investigative producer on ABC's "World News Tonight" and author of a 1982 book on the National Security Agency, "The Puzzle Palace," said that after World War II and continuing at least through the 1960s, there was a "bloody electronic war" in which the United States repeatedly sent planes to learn military information.

In one incident, a U.S. EC-130 shot down near the Turkish-Russian border in September 1958 with 17 aboard. It was established that six died, but the fate of the 11 others is unclear.

Bamford's book detailed a number of such incidents and he said he believes that "at least 50" crewman on spy missions were "missing or unaccounted for."

Jeffrey Richelson, author of the 1987 book, "American Espionage and the Soviet Target," said he had found the fate of a minimum of 42 U.S. airmen on such missions had not been determined and that they are still unaccounted for. He noted that a 1961 story in the New York Times quoted a Soviet magazine, Ogonek, as saying that in the 1958 EC-130 incident 11 had parachuted safely and were captured.

Paul H. Nitze, a former deputy secretary of defense and secretary of the Navy, was involved in overseeing some of the intelligence operations, declined to discuss details yesterday.

William Burrows, a New York University journalism professor who wrote "Deep Black," a 1987 book on intelligence matters, said that when a plane was downed the Pentagon would make an announcement that concealed that it was a spy flight. He said the announcement might say "a B-29 had navigational problems and disappeared" or the plane "was swept off course by weather" in the Sea of Japan.

Researcher James Sanders, who is writing a book on intelligence, estimated that 100 to 200 airmen were shot down and remain unaccounted for, and that two to three dozen may still be alive. Sanders compiled from declassified documents at least 10 incidents, which he made available to the National Alliance of Families for the Return of Missing Servicemen. It was published in the Morning News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., yesterday.

They include: Navy plane downed over the Baltic Sea, April 8, 1950 Navy plane dowed over Sea of Japan, Nov. 6, 1951 Air Force plane shot down over Sea of Japan, June 13, 1952 Air Force plan downed off Japan, Oct. 7, 1952 Air Force plane shot down over Sea of Japan, July 29, 1953 Navy plane downed off Russia's Asian coast, Sept. 4, 1954 Air Force B-29 downed near Japan, Nov. 4, 1954 Air Force plane downed over Sea of Japan, Sept. 10, 1956 Air Force C-118 forced down over Soviet Armenia, June 27, 1956 EC-130, shot down over Armenia, Sept. 2, 1958.


How the Soviets Stole an American F-86 Sabre Jet in 1951

During the Korean War (1950 to 1953) America and her allies sided with South Korea, while Russia and China sided with North Korea. Among their many weapons, the US had the North American F-86 Sabre (also called the Sabrejet), while North Korea used the Russian MIG-15. Both sides were therefore curious to know about the other’s planes. Which is why, the Soviets decided to steal a Sabre.

The US began using F-86s in 1949 as part of the 1 st Fighter Wing’s 94 th Fighter Squadron. Their swept-wing design allowed them to achieve transonic speeds (above the speed of sound at 600 t0 768 mph), leaving their straight-winged counterparts coughing in the dust.

As such, they quickly became the main air-to-air fighters used in the Korean War, though earlier models of straight-winged jets like the F-80 and F-84 were still used. This changed on 1 November 1950 when the Soviets responded to the Sabre with their own Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet fighters.

The F-86 and the MiG-15 were similar in design, especially in their use of swept wings to achieve transonic speeds – but each had strengths and weaknesses.

F-86 Sabre

Sabres could achieve speeds of 685 mph, as well as turn, roll, and dive faster. They were also more aerodynamically stable. Finally, they were equipped with AN/APG-30 radar gunsights. These allowed pilots to quickly aim their six 0.50-caliber machine guns more accurately, even compensating for speed.

MiGs could hit 670 mph, were better at climbing and acceleration rates, could fight at higher altitudes, and were far more maneuverable. Their aim, however, wasn’t anywhere near as good as a Sabre, but they more than made up for it with two 23-mm and a single 37-mm cannon.

Overall, however, the Sabre and the MiG were evenly matched. Most of their battles were fought over northwestern North Korea – a zone called Mig Alley. It stretched between North Korea and China, and spanned the Yalu River all the way to the Yellow Sea.

MiG Alley

Although the MiGs were officially flown only by North Koreans, Soviet fighters actually did much of the flying, many of whom were WWII veterans. The Americans who flew the Sabres were also veterans of that conflict.

