One common remark Cold War Veterans hear is "you were not shot at". Well that is far from being true, many lives were lost, some were accidents but there were many killed by hostile forces. Just how many is not clear, top secret operations that were not reported for a long time hid the numbers. The VFW has counted approximately 389, but that is not a complete list. I would like to present a few reports for you.
Aircraft losses: This is a list of aircraft that were shot down during the Cold War. I have not included aircraft shot down in war zones. For more information on American, Vietnamese and Chinese aircraft shot down in the Vietnam War, see US Air Combat Losses in the Vietnam War and US Air Combat Victories in the Vietnam War.
- 29 August 1945 Soviet pilot Zizevskii, flying a Yak-9 Frank, damaged a US Army Air Force B-29 Superfortress dropping supplies to a POW camp near Hamhung Korea and forced it to land. The crew of the B-29 was not injured in the attack.
- 2-16 September 1945 Soviet fighters fired on US Navy 7th Fleet air patrols in Manchurian airspace.
- 15 November 1945 While on a routine patrol mission, a US Navy PBM-5 Mariner was attacked by a Soviet Fighter 25 miles south of Dairen (Port Arthur) Manchuria. No damage was inflicted. The PBM-5 was investigating six Soviet transport ships and a beached seaplane in the Gulf of Chihli in the Yellow Sea. Some sources state that this happened on October 15th, not November 15th.
- 20 February 1946 While on a training flight, a US Navy PBM-5 Mariner from VP-26, based in Tsingtao China, made an unauthorized flight over Dairen (Port Arthur) Manchuria. As a result, Soviet fighters fired warning bursts at it, but no damage was inflicted.
- 22 April 1946 A US Army Air Force C-47 was shot at near Vienna Austria, but managed to escape.
- 9 August 1946 Dragomir Zecevic, flying a Yak-3 of the Yugoslav Air Force shot down a US Army Air Force C-47A (43-15376) transport over Northern Yugoslavia (Slovenia). Onboard were four American crewmembers (including William Crombie, the pilot) and four passengers - three Americans, two Hungarians, and one Turkish officer. Everybody on board survived and were soon released by the Yugoslavian authorities. The Turkish officer was badly wounded in the incident was released after everybody else.
- 19 August 1946 Vladimir Vodopivec, flying a Yak-3 of the Yugoslav Air Force shot down a US Army Air Force C-47 transport over Northern Yugoslavia (Slovenia). The crew of Harold Schreiber, Glen Freestone, Richard Claeys, Matthew Comko and Chester L. Lower were all killed.
- 1 or 2 December 1946 A US Army Air Force A-26 Invader piloted by George A. Curry of the US Army Air Force 45th Reconnaissance Squadron, Furth, Germany, became lost in heavy, unfavorable weather while on a mission to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and eventually landed near the village of Egyek, northeast of Budapest, Hungary. The other crewman on board was Donald G. Gelnett. The landed safely and the aircraft was flyable, but very low on fuel. The local townspeople welcomed the Americans. Soviet Air Force officers questioned the crew and were satisfied once Curry let them develop the on-board film and they saw nothing of consequence (he had kept his classified maps and town plans hidden).
- On 6 December an American officer arrived from Budapest with enough fuel to get the A-26 out of the field, and on the 7th they flew over to the regular Budapest airfield. After an adequate refueling there, but hampered by weather delays, the crew and aircraft returned to their home base on 12 December via Vienna, Austria.
- 21 February 1947 A US Air Force B-29 Superfortress (45-21768), Kee Bird, of the 46th Reconnaissance Squadron, crash landed on a frozen lake in northern Greenland after having gotten lost in the Arctic, while on a reconnaissance mission. The airplane had departed Ladd Field Alaska the day before. The crew of eleven, Howard R. Adams, Vernon H. Arnett, Burl Cowan, Talbert M. Gates, Russell S. Jordan, Robert Leader, John G. Lesman, Robert L. Luedke, Paul R. McNamara, Ernest C. Stewart and Lawrence L. Yarbrough, spent three days on the frozen lake, enduring temperatures of less than 50 degrees below zero, before being rescued by a USAF C-54. In 1994 an effort was begun by Darryl Greenamyer to recover the aircraft. In May 1995 he and his team had the aircraft ready for flight. Moving the aircraft under its own power on May 22 1995, the fuel supply for the APU spilled onto the APU, starting a fire that destroyed the aircraft.
- 24 February 1947 A US Air Force B-29 Superfortress, of the 28th BS disappeared, over the Bering Sea. The crew of twelve were presumed dead.
- 29 December 1947 A US Marine Corps plane crashed in China and the four man crew was captured by Communist forces. They were released in July 1948.
- 19 October 1948 A US Navy plane crashed near Tsingtao China. Two crew members are held prisoner by the Communists for 19 months.
- 1949 Soviet pilots claimed to have downed a US Air Force B-25 Mitchell over the Black Sea, near Odessa.
- 22 January 1949 A US Air Force AT-6 was shot down over Greece by Communist guerrillas. The pilot, Seldon Edner was killed.
- 19 February 1949 A US observation plane was shot down near Kaesong Korea by North Korean forces. The pilot was wounded in the attack.
- 22 October 1949 An US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress was attacked by Soviet fighters over the Sea of Japan. There were no injuries to the RB-29's crew.
- 2 April 1950 A Republic of China Air Force P-51 Mustang was shot down by downed by Soviet aircraft stationed in Shanghai and the pilot was killed.
- 8 April 1950 Soviet La-11 Fangs, piloted by Boris Dokin, Anatoliy Gerasimov, Tezyaev, and Sataev shot down a US Navy PB4Y-2 Privateer (BuNo 59645) Turbulent Turtle of VP-26, Det A. Based from Port Lyautey, French Morrocco, the Privateer was on a patrol mission launched from Wiesbaden, West Germany. According the to the American account, this incident happened over the Baltic Sea off the coast of Lepija Latvia. The Soviets claimed the aircraft was intercepted over Latvia and fired on the Soviet fighters during the interception. After the fighters engaged the Privateer, the Soviets report that it descended sharply before crashing into the sea 5-10 kilometers off the coast. Wreckage was recovered, but the crew of John H. Fette, Howard W. Seeschaf, Robert D. Reynolds, Tommy L. Burgess, Frank L. Beckman, Joe H. Danens, Jack W. Thomas, Joesph Jay Bourassa, Edward J. Purcell and Joesph Norris Rinnier Jr. were missing and presumed killed.
- 24 April 1950 Soviet pilot Keleinikov claimed to have downed a US Air Force P-38 Lightning (F-82 Twin Mustang?).
- April 1950 Soviet pilot P. Dushin claimed to have shot down a US Air Force B-26 Invader.
- April 1950 Soviet pilot V. Sidorov claimed to have shot down a US Air Force B-26 Invader.
- April 1950 Soviet pilot Nikolai N. Guzhov claimed to have shot down two US Air Force F-51 Mustangs.
- May 1950 Soviet pilot V.S. Yefremov, flying a La-11 Fang, claimed to have shot down a US Air Force F-51 Mustang over the Chukotka Peninsula.
- 11 May 1950 Soviet pilot I.I. Shinkarenko claimed to have downed a US Air Force B-24 Liberator (PB4Y Privateer?).
- 14 July 1950 A US Air Force RB-29 was shot at near Permskoye airfield in the USSR, but escaped.
- 24 July 1950 A Lebanese Compagnie Generale des Transports DC-3 was attacked by Israel Air Force Spitfires after it inadvertently crossed into Israeli airspace. The aircraft landed safely in Beirut, but three passengers were killed.
- 4 September 1950 A US Navy F4U-4B Corsair of VF-53, piloted by Ensign Edward V. Laney, shot down a Soviet Naval Aviation Douglas A-20 Box over the Yellow Sea, southeast of the Soviet-occupied Port Arthur Naval Base in China and west of the North Korean coast. Laney was one of a four-ship Combat Air Patrol from the carrier USS Valley Forge (part of Task Force 77), which was protecting US Navy air activity against North Korea not long before the Inchon landings. The A-20 was one of two belonging to the Port Arthur-based 36th Mine-Torpedo Aviation Regiment of the Red Banner Pacific Fleet, apparently sent out on an armed reconnaissance mission. A-20s had been supplied in quantity to the Soviets on Lend-Lease during World War 2, and this unit had had extensive experience during the war as torpedo bombers . The Corsairs encountered the two A-20s about 40 nautical miles from the Chinese coast. One A-20 turned back, but the other pressed on. As the Corsairs descended, the top turret gunner on the A-20 was observed to open fire. Richard E. Downs led Laney on a firing pass, and Laney hit the A-20 with his 20mm cannon. The Soviet aircraft then crashed into the sea. The US recovered the body of one Soviet crewman, later identified as that of Genaddiy Mishin, the copilot. The other two bodies, those of Senior Lt. Karpol, the aircraft commander, and Sgt. A. Makaganov, the gunner, were never found. Mishin's body was returned to the Soviets in 1956.
- October-December 1950 A US Navy P2V Neptune of VP-6, piloted by Arthur Farwell, was intercepted at night by four Soviet MiG-15 Fagots, near Vladivostok. The Neptune's tail gunner opened fire and one MiG exploded.
- 6 November 1950 A US Navy bomber with twelve crew members on board was reported to have failed to return from a combat patrol over the Strait of Formosa. Its fate was never learned.
- 4 December 1950 Soviet MiG-15 Fagots shot down an RB-45C Tornado of the US Air Force 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, 45 miles east of Andung People's Republic of China (just across the Yalu River from Sinuiju North Korea). Soviet pilot Aleksandr F. Andrianov received credit for shooting down the aircraft. Co-pilot Jules E. Young and navigator James L. Picucci were killed in the crash. Pilot Charles E. McDonough and passenger John R. Lovell bailed out and landed south of the Yalu River. McDonough was badly burned when he landed on the Tornado's wreckage. Both were captured the next day by the North Koreans. McDonough was murdered during an interrogation by North Korean and Soviet officers two weeks later. Lovell survived brutal interrogation sessions, but was finally taken into a North Korean village, where the residents were encouraged to lynch him.