With their aerial superiority gone, the US launched Operation Moolah. They knew that neither the Chinese nor the North Koreans could have developed the MiGs, so the Soviets were obviously involved. With Soviet citizens risking their lives to defect to the West, it was hoped that some Soviet pilots would do the same.

To ensure that they did, secret agents in the Soviet Union created rumors that any pilot who defected with an MiG in tow would receive $100,000 and US citizenship. Little did they realise that the Soviets would beat them at their own game.

On 6 October 1951, 2 nd Lieutenant Bill N. Garret’s patrol engaged the Soviet 324 th Fighter Air Division – some of the highest scoring pilots in WWII. He was hit and ordered back to base while the rest of his patrol continued to fight. Neither side wanted to risk their jets falling into enemy hands, so Garrett obeyed.

On his way back, however, he encountered a patrol of four MiGs headed by Captain Konstantin Sheberstov. According to his interview in the Mir Aviatsii (a Russian aviation journal), Garret’s Sabre was trailing black smoke and making a controlled descent.

Shebertsov climbed to 3,300 feet, and when he closed in with the American at 975 to 1,150 feet, he fired his cannons. They hit the Sabre behind the cockpit, damaging its J-47 engine and also knocking out the pilot’s ejections seat.

Unable to fire back, Garret began evasive manoeuvres, but lost altitude while Shebertsov continued to tail him. The Soviet captain knew his government wanted a Sabre, so he was faced with a dilemma.

A North Korean MiG-15 at the Chinese Aviation Museum in Beijing, China. Fotografiranje

Soviets were not allowed to fly into UN-occupied territory, meaning into South Korea. They also couldn’t attack enemy planes up-close to avoid identification. The Soviet Union was not officially involved in the Korean War, after all, so their pilots wore North Korean uniforms. These rules were so strictly enforced that when a Soviet pilot jettisoned over the sea, his fellow pilots strafed him and his plane to avoid capture and identification.

So Shebertsov needed to bring Garret down before the American reached UN airspace, but neither could he destroy the Sabre if he could possibly avoid it. Garret’s slow descent was exactly what he needed, therefore. It would hopefully crash without too much damage.

The Sabre shot toward the coastline of the Yellow Sea, trying to make it as close to friendly territory, as possible. Garret also knew that the Soviets wanted his plane, so he was desperate to ditch it in the water.

He finally reached the coast, but failed to make it into the Yellow Sea. He had crashed into the beach when a rescue pilot found him and got him out but the plane was another matter, entirely. It was stuck in the mud pools. North Koreans fired at him, so Garret and his rescuers fled.

In the skies, a battle raged as MiGs fought to claim their prize, while Sabres tried to fight them off. Then the tide started coming in. Hundreds of Chinese and North Koreans scrambled to disassemble the Sabre before the sea swallowed it completely, but they were constantly picked off by American planes and by US Navy ships sailing off the coast.

Despite losing seven MiGs, the Soviets got their prize and carted the pieces back to the Soviet Union in a convoy of trucks. They had to travel by night because the Americans had followed them into China, attacking the lead truck, which got away. With Soviet and Chinese pilots to harass the Americans, the pieces made their way back to Russia. Days later on October 24, they captured yet another Sabre.

Desperate, the Americans extended Operation Moolah into China and North Korea, broadcasting their offer on the radio and by dumping leaflets out of planes. It paid off. On 21 September 1952, Senior Lieutenant No Kum Sok defected to South Korea by landing his North Korean MiG-15 at the Kimpo Air Force Base.


Hidden for 40 Years: The Secret Russia vs. U.S. Air Battle of 1952

An admiral warned Williams to keep quiet about his extraordinary accomplishment—it was important that the United States and the Soviet Union remain officially not at war, and that the Soviets not realize they had been spied upon by the NSA unit. But Royce’s actions did not go entirely unrecognized. A month later, he was summoned to Seoul for drinks with President Elect Dwight Eisenhower—prepared by his son John, no less!—who wanted a briefing on the progress of the air war. According to Royce, he would forever regret passing on the president’s recommendation of scotch in favor of his habitual bourbon-on-water.

On the afternoon of November 18, 1952 four sleek jets painted an inky navy blue soared off the deck of the carrier USS Oriskany into a swirling Siberian snow storm gusting over the Sea of Japan. The carrier was part of Task Force 77, a fleet of twenty-five ships which included three carriers used to launch daily airstrikes on North Korean bridges and logistics during the Korean War. Earlier that day, its warplanes had struck the logistical base at Hoeryong, used as a gathering point for supplies received from China and the Soviet Union a short distance across the border.