- 26 December 1950 Two Soviet MiG-15 Fagots, flown by S.A. Bakhev and N. Kotov shared in the downing of a US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress.
- 4 July 1951 A US Air Force RB-45C Tornado of the 323rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, based in Yokota Japan, conducted a night overflight 500 miles into Manchuria. The crew of Stacy D. Naftel, Edward Kendrex and Bob Dusenberry reported that they were attacked by MiG-15 Fagots while approaching their target in Harbin People's Republic of China. They managed to escaped damage by outrunning the intercepting fighters.
- 6 November 1951 While conducting an intelligence gathering mission, later claimed to be a "weather reconnaissance mission under United Nations command", a US Navy P2V-3W Neptune (BuNo 124283 - not 124284 as listed in some sources) of VP-6 was shot down over the Sea of Japan, near Vladivostok, by Soviet La-11 Fangs flown by I. Ya. Lukashyev and M.K. Shchukin. The Soviet pilots reported that they intercepted the aircraft in the area of Cape Ostrovnoy approximately 7-8 miles from the shore. After they fired on the aircraft, it fell, burning, into the water and exploded 18 miles from the shore. The crew of Judd C. Hodgson, Sam Rosenfeld, Donald E. Smith, Reuben S. Baggett, Paul R. Foster, Erwin D. Raglin, Paul G. Juric, William S. Meyer, Ralph A. Wigert Jr. and Jack Lively were reported as missing.
- 18 November 1951 A US Air Force C-47 transport, with a crew of four, flying from Munich to Belgrade, became lost over Yugoslavia and entered Hungarian and then Romanian airspace. It was fired on by Hungarian and Romanian border guards and finally forced down by a MiG-15 Fagot piloted by Kalugin, near the Yugoslav frontier. One crew member, John J. Swift survived and was released shortly thereafter by the Romanians.
- 4 April 1952 A US Navy patrol bomber was damaged by gunfire from an unidentified trawler one hundred mile southeast of Shanghai People's Republic of China. On one was hurt and the plane returned safely to Taiwan.
- 13 June 1952 A US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress (44-61810) of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, based in Yokota Japan, was shot down by Soviet fighters over the Sea of Japan, 18 miles from the Soviet coast, near Hokkaido. Soviet MiG-15 Fagot pilots Fedotov and Proskurin reported intercepting the aircraft in the area of Valentin Bay, nine miles from the Soviet coastline. They reported that the RB-29 fired on the Soviet fighters, when intercepted. The Soviet pilots returned fire and the US plane descended, burst into flames and crashed into the water at a distance of about 18 miles from our coastline. Official US records state that the aircraft was on a classified surveillance mission of shipping activity over the Sea of Japan. The plane was followed by radar over the course of the flight until 1320 hours at which time the radar contact was lost. Empty life rafts were spotted by search aircraft the next day. Radio Moscow stated on June 16 stated that one officer survivor had been picked up by a Russian vessel about two days before. The name of the survivor was not given and efforts to confirm the report were unsuccessful. The crew of Sam Busch, Robert J. McDonnell, Roscoe G. Becker, Eddie R. Berg, Leon F. Bonura, William R. Homer, Samuel D. Service, James A. Sculley, William A. Blizzard, Miguel W. Monserrat , Danny Pillsbury and David L. Moore were all listed as missing, presumed dead.
- 16 June 1952 Soviet pilots N. Semernikov and I. Yatsenko-Kosenko shared in the downing of a Swedish PBY Catalina (Tp 47 47002) outside the island of Dagö. The PBY was looking for survivors of the Swedish SIGINT C-47 lost on June 13th. After taking hits in the fuselage and the engines the PBY was forced to land on the water with two of the crew of seven injured. The crew was rescued by a German merchant ship.
- 31 July 1952 While conducting a patrol mission, a US Navy PBM-5S2 Mariner (BuNo 59277), of VP-731, based from Iwakuni Japan, was attacked by two People's Republic of China MiG-15 Fagots over the Yellow Sea. Two crew members were killed and two were seriously wounded. The PBM suffered extensive damage, but was able to make it safely to Paengyong-do Korea.
- 20 September 1952 A US Navy PB4Y-2S Privateer, of VP-28, was attacked by two Chinese MiG-15 Fagots off the coast of the People's Republic of China. One of the PLAAF pilots was Zhongdao He. The USN aircraft was able to safely return to Naha, Okinawa.
- 7 October 1952 A US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress Sunbonnet King (44-61815) of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron was shot down over the Kurile Islands, between Yuri Island and Akiyuri Island, by two Soviet La-11 Fang fighters, flown by Alekseyevich Zhiryakov and Lesnov. The crew of eight, Eugene M. English, John R. Dunham, Paul E. Brock, Samuel A. Colgan, John A Hirsch, Thomas G. Shipp, Fred G. Kendrick and Frank E. Neail III, were all listed as missing, presumed dead. Soviet search and rescue units recovered the body of one crewman, John R. Dunham. His remains were initially buried on Yuri Island in the Kurile chain, but were returned to the US in the 1994.
- 8 October 1952 A US Air Force C-47 was fired on near Berlin Germany.
- 15 October 1952 A B-47 photo reconnaissance flight, authorized by President Truman and staged out of Eielson AFB, was flown over the Chukotsky Peninsula. It confirmed that the Soviets were developing Arctic staging bases on the peninsula from which their bombers could easily reach targets on the North American continent.
- 23 November 1952 A US Navy PB4Y-2S Privateer, of VP-28, was attacked, but not damaged, by a Chinese MiG-15 Fagot off of Shanghai People's Republic of China.
- 29 November 1952 A Civil Air Transport C-47 flying from Seoul South Korea, on a mission to pick up agent Li Chun-ying, was shot down in Jilin province, People's Republic of China. CAT pilots Robert Snoddy and Norman Schwartz were killed. CIA agents Richard Fectau and John Downey were captured and held in China until December 12, 1971 and March 12, 1973, respectively. In July 2002, the Chinese government allowed a US government team to search for Snoddy and Schwartz's bodies. This expedition brought back sufficient airplane remains to prompt a more in-depth archaeological dig in July 2004.
- 12 January 1953 A US Air Force B-29 Superfortress on a leaflet-dropping mission over Manchuria was shot down by a swarm of 12 enemy fighters. The plane was assigned to the 581st Air Resupply and Communications Wing and carried a crew of 14. After the attack, B-29 aircraft commander, John K. Arnold, ordered the crew to bail out. Unfortunately, three men died during the attack, but the other 11 parachuted to the ground, were captured and taken to China for interrogation and imprisonment. These men were not released until 1956.
- 18 January 1953 A US Navy P2V-5 Neptune (BuNo 127744) of VP-22, based at Atsugi Japan, was damaged by Chinese anti-aircraft fire near Swatow People's Republic of China, but was able to ditch in the Formosa Strait. Eleven of thirteen crewmen were rescued by a US Coast Guard PBM-5 Mariner, under fire from Chinese shore batteries on Nan Ao Tao island. Attempting to takeoff in 8-12 foot swells, the PBM crashed. Ten survivors out of nineteen total (including five from the P2V-5) were rescued by the destroyer USS Halsey Powell (DD 686). During the search effort a PBM-5 Mariner from VP-40 received fire from a small-caliber machine gun and the destroyer USS Gregory (DD 802) received fire from Chinese shore batteries. Dwight C. Angell, Ronald A. Beahm, Paul A. Morley, William F. McClure, Lloyd Smith and Clifford Byars were the P2V-5 crewmen reported lost.
- 6 March 1953 People's Republic of China PLAAF pilot Yaxiong He claimed to have shot down a US Navy F4U Corsair at Qianlidao in Qingdao.
- 10 March 1953 Two US Air Force F-84G Thunderjets of the 36 TFW, based in West Germany, crossed into Czechoslovakian airspace. They were intercepted by Czech MiG-15 Fagots and one F-84G was shot down by Jaroslav Sramek. The pilot ejected and survived.
- 15 March 1953 A US Air Force WB-50 Superfortress reconnaissance plane of the 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing was attacked by a pair of Soviet MiG-15 Fagots approximately 25 miles off the Kamchatka Peninsula, near Petropavlovsk. The WB-50 based at Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas, was temporarily operating from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, while assigned to the 15th WRS. After escorting the WB-50 for a short time, one Soviet pilot opened fire on the WB-50. WB-50 gunner Jesse Prim returned fire and the MiG pilot quickly broke off his attack and returned to his base.
- 22 March 1953 A US Air Force B-50 was attacked by Soviet MiG-15 Fagots.
- 23 April 1953 A US Navy P4M-1Q Mercator (BuNo 124369) piloted by Dick Renner and Mel Davidow, was attacked by two MiG-15 Fagots while flying off the Chinese coast near Shanghai. The MiGs made a several firing runs and the crew of the Mercator returned fire. The Mercator was not hit, and as far as the crew of the Mercator could tell, their return fire did not damage the MiGs. William Haskins, the radioman on this Mercator, was later killed in the downing of another Mercator on August 22 1956.
- 15 May 1953 A Soviet MiG-15 Fagot opened fire on a US Air Force WB-29 Superfortress off the Kamchatka Peninsula. The WB-29's gunners returned fire. There were no casualties.
- 16 June 1953 A Republic of China Air Force P-47N Thunderbolt (335) was shot down by People's Republic of China ground fire over Dongshan Island and the pilot was killed.
- 19 June 1953 A US Navy PBM-5S2 Mariner from VP-46 was fired on by People's Republic of China surface ships in the Formosa Strait. No damage was inflicted.