(This first appeared earlier in the year.)

The four F9F-5 Panther jets were braving flurrying snow, cloud cover down to 500 feet and visibility not exceeding a few miles, to fly a Combat Air Patrol (CAP). The fleet’s air search radars could only reliably detect aircraft under ranges of 100 miles—and Soviet Il-28 jet bombers that could cover that distance in a few minutes had been photographed nearby. Though no direct air attacks on the fleet had been attempted by Soviet or Chinese jets, it was vital to maintain the CAP to guard against a surprise attack.

The Panther flight was flying a patrol pattern at 16,000 feet when they received a report—bogeys detected just eighty-three miles north of their position, heading from the direction of Vladivostok.

The four aircraft from Navy squadron VF-781 assumed an intercept course. Sure enough, they spotted the vapor trails of seven Soviet jets flying high above them at 40,000 feet and the silvery glint of their bare metal fuselages. These were not Il-28 bombers, but MiG-15 fighter jets that could outrun even the late model F9F-5 Panther by seventy miles per hour.

At the same moment, the fuel pump of flight leader Lt. Claire Elwood aircraft began to malfunction. He was called back to the carrier, and his wingman assigned to cover for him. The Panthers of Lt. Royce Williams and Lt. Jg. David Rowland were left to face off against seven superior Soviet fighters.

What happened next remained a secret for the next forty years, and would only be fully detailed in 2013 when Royce was interviewed by Thomas McKelvey for Flight Journal revija.

Since November 1950, Soviet MiG-15 units had been battling American fighters over Korea. However, they had always been deployed from Chinese bases under the pretense of being Chinese or North Korean units. Officially Soviet forces were not party to the war, and Washington did not seek to dispel this fiction for fear of further escalating the Korean conflict it was seeking to bring to a close.

Soviet fighters did shoot down numerous American reconnaissance planes throughout the 1950s, and U.S. fights did stray over the border and attack Soviet airfields on a few occasions. But generally, a fighter unit based on Soviet territory was not expected to join in the fighting.

Indeed, when the American pilots first approached the Soviet fighters at 16,000 feet, the higher-flying jets appeared to turn back for home. Then they split into two groups, and a four-ship flight peeled around and dove at the U.S. fighters from the ten o’clock position in line abreast formation, spitting cannon shells.

Royce turned hard and managed to fall behind the last MiG and set it aflame with a burst of his cannons. However, the guns of his wing mate Rowland’s Panther had jammed. Wishing to record Royce’s kill for posterity with his gun camera, Rowland stayed on the MiG’s tail as it splashed into the ocean.

Williams was left in a swirling dogfight with the six remaining Soviet fighters that lasted twenty minutes. The swept-wing MiG-15 was faster and more maneuverable than the straight-wing American naval jet. However, the F9F Panther was a legendarily robust design, and also a better gun platform with its four rapid-firing 20mm cannons. The MiGs had two 23mm cannons and a very hard-hitting 37mm gun, but these were slower firing, lower velocity weapons that were less accurate verses nimble fighters.

Williams kept his Panther at full throttle and kept turning inwards of attacking MiGs, firing short bursts from his cannons. The twenty-six-year-old from Minnesota had received high marks during gunnery training. In rapid succession he managed to rake first the lead fighter and its wingmate with 20mm shells while coming out of turn, causing both to burst into flames, and then heavily damaged a fourth MiG.

However, a MiG pounced on Royce’s tail and shredded his plane with cannon fire, shooting up his wing and into his engine, disabling critical hydraulics. The Panther’s rudder and flaps became unresponsive and his ailerons only partially effective. The Panther pilot was reduced to making evasive maneuvers with his only fully functional control surface, the horizontal elevators in the tail.

The Navy pilot dove for the clouds far below, but a MiG-15 followed him down, its cannons flashing. Royce used his elevators to bob his jet up and down as his cannon shells zipped passed him from above and below. Finally, his wingman charged up towards the Soviet fighter, which broke off—fortunately, as Rowland’s guns remained jammed! But Royce was only barely able to pull his shot-up jet out of its dive, emerging from the clouds only 400 feet above the ocean—too low to survive an ejection.