- 28 June 1953 A US Navy P2V-5 Neptune of VP-1 was fired on by People's Republic of China surface ships in the Formosa Strait. No damage was inflicted.
- 8 July 1953 A US Navy P2V-5 Neptune of VP-1 was fired on by antiaircraft artillery near Nantien People's Republic of China. No damage was inflicted.
- 21 July 1953 Two Chinese MiGs damaged a US Navy PBM-5 Mariner in an attack that took place over the Yellow Sea.
- 29 July 1953 An US Air Force RB-50G Superfortress (47-145) Little Red Ass of the 343rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, temporarily attached to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron based at Yokota Air Base, Japan, was shot down south of Askold Island near Vladivostok, by Soviet pilots Aleksandr D. Rybakov and Yuri M. Yablonskii, flying MiG-17 Frescos. The RB-50's tail gunner James E. Woods was able to fire a brief burst at the MiG-17s, but the fighters were able to avoid this fire and quickly downed the plane, shooting its left wing off. The co-pilot of the RB-50, John E. Roche, was the sole survivor of the 18 man crew, though as many as seven crew members might have successfully bailed out. After spending about 12 hours in the water, an SB-29 dropped an A-3 survival raft to Roche and the RB-50's pilot, Stanley K. O'Kelley. Roche was able to crawl into the survival raft, but O'Kelley succumbed to hypothermia. After another 10 hours in the survival raft, Roche was rescued by the USS Picking (DD 685). The remains of Stanley K. O'Kelley and Francis L. Brown were later recovered on the coast of Japan. The other crew, James G. Keith, Francisco J. Tejeda, Warren J. Sanderson, Robert E. Stalnaker, Lloyd C. Wiggins, Roland E. Goulet, Earl W. Radlein Jr., Charles J. Russell Jr., James E. Woods, John C. Ward, Edmund J. Czyz, Frank E. Beyer, Donald W. Gabree, Donald G. Hill and an unnamed Russian, were never found.
- 17 August 1953 A T-6 was shot down over the Korean demilitarized zone by North Korean ground fire. One crew member was killed and one survived.
- 2 October 1953 A US Navy PBM-5 Mariner of VP-50 was intercepted by two People's Republic of China MiG-15 Fagots 30 miles east of Tsingtao. The MiGs made twelve firing passes, but only hit the PBM twice in the tail with 37mm cannon shells. The crew was not injured and the aircraft returned safely to base.
- 7 November 1953 People's Republic of China PLAAF pilot Xicai Lin claimed to have shot down a US Navy PBM-5A Mariner at Qianlidao in Qingdao. This might have been BuNo 58152, reported lost over the Yellow Sea on November 10th with a crew of 14.
- 18 November 1953 A US Navy PBM-5 Mariner (BuNo 84747) of VP-50 picked up an unexpected tail wind while approaching Shanghai. The airplane got close to the coast of the People's Republic of China before the crew determined their position. After the aircraft turned away from the coast, it was jumped by 2 MiG-15 Fagots. Three firing passes were made but the PBM wasn't hit.
- 4 January 1954 A US Navy P2V-5 Neptune (BuNo 127752) of VP-2 departed NAS Iwakuni in Japan and headed toward the west coast of Korea. The flight continued north across the Korean DMZ, then along the North Korean coast to the coast of China before turning south. After reporting engine difficulties, the aircraft head towards the K-13 base at Suwan. The engine difficulties might have been a result of a hostile attack on the Neptune. The aircraft reached the vicinity of K-13 before crashing, possibly the result of an additional attack by a US Navy AD-4B Skyraider on night patrol. The crew of Jesse Beasley, Fredric Prael, Rex Claussen, Gordon Spicklemier, Lloyd Rensink, Bruce Berger, James Hand, Robert Archbold, Stanley Mulford and Paul Morelli were all killed.
- 27 January 1954 A US Air Force RB-45 Tornado flying over the Yellow Sea with an escort of F-86 Sabres was attacked by eight MiG-15 Fagots. One MiG was shot down by USAF pilot Bertram Beecroft.
- 21 March 1954 Two US Navy AD-4 Skyraiders, from VA-145 and VC-35 Det F, lauched from the USS Randolph (CVA 15) launched on a simulated strike mission against a West German airfield. They were attacked over or near the Czechoslovak border by a Czech MiG-15 Fagot. One AD-4 received damage to its tail.
- 9 April 1954: A US Navy P2V Neptune from VP-2 was attacked by a Chinese MiG-15 Fagot while on patrol over the Yellow Sea. The MiG made three firing passes and the crew of the Neptune returned fire. There was no apparent damage to either aircraft resulting from the encounter.
- 6 May 1954 One of a flight of six Civil Air Transport C-119 Flying Boxcars, flown by CIA pilots James B. Earthquake McGoon McGovern and Wallace A. Buford was hit twice by ground fire as it was about to drop ammunition to beleaguered French Foreign Legion troops at Diên Biên Phu Vietnam. The plane (tail number 149) staggered 75 miles southward into Laos and crashed near the Nam Het River. Besides the pilots, their were four French servicemen on board, Bataille, Rescouriou, Moussa and Jean Arlaux. Moussa and Jean Arlaux survived the crash, but Moussa died of his injuries several days later. Jean Arlaux was captured by Pathet Lao forces and finally released on October 13, 1954. Excavation at the crash site in December 2002 yielded the remains of one of the crew members.
- 8 May 1954 Three US Air Force RB-47E Stratojet reconnaissance planes took off from RAF Fairford in England. Two of the Stratojets flew as airborne spares and turned back before the overflight began. The remaining plane penetrated Soviet airspace near Murmansk. The plane flew over numerous Soviet air fields and naval facilities conducting photographic reconnaissance and making radar scope images of the various facilities. The RB-47E continued to Arkhangelsk before turning west and heading back to England. The USAF plane was intercepted by MiG fighters after being over Soviet territory for about 50 miles. Initially, MiG-15 Fagots were spotted, but a short time later a flight of MiG-17 Frescos appeared. The operational deployment of the MiG-17 was a significant surprise to the crew of the RB-47. When the MiG-17s climbed to approximately the same altitude as the reconnaissance plane (38,000 feet) they opened fire. The Soviet fighters each made single shooting passes at the USAF plane. The RB-47 was equipped with a tail gun controlled by the copilot and returned fire but did not hit any of the Soviet planes. One MiG was able to hit the Stratojet with several rounds and caused moderate damage to the wing and fuselage. Before the MiGs were able to shoot down the USAF plane, it crossed the border into Finland and the MiGs broke off the attack. However, during the attack the RB-47's fuel tanks were hit and the plane nearly ran out of fuel before it was met by a Boeing KC-97 tanker for in-flight refueling. The RB-47E landed safely in England a short time later.
- 8 May 1954 A US Air Force RB-47 Stratojet of the 51st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing flying a photo reconnaissance mission over the Northern USSR exchanged gunfire with MiG-17 Frescos. The RB-47 was lightly damaged, but the crew of Hal Austin, Carl Holt and Vance Heavilin got home safely.
- 22 July 1954 A Cathay Pacific Airways DC-4 (VR-HEU) on a flight from Bangkok Thailand to Hong Kong, was shot down by People's Republic of China La-9 Fritz fighters near Hainan island, China. Of the 18 people on board (including 6 Americans), 10 were killed and 8 survived.
- 26 July 1954 Two US Navy AD-4 Skyraiders from VF-54, piloted by William Alexander and John Zarious,were launched from the USS Philippine Sea (CVA 47) to look for survivors from the Cathay Pacific DC-4 shot down four days previously. They were attacked by two Chinese La-7 Fins. A number of other VF-54 AD-4 Skyraiders and a F4U-5N Corsair of VC-3 came to the aid of the USN aircraft. One La-7 was shot down by AD-4 pilots Roy Tatham and Richard Cooks. The other LA-7 was shot down by AD-4 pilots John Damien, John Rochford, Paul Wahlstrom and Richard Ribble and the F4U-5N pilot Edgar Salsig. A Chinese gunboat also fired upon the US aircraft, but no damage was sustained. 1
- 2 August 1954 Two US training planes were shot down over Czechoslovakia. The pilots were captured and held for several months.
- 4 September 1954 A US Navy P2V-5 of VP-19, operating from NAS Atsugi Japan was attacked 40 miles off the coast of Siberia by two Soviet MiG-15 Fagots. The aircraft ditched and one crew member, Roger H. Reid was lost. The other crew members, John B. Wayne, John C. Fischer, William A. Bedard, Frank E. Petty, Anthony P. Granera, Texas R. Stone, Paul R. Mulmollem, Ernest L. Pinkevich and David A. Atwell were rescued by a US Air Force SA-16 amphibian.
- 7 November 1954 A US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress, Ivanov, Kucheryaev and Viktor Lopatkov. The C-130 was a Sun Valley SIGINT aircraft. The remains of John E. Simpson, Rudy J. Swiestra, Edward J. Jeruss and Ricardo M. Vallareal were returned to the US on September 24, 1958. The remains of the other crew members, Paul E. Duncan, George P. Petrochilos, Arthur L. Mello, Leroy Price, Robert J. Oshinskie, Archie T. Bourg Jr., James E. Fergueson, Joel H. Fields, Harold T. Kamps, Gerald C. Maggiacomo, Clement O. Mankins, Gerald H. Medeiros and Robert H. Moore were recovered in 1998.
- 24 September 1958 Republic of China Air Force F-86 Sabre pilots Jing-Chuen Chen, Chun-Hsein Fu, Jie-Tsu Hsia, Shu-Yuen Li, Ta-Peng Ma, Hong-Yan Sung and Yi-Chiang Chien each shot down one People's Republic of China PLAAF MiG-17 Fresco, except Chien, who shot down two. Tasi-Chuen Liu shared a MiG-17 with Tang Jie-Min and Hsin-Yung Wang shared a MiG-17 with Yuen-Po Wang. In this air battle, one of the AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles fired by the F-86s hit a MiG-17, but its warhead did not explode. The MiG-17 recovered safely to its base and the missile was safely extracted. The missile was delivered to the Soviet Union and from there was sent to the Toropov engineering office to be copied. The end product of this process being the K-13 (AA-2 Atoll), long the most prolific Soviet air-to-air missile.
- 31 October 1958 A US Air Force RB-47 Stratojet was attacked by Soviet fighters over the Black Sea. The crew of three were not injured and the aircraft returned safely to base.
- 7 November 1958 A US Air Force RB-47 Stratojet was attacked by Soviet fighters, east of Gotland Island over the Baltic Sea. The crew of three were not injured and the aircraft returned safely to base.
- 17 November 1958 A US Air Force RB-47 Stratojet was attacked over the Sea of Japan by Soviet fighters. The crew of three were not injured and the aircraft returned safely to base.
- 30 May 1959 A UN operated C-47 was intercepted by Mystere IVA fighters of the 109 Squadron of the Israel Air Force and forced to land at Lod airport in Israel.
- 16 June 1959 While flying a patrol mission over the Sea of Japan, a US Navy P4M-1Q of VQ-1 (BuNo 122209) was attacked 50 miles east of the Korean DMZ by two North Korean MiG-17 Frescos. During the attack, the aircraft sustained serious damage to the starboard engine and the tail gunner was seriously wounded. The aircraft made it safely back to Miho AFB Japan.
- 1 May 1960 A CIA Lockheed U-2C (Article 360, 56-6693), flown by Francis Gary Powers from Peshawar Pakistan, was shot down by an SA-2 Guideline missile, near Sverdlovsk, USSR. Recent evidence says that Powers was shot down by the first of three missiles fired by a battery commanded by Mikhail Voronov. A Soviet MiG-19 Farmer pilot, Sergei Safronov, was shot down and killed by another SA-2 Guideline fired later in the incident. Powers bailed out and parachuted to safety. He was then taken captive and later tried in a Soviet court. After serving some time in prison, he was released, in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel on February 10th, 1962 in Berlin.
- 25 May 1960 A US Air Force C-47 was forced to land in East Germany by Soviet MiGs. The nine crew members were held captive until July 19th 1960.
- 1 July 1960 A US Air Force ERB-47H Stratojet (53-4281) of the 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, flying over the Barents Sea was downed by Soviet pilot Vasili Poliakov, flying a MiG-15 Fagot. Co-pilot Bruce Olmstead and navigator John McKone survived and were taken captive. The pilot, Bill Palm and ELINT operators Eugene Posa, Oscar Goforth and Dean Phillips were killed. Olmstead and McKone were released from Soviet captivity on January 25th, 1961. Bill Palm's remains were returned to the US on July 25, 1960. Eugene Posa's remains were recovered by the Soviets, but never returned to the US.
- 4 March 1961 Cuban pilot Rafael del Pino Diaz, flying a T-33, shot down a US Beechcraft AT-11.
- 17 April 1961 Cuban Hawker Sea Fury pilots Douglas Rudd Mole and Enrique Carreras Rojas and T-33 pilots Alvaro Prendes Quantana, Alberto Fernandez, Rafael del Pino Diaz, each shot down a CIA B-26C Invader operating in the Bay of Pigs invasion.
- 18 April 1961 Cuban T-33 pilot Alvaro Prendes Quantana shot down a CIA B-26C Invader operating in the Bay of Pigs invasion.
- 19 April 1961 Cuban T-33 pilots Alvaro Prendes Quantana and Enrique Carreras Rojas, each shot down a CIA B-26C Invader operating in the Bay of Pigs invasion.
- 20 April 1961 A US aircraft was fired on by North Korean aircraft. The pilot was killed when the aircraft crashed while attempting an emergency landing south of Seoul.
- 5 December 1961 US Air Force F-102s out of Galena Alaska made the first intercept of a Soviet aircraft in Alaskan air space, a Soviet Tu-16 Badger.
- 28 May 1962 In Operation Coldfeet, Maj. James Smith, USAF and Lt. Leonard A. LeSchack, USNR parachuted from CIA B-17G N809Z (44-83785 c/n32426) into the abandoned Soviet arctic ice station NP 8. After searching the station, they were retrieved using a Fulton Skyhook system installed on the B-17, piloted by Connie Seigrist and Douglas Price, on June 1st.
- 1 August 1962 A Republic of China Air Force RB-69A was shot down over People's Republic of China, killing the crew of thirteen.
- 24 September 1962 A US Air Force RB-47H, piloted by John Drost, was intercepted over the Baltic Sea by a Soviet MiG-19 Farmer.
- 27 October 1962 A US Air Force U-2A (Article 343, 56-6676) of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, piloted by Rudolf Anderson, was shot down by a SA-2 Guideline missile over Cuba. Anderson was killed when shrapnel punctured his pressure suit, causing the suit to decompress at altitude, after the cockpit has already decompressed. He was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross.
- 4 November 1962 A Russian-flown MiG-21 Fishbed intercepted two US Air Force F-104C Starfighters from the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing on a reconnaissance sortie near Santa Clara Cuba, but the F-104s disengaged and retired northward.
- May 1963 Soviet MiG-17F Fresco pilot Steapnov, of the 156th IAP, shot down an Imperial Iranian Air Force Aerocommander 560. The IIAF crew members and a Colonel of the US Special Forces, were all killed.
- 17 May 1963 A US Army OH-23 Raven helicopter was shot down over the Korean demilitarized zone. The crew of two were captured and not returned until a year later.
- 14 June 1963 A Republic of China Air Force RB-69A was shot down near Nanchang People's Republic of China, killing the crew of fourteen. The aircraft was shot down by a PLAAF MiG-17PF Fresco.
- 19 July 1963 A Mirage IIICJ of the Israel Air Force 101 Squadron, piloted by Joe Aloni (Placek), forced a USAF RB-57 overflying Israel to land at Lod Airport. The RB-57 was released after the US government apologized for a "navigational error".
- 6 August 1963 A US Army "LT" was lost over North Korea.
- 20 November 1963 US Air Force U-2 (Article 350, 56-6683) crashed off the southwest coast of Florida while returning from Cuban overflight. Pilot Joe Hyde was killed.
- 24 January 1964 A US Air Force T-39 Sabreliner, based in Weisbaden West Germany, was shot down by a Soviet fighter over Thuringia, about 60 miles inside East Germany while on a training flight. The crew of three, Gerald Hannaford, John Lorraine and Donald Millard were killed.
- 10 March 1964 A US Air Force RB-66 Destroyer from the 10 TRW, based at Toul-Rosieres France, was shot down over East Germany by Soviet MiGs. The aircraft was shot down near Gardelegen, after straying out of one of the Berlin air corridors. The three crew members, David Holland, Melvin Kessler and Harold Welch parachuted to safety and were released several days later.
- 14 November 1964 A US Air Force aircraft was attacked over the Korean DMZ. 1964-1965 A CIA operated P-3 Orion (149669, 149673 or 149678) is rumored to have shot down a MiG over the People's Republic of China with a AIM-9 Sidewinder missile. These three P-3s conducted low-level nocturnal intelligence gathering missions over the PRoC.
- March 1965 While flying over the People's Republic of China, Republic of China Air Force U-2 pilot "Charlie" Wu Tse Shi, was intercepted by a MiG-21 Fishbed in a zoom climb. The MiG fired two missiles which missed.
- 27 April 1965 A US Air Force ERB-47H Stratojet of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (43290), was damaged in an attack by two North Korean MiG-17 Frescos over the Sea of Japan. The B-47s tail gunner returned fire, possibly shooting down one MiG-17. The B-47 made an emergency landing at Yokota AB Japan, with two engines inoperative and severe structural damage. The crew of Hobart Mattison, Henry E. Dubuy, Robert J. Rogers, Robert C. Winters, George V. Back and one other crew member, escaped injury.
- 18 May 1965 A US Army aircraft was shot down by North Korean ground fire.
- 11 September 1965 A US Air Force RB-57F, operated by Pakistan Air Force 24th Squadron, was damaged by an SA-2 Guideline missile over India while it was beginning its descent towards Peshawar from Ambala. The missile exploded near the RB-57F, causing extensive structural damage, but the aircraft was able to make a successful forced landing at Peshawar. The aircraft was repaired by Pakistan and later returned to the USA.
- 14 December 1965 A US Air Force RB-57F of the 7407 Support Squadron at Wiesbaden West Germany, was lost over the Black Sea, near Odessa. Pilot Lester L. Lackey and crew member Robert Yates were presumed killed. Recent investigations indicate that there might not have been any Soviet activity related to this loss. The crew probably perished from an oxygen system failure, since it took over an hour for the aircraft to spiral down from altitude and fall into the Black Sea. After 7 or 8 days spent searching for the aircraft, only small bits and pieces of wreckage were ever found.
- 1967 A US Air Force ERB-47H Stratojet of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, flying over Iran, near the Soviet border, was reported to have been hit by a Soviet surface-to-air missile. The damaged aircraft managed to reach the mountains north of Tehran, but crashed before being able to land, killing the entire crew.
- 25 May 1968 A Soviet Tu-16 Badger buzzed a group of US Navy vessels, including the USS Essex (CVS-9), off the coast of northern Norway. Shortly after passing low over the Essex, the Soviet bomber banked and one wing tip hit the sea. The plane then cartwheeled and exploded. There were no survivors.
- 1 July 1968 A Seaboard World Airlines DC-8 carrying 214 US troops to Vietnam, from McChord Air Force Base, Washington, via Yokota Air Force Base, Japan was forced to land on Etoforu Island in the Kuril Island chain by Soviet fighters. Pilot Joseph Tosolini was warned by a Japan Self-Defense Force radar site on the northern island of Hokkaido that he had strayed off course and was headed for the Soviet Union. The warning came too late, as the aircraft had already been intercepted by MiGs flown by Yu.B. Alexandrov, V.A. Igonin, I.F. Evtoshenko and I.K. Moroz. A day later, after the Soviets received an apology for the incident, the aircraft and passengers were released.