Instead, Williams limped his Panther back to the Oriskany, even braving anti-aircraft fire from U.S. ships which misidentified his passing aircraft. Not desiring to ditch his plane in the deadly cold waters of the Sea of Japan, he instead attempted a high-speed landing at 170 miles per hour, as his Panther could no longer handle safely at minimum speed. The Oriskany’s skipper helpfully angled the ship to the wind and Royce’s successfully snagged the tail hook of his half-destroyed Panther on the third wire of the carrier. Maintenance personnel counted more than 263 shell holes cratering the badly damaged plane, which was unceremoniously photographed, stripped of valuable parts and pitched over the deck.

The Navy pilot would learn that an NSA surveillance unit on the cruiser USS Helena had been spying on the Soviet radio chatter it had both warned of the approaching MiGs and had learned that three had been shot down, and a damaged fourth jet flown by Cpt. Viktor Belyakov had fatally crash landed in the Soviet Union. Royce had achieved an unheard-of feat—in one thirty-five-minute skirmish he either equaled or exceeded all the MiGs shot down by other Panther pilots throughout the Korean War.

An admiral warned Williams to keep quiet about his extraordinary accomplishment—it was important that the United States and the Soviet Union remain officially not at war, and that the Soviets not realize they had been spied upon by the NSA unit. But Royce’s actions did not go entirely unrecognized. A month later, he was summoned to Seoul for drinks with President Elect Dwight Eisenhower—prepared by his son John, no less!—who wanted a briefing on the progress of the air war. According to Royce, he would forever regret passing on the president’s recommendation of scotch in favor of his habitual bourbon-on-water.

Only in the 1990s did Russia would declassify its own account of the air battle near Vladivostok and reveal the names of the four Soviet pilots fallen in action, including Captain Valandov and Lieutenants Palomkhin and Tarshinov. Only then did Williams consider himself released from his pledge to secrecy.

The Panther on MiG skirmish over Vladivostok was the last occasion in which a U.S. fighter plane shot down a nominally Russian fighter, but not the last aerial engagement between Soviet and U.S. military forces. In 1953, an F-84 Thunderjet was shot down by a Czech MiG-15 over Bohemia, and between that year and 1970 more than a dozen U.S. transport and reconnaissance planes would be destroyed by Soviet fighters and missiles.

Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.


From the Archives, 1983: Soviets shoot down KAL jumbo jet, killing 269

Washington, 1 September - The United States today accused the Soviet Union of shooting down a Korean Air Lines jumbo jet with 269 people on board.

A South Korean Airlines Boeing 747 jumbo jet, similar to this one, was shot down, killing all aboard.

The airliner apparently went down in the sea near a Soviet-held island north of Japan.

The US Secretary of State, Mr Shultz, said he had called in the Soviet charge d’affaires in Washington this morning to express “our grave concern over the shooting down of an unarmed civilian plane carrying passengers of a number of nationalities”.

“We also urgently demanded an explanation from the Soviet Union,” Mr Shultz said.

“The US reacts with revulsion to this attack. Loss of life appears to be heavy.

“We can see no excuse whatever for this appalling act.”

A march from Hyde Park to the Soviet embassy in Woollahra to protest against the shooting down of the Korean plane. Credit: Gerrit Fokkema

Mr Shultz said the US Government had summoned the Soviet charge d’affaires as soon as US sources had confirmed the shooting of the airliner.

He said that the US had made the protests on behalf of itself and of the Republic of Korea.

In a statement, Mr Shultz said the Korean Air Lines plane had strayed into Soviet air space and the Soviets had tracked it for some two and a half hours.

A Soviet pilot had reported visual contact with the airliner at 6.12 pm (Washington time) on Wednesday.

Mr Shultz said the Soviet plane had been in constant contact with ground control and that at 6.21 pm the Korean aircraft was reported at 10,000 metres.

At 6.26 the Soviet pilot reported he had fired a missile and that the target was destroyed.

At 6.30 the Korean plane was reported by radar at 6000 metres. Eight minutes later it disappeared from the radar.

Two US aircraft were taking part in the search for the aircraft in international waters.

The airliner was flying from New York to Seoul via Anchorage, Alaska.

The Japanese Defence Agency monitored a message from the pilot of a Soviet MiG-23 which said he was going to fire on a Korean Air Lines jetliner just before a KAL aircraft disappeared early today, the Jiji News Agency reported.

The agency, quoting official sources, said that the pilot told his base on the Sakhalin Island: “I am going to fire a missile. The target is the KAL airliner.”

The sources said the message was intercepted a second before the unidentified plane, likely the Boeing 747 dropped off radar screens.

Mr Shultz, who spoke emotionally, said that at least eight Soviet jets had been involved in tracking the airliner.