- 15 March 1969 A US helicopter, evacuating wounded from a firefight in the Korean DMZ crashed, killing 5 crewmen, 2 US infantrymen and a South Korean infantryman.
- 15 April 1969 While flying a patrol mission over the Sea of Japan, a US Navy EC-121M of VQ-1 (BuNo 135749) was attacked and shot down by two North Korean MiG-17 Fresco fighters 90 miles off the coast of Korea. All 31 crew members, James H. Overstreet, James L. Roach, John Dzema, John H. Potts, Dennis B. Gleason, Louis F. Balderman, Peter P. Perrottet, Richard H. Kincaid, John H. Singer, Dennis J. Horrigan, Robert F. Taylor, Frederick A. Randall, Robert J. Sykora, Stephen J. Tesmer, Norman E. Wilkerson, Hugh M. Lynch, Marshall H. McNamara, Gene K. Graham, Laverne A. Greiner, David M. Willis, Richard E. Smith, Gary R. Ducharme, Ballard F. Connors Jr., John A. Miller Jr., Stephen C. Chartier, Philip D. Sundby, Bernie J. Colgin, Richard Prindle, Timothy H. McNeil, Richard E. Sweeney and Joseph R. Ribar, were all killed in the attack. Two bodies and some wreckage was recovered by search vessels.
- 5 June 1969 A US Air Force RC-135E (62-4137) on a Rivet Amber mission disappeared with its 19-man crew while on a flight from Shemya AFB to Eielson AFB. Structural failure associated with the fuselage radome appears to be the likely cause of this loss.
- 17 August 1969 A US Army OH-23 Raven of the 59th Aviation Company was shot down over the Korean demilitarized zone. The crew, Malcolm Loepke, Herman Hofstatter and one other, were captured by the North Koreans and released 108 days later.
- 1 October 1970 A US Army helicopter was fired on by North Korean gun positions along the Korean DMZ. 21 October 1970 A US Air Force U-8 was lost over the USSR (Armenia). The crew of 4 were all rescued.
- 17 November 1970 A US Air Force KC-135R Briar Patch, piloted by James W. Jones, was intercepted by Soviet MiG-17 Frescos, while conducted a SIGINT flight over international waters near Vaygach Island. One of the MiG-17s fired warning shots, but the KC-135R ignored them and continued on its mission. The MiGs continued to escort the KC-135R, but did not fire on it again. 1971 A US Air Force C-130 Hercules was reported to have crashed near the Soviet border, in Iran.
- 4 October 1973 A Soviet Tu-16 Badger overflew the USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) in the Norwegian Sea. While attempting to escort the bomber away from the area, a US Navy F-4 Phantom II collided with it. The Tu-16 safely returned to its base and the F-4 landed at Bodø Norway.
- 27 February 1974 A Soviet An-24 Coke reconnaissance aircraft, low on fuel, made an emergency landing at Gambell Airfield in Alaska. The crew remained on the aircraft overnight and were provided with space heaters and food. The next day they were refueled and departed for home.
- 9 May 1974 Two US helicopters received North Korean ground fire along the Injin River.
- 14 July 1977 A US Army CH-47 Chinook was downed over the Korean demilitarized zone by a North Korean MiG-21 Fishbed. The CH-47's pilot was captured and the other three crew members, Robert Haynes, Joesph Miles and Ronald Wells, were killed. The pilot was released after 57 hours of captivity.
- 16 September 1980 As many as 15 Libyan fighters intercepted US Air Force RC-135U Combat Sent (64-14847) of the 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing over the Gulf of Sidra. Accounts differ as to whether the Libyan fighters open fire on the aircraft before being chased away by US Navy fighters.
- 19 August 1981 US Navy F-14A Tomcats, of VF-41, flown by Henry Kleeman (RIO David Venlet) and Lawrence Muczynski (RIO James Anderson), flying from the USS Nimitz, each shot down a Libyan Su-22 Fitter over the Gulf of Sidra.
- 28 May 1987 West Germany 19-year old private pilot Mathias Rust flew a rented Cessna 172 Skyhawk (D-ECJB) from Helsinki, Finland to Moscow, and landed in Red Square. He wasn't shot down because the two Soviet interceptor pilots who were shadowing him were reluctant to open fire on the small plane. After serving 18 months in a Soviet prison, Rust was released. Soviet Air-defense commander Koldunov was removed from his position because of this incident.
- 4 January 1989 US Navy F-14A Tomcats, of VF-32, flown by Joseph Connelly (RIO Leo Enwright) and Hermon Cook (RIO Steven Collins), flying from the USS John F. Kennedy, each shot down a Libyan MiG-23 Flogger over the Gulf of Sidra.
- 4 July 1989 A Soviet MiG-23 Flogger, piloted by Colonel Skurigin, took off from an airbase near Kolobzreg on the coast of the Baltic Sea in Poland, on a training flight. After take-off the pilot realized he was losing engine power. The pilot ejected and landed safely by parachute. The engine then regained power and the aircraft flew away to the West, guided by the autopilot. The fighter left the airspace of the East Germany and entered West German airspace where it was intercepted by a pair of USAF F-15s. The F-15s were denied permission to fire on the MiG and had to let it fly away. Eventually, after flying 900 km, the MiG-23 ran out of fuel and crashed into a house near Kortrijk, Belgium. An 18-year old man in the house was killed.
- 24 April 1992 Peruvian Su-22 Fitters attacked a USAF C-130H Hercules of the 310th Airlift Squadron injuring six of the fourteen crew members. Crew member Joseph C. Beard, Jr., was sucked from the cabin at 18,500 feet and Ronald Hetzel sustained severe injuries.
- reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by Soviet fighters, flown by Kostin and Seberyakov, near Hokkaido Island in northern Japan. The plane carrying a crew of eleven was conducting routine photographic reconnaissance near Hokkaido and the southern most of the disputed Kuril islands. The plane was attacked and seriously damaged, forcing the crew to bail out. Ten crewmen were successfully rescued after landing in the sea; however, the eleventh man drowned when he became entangled in his parachute lines after landing.
- 19 January 1955 A US Army L-20 Beaver was shot down by North Korean fire over the Korean demilitarized zone and the crew of two were killed.
- 5 February 1955 A US Air Force RB-45 Tornado of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron was attacked over the Yellow Sea, 40 miles W of Pyongyang, by two North Korean or Chinese MiG-15 Fagots. An air battle involving eight USAF F-86 Sabres and twelve MiG-15s followed. Two MiGs were shot down by USAF F-86 Sabres flown by Charles Salmon and George Williams, who were escorting the RB-45.
- 9 February 1955 While flying an antisubmarine patrol mission from the USS Wasp (CVA 18), a AD-5W Skyraider of VC-11 Det H sustained damage from Chinese antiaircraft artillery. The AD-5W was covering the evacuation of Chinese Nationalists from the Tachen islands. The aircraft ditched and the three man crew was rescued by Nationalist Chinese patrol boats.
- February 1955 A US Navy P2V sustained wing damage after it was fired upon by People's Republic of China antiaircraft artillery, while over the Formosa Strait.
- 17 April 1955 Soviet MiG-15 Fagot pilots Korotkov and Sazhin shared in the downing of a US Air Force RB-47E Stratojet of the 4th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, flying from Eielson AFB, near Kamchatka. The crew of Lacie C. Neighbors, Robert N. Brooks and Richard E. Watkins Jr. were all presumed killed.
- 10 May 1955 Eight US Air Force F-86 Sabres were attacked by twelve People's Republic of China PLAAF MiGs off the Korean coast. One F-86 Sabre was claimed to be shot down by PLAAF pilot Xizhong Ni at Dagushan in Liaoning. USAF pilots Robert Fulton and Burt Phythyon claimed to have each shot down a PLAAF MiG-15 Fagot on the same day, 50 miles SW of Sinuiju.
- 22 June 1955 A US Navy P2V-5 Neptune of VP-9 (BuNo 131515), flying a patrol mission from Kodiak Alaska, was attacked over the Bering Strait by two Soviet MiG-15 Fagots. The aircraft crash-landed on St. Lawrence Island after an engine was set afire. Of the eleven crew members, including pilot Richard F. Fischer, co-pilot David M. Lockhard, Donald E. Sonnek, Thaddeus Maziarz, Martin E. Berg, Eddie Benko, David Assard and Charles Shields, four sustained injuries due to gunfire and six were injured during the landing. The USA demanded $724,947 in compensation; the USSR finally paid half this amount.
- 27 July 1955 An El Al Airlines Lockheed 049 Constellation (4X-AKC), flight 426, flying from London to Tel Aviv, via Vienna and Istanbul, strayed into Bulgarian airspace, likely due to strong winds in very bad weather. The aircraft was being flown by Pilot Stanley Hinks, First Officer Pini Ben-Porat, Flight Engineer Sidney Chalmers and Radio Operator Raphael Goldman. The aircraft was intercepted in early morning darkness at 17,500 feet by Bulgarian MiG-15 Fagot fighters, flown by Boris Vasilev Petrov and Konstantin Krumov Sankiyski, and was shot down near Petrich, Bulgaria. The aircraft crashed near the Strumitza River, close to the Yugolsav and Greek borders in southwestern Bulgaria. All fifty-one passengers and seven crew members aboard were killed, including six American nationals.
- 18 August 1955 A US Air Force LT-6 utility/training aircraft was shot down by North Korean ground fire after the aircraft inadvertently overflew the DMZ into North Korea. The pilot was wounded and the observer was killed. The body of the observer and the pilot were returned by the North Koreans on August 23, 1955.
- 22 August 1956 While on a patrol mission from Iwakuni Japan, a US Navy P4M-1Q Mercator of VQ-1 (BuNo 124362) disappeared after a nighttime attack by People's Republic of China PLAAF pilot Zhongwen Song, 32 miles off the coast of Wenchow China and 180 miles north of Formosa. There were no survivors of the 16 crew members. The bodies of two crew members, James Ponsford and Albert Mattin, and some wreckage were recovered by the USS Dennis J. Buckley (DDR 808). The bodies of two other crew members, Jack Curtis and William Haskins, were recovered by the Chinese and returned to the US. The remains of the other crew members, Donald Barber,Warren Caron, James Deane, Francis Flood, William Humbert, Milton Hutchinson, Harold Lounsbury, Carl Messinger, Wallace Powell, Donald Sprinkle, Leonard Strykowsky and Lloyd Young, were never found.
- 10 September 1956 A US Air Force RB-50G Superfortress was lost over the Sea of Japan. The crew of 16, Lorin C. Disbrow, Raymond D. Johnson, Rodger A. Fees, Paul W. Swinehart, William J. McLauglin, Theodorus J. Trias, Pat P. Taylor, John E. Beisty, Peter J. Rahaniotes, William H. Ellis, Richard T. Kobayashi, Wayne J. Fair, Palmer D. Arrowood, Harry S. Maxwell Jr., Bobby R. Davis and Leo J. Sloan, were all presumed to be killed. It is suspected that the aircraft was lost due to a powerful storm, Typhoon Emma, which was in the area.
- 4 October 1956 People's Republic of China PLAAF pilot Zhao De An shot down a Republic of China Air Force F-84 over Shantou.
- 12 June 1957 Four US Navy AD-6 Skyraiders from VA-145 launched from the USS Hornet (CVA 12) and overflew the coast of the People's Republic of China. They encountered antiaircraft fire and one aircraft sustained slight damage.
- 23 December 1957 A T-33, with one crew member on board, was lost over Albania.
- 24 December 1957 A US Air Force RB-57 was shot down over the Black Sea by Soviet fighters.
- 6 March 1958 A US Air Force F-86 Sabre fighter was shot down by AAA fire over North Korea when it accidentally flew across the DMZ into North Korea. The pilot bailed out and was returned uninjured by North Korea.
- 18 May 1958 Indonesian Air Force (Angatan Udara Republik Indonesia or AURI) F-51D Mustang pilot Ignatius Dewanto shot down a Civil Air Transport B-26B Invader (44-35221) that had already been damaged by anti-aircraft fire. The B-26 had just bombed the Ambon Island airstrip in the Moluccas, in support of a revolt in Sulawesi aimed at overthrowing the President Sukarno. The CIA pilot, Allen Pope and his navigator Harry Rantung, were captured by Indonesian forces. Pope was held captive for nineteen months before being brought to trial in a military court. He was accused of six bombing raids that killed twenty-three Indonesians, including seventeen members of the Indonesian armed forces. Pope was found to be guilty and sentenced to death. The death penalty was not carried out and he was released in 1962.
- 27 June 1958 A US Air Force C-118, reportedly on a regular supply flight from Wiesbaden West Germany to Karachi Pakistan, via Cyprus and Iran, crossed the Soviet border near Yerevan Armenia. Soviet MiG-17P Fresco pilots G.F. Svetlichnikov and B.F. Zakharov shot the aircraft down 30 km south of Yerevan. Five crew members parachuted to safety and four other survived the crash landing on a half-finished airstrip. The crew of Dale D. Brannon, Luther W. Lyles, Robert E. Crans, Bennie A. Shupe, James T. Kane, James N. Luther, James G. Holman, Earl H. Reamer and Peter N. Sabo were captured and later released by the Soviets on July 7, 1958. This aircraft was reported to be the personal aircraft of Allen Dulles, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The C-118 had carried senior CIA aides to Europe on an inspection trip, and it was in Turkey when it was diverted.
- 26 July 1958 A US Air Force RB-47, flying from Iran, was intercepted by Soviet fighters over the Caspian Sea 130 miles east-southeast of Astara. The RB-47 evaded the fighters and fled to safety.
- 2 September 1958 A US Air Force C-130A Hercules (60-528) of the 7406 CSS, flying from Adana Turkey, was shot down near Sasnashen, Soviet Armenia, about 55 kilometers northwest of the Armenian capital of Yerevan by Soviet MiG-17 Fresco pilots Gavrilov
Following credit to Military.com
(Source: Scott AFB Retiree Activities Office, web site) Appendix R.4b US WARS/CONFLICTS COLD WAR COMBAT CHRONOLOGY (1945 ? 1991)
American Lives Sacrificed
- IRON CURTAIN : EUROPE 1944 Nov 7 Yugoslavia: First Hostile Encounter of Cold War. Incident at Nis. P-38s from U.S. 82nd Fighter Group squadrons mistakenly attack a Soviet column, killing 31 Soviet soldiers on the ground. They then shoot down 3 Soviet fighters. 2 U.S. pilots KIA.
- 1945 May 8 - Nov 30 Czechoslovakia: U.S. troops, peaking at 22,023 in September, face off against the Soviets along a 266-mile demarcation line in Bohemia.
- May 23 - Jun 14 Yugoslavia Border: U.S. 85th ID moves into the Italian province of Venezia Giulia along the Morgan Line to counterbalance the Communist Yugoslavian 4th Army. It remains on 23-day alert status. 91st, 34th and 10th Mountain divisions also serve in the area.
- Oct 3 Yugoslavia Border: 88th ID takes over U.S. sector of Morgan Line.
- Dec 23 Germany ? Berlin: 2 GIs of 78th ID are killed near Tempelhof Airport.
- Dec 24 Yugoslavia Border: 1 GI of Co. E, 349th IR killed by Yugoslav partisans.
- 1946 Feb 9 Soviet Union: Stalin effectively declares on the West. He does so in a Moscow speech.
- Feb 10 Czechoslovakia: 12 Americans infiltrate on intelligence mission - 3 are captured and held for 21 days. 1 GI of 126th Combat Engineer Bn. earns Soldiers Medal for heroism.
- Mar 3 Germany ? Berlin: 1 Army ordnance officer is killed by Soviet sentry.
- Jul 12 Yugoslavia Border: Firefight at Ursina 8-man squad from L Co., 351st IR, is ambushed. U.S: 0 Yugoslavs: 2 KIA.
- Jul 16 Yugoslavia Border: 1 GI is killed along a road from Trieste by Yugoslav Partisans.
- Aug 9 Yugoslavia Border - Ljubljana: U.S. C-47 transport is forced down by Yugoslav aircraft: 7 airmen briefly held captive. B-17s begin flying the route, with gunners ordered to "shoot if interfered with." B-17 flights end Oct. 23. ~ From Military.com
It is estimated 22 million former, current military, Department of Defense Civilian, Intelligence, Foreign Service, and United States employees faithfully performed their Cold War duties.
These are estimates of Cold War Casualties: 400,000 were exposed to toxins, and 59% died due to exposure. A Department of Defense investigation reports 3,500+ United States Army personel died of gun shot wounds, fragmentation & rocket propelled grenades, car & truck bomb blasts (1965-75; and numerous friendly fire incidents.
Of 15 incidents involving U.S. Aircraft: 364 american pilots shot down, 187 recovered alive, 36 recovered dead, 123 pilots missing, 269 civilians missing, and the U.S. Government has not revealed their fates to their next of kin.
The following information is Copyrighted 2002 by The Associated Press. " COLD WAR 2 September 1945 - 21 August 1991 Participants: Classified: POWs: Classified: MIAs: 343: Deaths In Service: Classified: Deaths In Service: 407,316
It's known 124 U.S. soldiers are listed missing in action from 10 separate Cold War Covert Operations during the War.
USSR Several Hundred: It's hard to estimate how many Died In Captivity resulting from former USSR's actions in transporting U.S. POWs to Soviet bloc nations during and immediately after WW II, Korea and SEA.
There is no doubt some unnaccounted-for US POW-MIAs ended up in Soviet Gulags, Psychiatric hospitals and third-party nations such as Czechoslovakia.
We know several hundred men were interrogated by the Soviets, interrogation reports are present, but men never returned.
Cold War: We have no reporting on those who Died In Captivity that is reliable or would meet POW medal requirements that we are aware of. Most Cold War losses went unacknowledged until a decade or so ago.
We still have classified cases. There is evidence a number of Cold War losses fell into adversarial hands and ultimately died, and we just have no way of knowing who at this time.
The Memorial Wall is located in the Original Headquarters Building lobby
on the north wall. There are 90 stars
carved into the white Vermont marble
each one representing an employee who died in the line of service.
Paramilitary officers of the CIA's Special Activities Division
comprise the majority of those memorialized.
A black Moroccan goatskin-bound book, called the "Book of Honor," sits in a steel frame beneath the stars, its "slender case jutting out from the wall just below the field of stars," and is "framed in stainless steel and topped by an inch-thick plate of glass." Inside it shows the stars, arranged by year of death and, when possible, lists the names of employees who died in CIA service alongside them. The identities of the unnamed stars remain secret, even in death. In 1997, there were 70 stars, 29 of which had names. There were 79 stars in 2002,  83 in 2004, and 90 in 2009.
The Wall bears the inscription IN HONOR OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY in gold block letters. The Wall is flanked by the flag of the United States on the left and a flag bearing the CIA seal on the right.