A Pentagon source was quoted as saying that the Soviets permit their fighters to shoot at aircraft intruding into their territory. He said US planes did not operate under such rules and would not shoot under similar circumstances. “The shoot, we don’t,” said one Pentagon source.

The MiG-23 is one of the Soviet Union’s most advanced jet fighters. It is armed with air-to-air missiles codenamed by NATO as “Aphid” and “Apex”.

Earlier this week, Japan’s Defence Agency reported that the Soviet Union had stationed more than 10 MiG-23s on Etorofu Island, one of the four former Japanese Islands occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.

The island is about 240 kilometres east of the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The Japanese Foreign Minister, Mr Abe, told reporters tonight: “Judging from various circumstances there is a strong possibility that at Soviet aircraft shot down the Korean airliner. If it is true it is an extremely deplorable incident.

Mr. Abe said that from available information it was believed the airliner crashed at 3.18 am Japan time (4.38 am AEST), nine minutes after an unidentified plane, believed to be the Jumbo, disappeared from Japanese radar at a point west of southern Sakhalin.

The Soviet Union told the Japanese Embassy in Moscow earlier today it knew nothing of the Jumbo jet’s fate.

South Korea’s Information Minister, Mr Lee, said today it appeared “almost certain” that a Korean Air Lines plane carrying 269 people had been “attacked and downed by a third country”.

In the Government’s first official announcement on the plane’s disappearance, Mr Lee said efforts to confirm the aircraft’s fate were continuing.

He said that if indications that the plan had been downed “proved a fact, it would constitute a grave violation of international law and an inhumanitarian act” which must be condemned by the international community.

Mr Lee did not name the third country in his brief announcement, but Korean Air Lines earlier had said the Boeing 747 had landed on Sakhalin.

The plane, on a flight from New York to Seoul, was reported missing after reports that it had been lost from contact while flying near Hokkaido, the northernmost Japanese island.

Korea Air Lines, the national flag carrier, later announced to waiting relatives and friends in Seoul that the plane had landed safely on Sakhalin.

Japanese air force officials said the Korean airliner may have been crippled by a mid-air explosion.

One air force official, who noted the jumbo vanished from radar screens while flying at more than 10,000 metres, said “A mid-air explosion or a sudden dive could be conceivable among other explanations.”

Officials of Korean Air Lines said the pilot, Captain Chun, had more than 10,000 hours of flying time and described him as “a very experienced pilot and not the sort of person who would disappear just like that. "

There were no immediate official explanation for the KAL announcement made earlier in the day that the plane was on Sakhalin, but sources said it was based on premature reports that later proved to be false.

The airline said the plan carried 240 passengers and crew of 29. Among the passengers, it said were 81 South Koreans, many of whom lived in the United States. If said there also were 34 residents of Taiwan aboard, 22 Japanese and 103 people of other nationalities.

There was no immediate breakdown available of the other nationalities, but one of those listed on the passenger manifest was an American Congressman, Mr Larry McDonald. Mr McDonald, a 48-year-old Democrat from Georgia, is chairman of the John Birch Society and a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

His staff said he was going to South Korea to attend a security seminar marking the 30th anniversary of the US-South Korea defence pact.

The last radio contact was at 3.23 am (4.23 am AEST), when the pilot reported his position as 181 kilometres south of Hokkaido, a KAL spokesman said. He said the pilot gave no indication of any trouble and that the weather was reported good in the area.

However, Japan’s defence agency said its radar showed no plane south of Hokkaido at the time, but did show what might have been the Jumbo jet about 181 kilometres north of Hokkaido near Sakhalin’s coast.

Earlier the South Korean Foreign Ministry said it received word from US authorities that the plane was forced to land on Sakhalin, where the Soviet Union has large military bases.

But a Soviet Foreign Ministry official in Moscow said that jest was not on the island and Soviet authorities had no other information on the plane, a Japanese Embassy spokesman said.

South Korea and the Soviet Union have no diplomatic relations and communications concerning the plane were said to have been channeled through Japan and other countries.

During an afternoon of increasingly confusing reports, there was speculation that if the plane had been forced to land at Sakhalin or gone down near the Soviet island, the Soviets might claim a violation of their airspace.

Australian on board

A partial passenger list released by KAL showed three members of a family named “Grenfell”.

An airline spokesman said Mr Grenfell was a native of Australia and his family had been visiting Mrs Grenfell’s family in Rochester, New York.


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