Adding new stars
When new names are added to the Book of Honor, stone carver Tim Johnston of Carving and Restoration Team in Manassas, Virginia adds a new star to the Wall. Johnston learned the process of creating the stars from the original sculptor of the Wall, Harold Vogel, who created the first 31 stars and the Memorial Wall inscription when the Wall was created in July 1974. The wall was "first conceived as a small plaque to recognize those from the CIA who died in Southeast Asia, the idea quickly grew to a memorial for Agency employees who died in the line of duty." The process used by Johnson to add a new star is as follows:
Johnston creates a star by first tracing the new star on the wall using a template. Each star measures 2¼ inches tall by 2¼ inches wide and half an inch deep; all the stars are six inches apart from each other, as are all the rows. Johnston uses both a pneumatic air hammer and a chisel to carve out the traced pattern. After he finishes carving the star, he cleans the dust and sprays the star black, which as the star ages, fades to gray.
The Honor and Merit Awards Board (HMAB) recommends approval of candidates to be listed on the wall to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA states that "Inclusion on the Memorial Wall is awarded posthumously to employees who lose their lives while serving their country in the field of intelligence. Death may occur in the foreign field or in the United States. Death must be of an inspirational or heroic character while in the performance of duty; or as the result of an act of terrorism while in the performance of duty; or as an act of premeditated violence targeted against an employee, motivated solely by that employee's Agency affiliation; or in the performance of duty while serving in areas of hostilities or other exceptionally hazardous conditions where the death is a direct result of such hostilities or hazards." After approval by the director, the Office of Protocol arranges for a new star to be placed on the Wall.
People honored on the Memorial Wall
- Douglas Mackiernan - the first CIA employee to be killed in the line of duty and the first star on the wall. Mackiernan had worked for the State Department in China since 1947. When the People's Republic of China was established at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the State Department ordered that the Tihwa (Ürümqi) consulate where Mackiernan was stationed at vice consul to be closed, and personnel were to leave the country immediately. Mackiernan, however, was ordered to stay behind, destroy crytographic equipment, monitor the situation, and aid anti-communist Nationalists. Mackiernan fled south toward India after most escape routes were cut off, along with Frank Bessac, an American Fulbright Scholar who was in Tihwa, and three White Russians. Although Mackiernan and his party survived the Taklamakan Desert and Himalayas, Mackiernan was shot by Tibetan border guards, probably because they mistook them as Communist infiltrators. Although Mackiernan's death was reported on the front cover of the New York Times at the time of his death and his name appears on a plaque in the State Department lobby, the CIA did not reveal his service, because he was operating under diplomatic cover. His star was acknowledged to family members in a secret memorial ceremony at the Wall in 2000 but remained officially undisclosed until 2006, when his name was placed into the CIA's Book of Honor.
- James J. McGrath - A native of Middletown, Connecticut, McGrath died following an accident while working on a high-power German transmitter in January 1957. His star was placed on the wall in 2007.
- Stephen Kasarda, Jr. - A native of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Kasarda died in 1960 while stationed in Southeast Asia. He was working with air supply missions being flown into Tibet.
- Rachel A. Dean - Dean was a native of Stanardsville, Virginia who joined the CIA as a young support officer in January 2005. She died in a car accident in September 2006 while on temporary duty in Kazakhstan.
- Matthew Gannon - Gannon was the CIA's deputy station chief in Beirut, Lebanon and was one of at least four American intelligence officers aboard the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103, sitting in Clipper Class seat 14J, when it was blown apart.
- Tucker Gougelmann - Gougelmann was a Paramilitary Operations Officer from the CIA's Special Activities Division who worked in the CIA from 1949 to 1972, serving in Europe, Afghanistan, Korea, and Vietnam. Gougelmann returned to Saigon in spring 1975 after North Vietnam had launched a major offensive in an attempt to secure exit visas for loved ones. He missed his final flight out of Saigon, and was captured by the North Vietnamese, who tortured him for 11 months before he died. Gougelmann was honored with a Memorial Star after the criteria for inclusion on the Wall was broadened and after "It was determined that although Gougelmann did not die in the line of duty while employed by CIA, his past affiliation with the Agency led to his death."
- Four CIA Lockheed U-2 pilots who died in plane crashes - Wilburn S. Rose (d. May 15, 1956), Frank G. Grace (d. August 31, 1956), Howard Carey (d. September 17, 1956), and Eugene "Buster" Edens (d. April 1965). Rose, Grace, Carey, and Edens were honored with stars in 1974.
- Kenneth E. Haas and Robert C. Ames - died in the 1983 Beirut embassy bombing.
- Johnny Micheal "Mike" Spann - was a Paramilitary Operations Officer from Special Activities Division killed during a Taliban prison uprising in November 2001 in Mazar-e Sharif (see Battle of Qala-i-Jangi). His star, the 79th, was added in 2002. Officer Spann was posthumously awarded the Intelligence Star for valor for his actions.
- Christopher Glenn Mueller and William "Chief" Carlson - were two paramilitary contractors from Special Activities Division killed in an ambush in Afghanistan in fall 2003. On 21 May 2004, these officers' stars were dedicated at a memorial ceremony. "The bravery of these two men cannot be overstated," Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet told a gathering of several hundred Agency employees and family members of those killed in the line of duty. "Chris and Chief put the lives of others ahead of their own. That is heroism defined." Mueller, a former US Navy SEAL and Carlson, a former Green Beret and Delta Force soldier, died while tracking high level terrorists near Shkin, Afghanistan, on October 25, 2003. Both officers saved the lives of others, including Afghan soldiers, during the ambush.
- Gregg Wenzel, an operations officer who was killed in Ethiopia in 2003, also was honored with a star on the CIA's memorial wall. A former defense attorney in Florida, Wenzel grew up in Monroe, New York, and was a member of the first clandestine service training class to graduate after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. His Agency affiliation was withheld for six years. Overseas, Wenzel gathered intelligence on a wide range of national security priorities. In Director Panetta’s words: “At age 33, a promising young officer—a leader and friend to so many—was taken from us. We find some measure of solace in knowing that Gregg achieved what he set out to do: He lived for a purpose greater than himself. Like his star on this Wall, that lesson remains with us always.” 
National Security Agency/Central Security Service Cryptologic Memorial
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service Cryptologic Memorial honors and remembers those who gave their lives, "serving in silence," in the line of duty. It serves as an important reminder of the crucial role that cryptology plays in keeping the United States secure and of the courage of these individuals to carry out their mission at such a dear price.
The wall, dedicated in 1996, lists 161 names of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and civilian cryptologists who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The black granite memorial stands eight feet tall by 12 feet wide with the words THEY SERVED IN SILENCE etched into the polished stone at the cap of a triangle. The NSA seal is carved below followed by the names of those cryptologists who have given their lives in service to their country. The names are at the base of the triangle because these cryptologists and their ideals -dedication to mission, dedication to workmate, and dedication to country - form the foundation for cryptologic service. The structure was designed by an NSA employee, and the memorial is housed in the NSA headquarters complex.
On Memorial Day 2001, NSA began a tradition of declassifying and sharing the stories behind the names on the wall.
The Cold War between the Communists and the Western Worlds began in earnest at the end of World War II. In order to maintain political prestige among the uncommitted nations of the world, neither side could allow the other any advantage or concession. The Soviets tried to blockade Berlin, and the West answered with the Berlin Airlift (1947-49). In Korea, the armies of both the U.S. and USSR withdrew, but each side armed their respective section of the country. The North Koreans clamored for unification and fomented several armed uprisings in the South in the late 1940s. However, South Korea did not collapse, but grew stronger. This may be why North Korea launched a massive surprise attack against the South on June 25, 1950.
The first year of the Korean War was an incredible seesaw: Seoul (in the middle of the peninsula) changed hands four times. The remaining two years of the war became a brutal bashing of both sides along a heavily defended battle line, whose location changed only slightly from month to month. The final cease-fire line showed no significant gain for either side.
A sequence of 27 maps adapted from the West Point Atlas of American Wars has been assembled here to vividly show the dynamics of battle. The sequence may be viewed as a QuickTime movie.
In brief, the Korean War began with the invasion of the South by North Korean troops. Troops in the South were unprepared and were pushed into a small corner of South Korea in a matter of weeks. The situation was quickly reversed by the first United Nations (UN) offensive in the southeast, coupled with a daring high-tide landing at Inchon near Seoul. The landing forces quickly cut the North Korean supply lines, forcing the now unsupported North Korean armies to flee back north.
The UN armies pressed north of the 38th parallel with the intent to take over North Korea, and the disorganized North Korean army was unable to stop them. A few UN units actually pressed north to the Amnok (Yalu) River, the border between Communist China and Korea. The Chinese warned that they would not accept the conquest of North Korea by the UN and massed for a counter attack. Though less well armed than the UN armies, the Chinese armies were much larger and quickly overwhelmed the UN forces. Some 40,000 U.S. troops were cut off by the advance and evacuated from near Wonsan in mid-December 1950. Seoul was retaken by the Chinese as they pushed south. This time, the Communist forces were stopped about two-thirds of the way down the peninsula. A second UN offensive began in late February 1951, which pushed the Chinese back north of Seoul again. The UN advance stopped near the 38th parallel. A second Chinese offensive was launched in April. Once again, huge waves of Chinese soldiers cut off and destroyed advance UN troops.
This time the Chinese armies stopped north of Seoul. A third UN offensive in May and June of 1951 pushed the Chinese back up near the thirty-eighth parallel again. For the next two years, the war was fought mostly in the air as the battle line on the ground hardened into a massive defensive network on both sides. Incursions on the ground by either side during this time could only be made with great loss of men and little territorial gain. Battle on the ground in Korea was hampered by the extremely rugged terrain. The picture below of an American tank crossing a stream in the central Korean highland in the 1970s gives an idea of how hilly the terrain is and how difficult it was for military maneuvering. Desperate battles in that terrain gave rise to gruesome nicknames for places of bloody fighting like Pork Chop Hill, T-Bone Hill, and Heartbreak Ridge.
The Korean War finally ended in July 1953. Left in its wake were four million military and civilian casualties, including 33,600 American, 16,000 UN allied, 415,000 South Korean, and 520,000 North Korean dead. There were also an estimated 900,000 Chinese casualties. Half of Korea's industry was destroyed and a third of all homes. The disruption of civilian life was almost complete. Try to imagine for a moment what life must have been like for civilians trying to avoid invading armies during the first year of the war when battle lines shifted back and forth through the countryside every few months. Each time opposing armies swept through an area, homes and personal possessions would be damaged or destroyed by shelling or bombing, crops would be trampled, livestock would be stolen for food, and civilians would be harmed by stray gunfire or random violence by individual soldiers. If found, male civilians could be forcefully drafted to fight, and anyone could be accused as being a supporter of the "other" side and then imprisoned or summarily executed.
The result of the Korean War was a stalemate, ending not far from where it began. Was the war a loss for the UN and the United States? Many viewed it as such, even while the war was still being fought. General Douglas MacArthur, World War II hero and commander of the UN forces in Korea, wanted complete victory in Korea and advocated attacking bases inside Communist China that were supporting forces in North Korea. But U.S. President Harry S. Truman and other leaders of the UN forces feared that attacking China would lead to a larger conflict that could easily plunge the entire world into World War III. These leaders felt that the human misery and political humiliation associated with pursuing a limited war was preferable to the much greater loss and doubtful outcome of a global war. As it was, Truman was President and Commander-in-Chief; MacArthur was his subordinate. When MacArthur persisted in his opposition to Truman's political and military objectives, Truman replaced MacArthur with a general willing to pursue a limited war.
The Korean War, the first shooting conflict of the Cold War, remained confined to the Korean peninsula. The fact that it did not expand into a wider war helped confirm the West's policy of containment of Communism, a policy which dominated most international relations during the Cold War. Was containment a misguided policy? On the one hand, it prevented a major war. On the other hand, it led to a seemingly endless string of small, bloody battles all over the world: Cuba, Central Africa, South East Asia, Afghanistan, and many others. Containment also led to massive infusions of economic and military aid by leading nations of both the Communist and Western worlds into developing nations considered to be of strategic importance, while others were bypassed. Repressive political regimes were supported in many poor nations in the name of containment. The debate over containment continued through armed conflicts in the 1960s, nuclear stalemate in the 1970s, and on into the present.
U.S. MILITARY KOREAN WAR STATISTICS
BATTLE DEAD* 33,686 (*Includes 4,735 findings of presumptive death under the Missing Persons Act)
|Killed in Action
|Died of Wounds
|Died While Missing (MIA)
|Died While Captured (POW)
NON-BATTLE DEATHS 2,830
TOTAL DEATHS IN THEATER: 36,516
DIED ELSEWHERE (Worldwide during Korean War) 17,730
WOUNDED (Number of personnel) 92,134
WOUNDED (Number of incidences*) 103,284 (*Includes individual personnel wounded multiple times)
UNACCOUNTED FOR (Bodies not identified/bodies not recovered) 8,176
|Prisoner of War
|Killed in Action
|Missing in Action
PRISONERS OF WAR 7,245
|POWs Returned to U.S. Control
|POWs Who Died While Captured
|POWs Who Refused Repatriation
NUMBER WHO SERVED WORLDWIDE 5,720,000
NUMBER WHO SERVED IN KOREAN THEATER 1,789,000
|Killed in Action
|Died of Wounds
|Died While Missing (MIA)
|Died While POW/Interned
|TOTAL BATTLE DEAD
|Prisoners of War
How truthful this is, is anyone's guess Recently Declassified Soviet War and U.S. Covert Casualties. By Paul F. Kisak
The new millennium has seen many changes in world politics. One of those changes has been the revelation of here-to-fore classified data on the casualties that were sustained by the former Soviet Union, Russia and The United States during war and conflict. In the case of the Soviet Union and Russia the data that has been released pertains to the casualties of soldiers. In the case of The United States the data that has been released pertains primarily to casualties incurred during covert operations. The former Soviet Union has always regarded the casualties that it has sustained during war and conflicts to be a state secret and therefore has never published them until June of 2001. The reluctance to release this data is the result of numerous intelligence concerns. Some of the concerns were due to the fact that the Soviets determined that such data gives the enemy valuable intelligence on how successful or unsuccessful various military operations were. This type of data is also used to determine such parameters as troop strength, rapid deployment capabilities and infrastructure. In addition information such as command, control, communications and technological status can be derived. There are other motivations for keeping this information from wide spread distribution. Some of the other motivational factors include, but are not limited to, efforts that include propaganda and issues related to morale. Historians and political scientists often use such data to retrofit war time strategies, political motivations and extrapolate future foreign policy and strategy. For the reasons mentioned above, along with numerous other complex intelligence issues, the casualties of ‘The Red Army’ and it’s predecessors from the former Soviet Union have been estimated but unverified. In June of 2002 The Russian General Staff released the following information on Russian combat deaths from their Civil War (1918) up through today's Chechen War (2001). The information was published in the document known as "Argumenty i fakty No. 22." It contains the following data: The Soviet military lost the following: 939,755 soldiers during their Civil War (1918-22), 626 in the struggle against the Basmachi movement in Central Asia (1923-31), 187 in the 1929 Soviet-Chinese conflict, 353 in the Spanish Civil War, 9,920 in battles with the Japanese at the end of the 1930s, 1,139 during the occupation of The Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, 126,875 during the Soviet- Finnish War, 8,668,400 during World War II, 229 during the Korean War (1950-53), 145 during military assistance operations in Asia and Africa, 750 while in Hungary in 1956, 96 while in Czechoslovakia in 1968, 60 during the 1969 border dispute with China, 14,751 during The Afghan War, 5,835 during the first Chechen War, and 3,108 in the second Chechen War (to date). The above data also verifies the Soviet involvement in the Korean War. Specifically, the above data reflects the engagement of The Soviet Air Force with US Air Forces in North Korea that resulted in 299 deaths. These engagements proved historically important to the US Air Force. It was during the Korean War that the US realized it’s pilots needed to be trained in air to air combat tactics also known as ‘dogfighting’. This realization led to the founding of the ‘Top Gun’ flight schools. One other noteworthy item is that there is no listing of casualties for The Vietnam War. It has been assumed that the Soviets lost several advisors and/or pilots when the US started bombing Hanoi. The United States has typically regarded war and conflict data in the same manner as most countries but has felt obligated for various fundamental reasons that the publishing of this data is necessary. Correspondingly U.S. casualties and force strength can be found listed in many resources. One area that even the US has not been forthcoming with casualties pertains to those casualties incurred during Special Operations or those using covert assets. This has also changed during this era of reflection and anticipated enduring peace. In the year 2001, both the NSA and CIA have released information about fallen comrades.
Were and are nuclear weapons now safe? Here is a list of accidents that occured involving
nuclear weapons. This was just more stress put upon our military. Any one of these could have had
U. S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS ACCIDENTS
by Jaya Tiwari and Cleve J. Gray
Jaya Tiwari is a Ph.D. candidate at Old Dominion University and a former intern at the Center for Defense Information (CDI). Cleve Gray is a M.A. candidate in National Security Studies at Georgetown University and a former research intern at CDI.
Inadvertent Explosion: "Nuclear weapons are designed with great care to explode only when deliberately armed and fired. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility that, as a result of accidental circumstances, an explosion will take place inadvertently. Although all conceivable precautions are taken to prevent them, such accidents might occur in areas where weapons are assembled and stored, during the course of loading and transportation on the ground, or when actually in the delivery vehicle, e.g., an airplane or a missile." -Atomic Energy Commission/Department of Defense, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 1962.
"Nuclear weapons are designed with great care to explode only when deliberately armed and fired. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility that, as a result of accidental circumstances, an explosion will take place inadvertently. Although all conceivable precautions are taken to prevent them, such accidents might occur in areas where weapons are assembled and stored, during the course of loading and transportation on the ground, or when actually in the delivery vehicle, e.g., an airplane or a missile." Atomic Energy Commission/Department of Defense, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 1962.
As U.S. policymakers and the media continue to ponder the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons into the 21st century, questions regarding the utility of these weapons will repeatedly surface. Moral and ethical aversions against these weapons aside, their military utility has been questioned by opponents of nuclear weaponry because of their destructive capabilities and the disastrous consequences in the rare event of an accident. The operational risks associated with nuclear weapons jeopardize the safety and well-being of numerous civilians as well as military personnel.
The history of U.S. nuclear weapon accidents is as old as their introduction into the American military arsenal. The first known, officially acknowledged accident occurred in February 1950, when an American B-36 bomber jettisoned a bomb into the Pacific Ocean. The record of these accidents, however, has been beset with mysteries and inconsistencies due to a lack of documentation available to the public. The paucity of publicly available data is largely the result of the highly classified nature of information regarding nuclear weapons and their location. To maintain this opacity, the U.S. military's policy is to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons in most accidents.
Despite claims that the U.S. nuclear stockpile is safe and reliable, the number of accidents involving America's atomic arsenal is a matter of concern. The Department of Defense (DoD) first published a list of nuclear weapon accidents in1968 which detailed 13 serious nuclear weapon accidents between 1950-1968. An updated and revised list released in 1980 catalogued 32 accidents between1950-1980. However, this second compilation failed to include some of the accidents covered in the 1968 list.
Even the updated estimate does not tell the entire story, for no additional list of nuclear weapon accidents acknowledged by the Pentagon has been released since 1980. Moreover, the list included only those instances that were judged severe enough to fit the Pentagon's conservative definition of a nuclear weapon "accident." Many more mishaps which could have been catastrophic were excluded as "nuclear weapons incidents."
Further blurring the picture are major discrepancies in the way different military branches report nuclear weapon accidents or incidents. For example, according to a General Accounting Office (GAO) report entitled Navy Nuclear Weapons Safeguards and Nuclear Weapon Accident Emergency Planning, a total of 563 nuclear weapon incidents were reported by the Navy between 1965-1983. However, the report creates some uncertainty by noting that "of the 563 nuclear weapon incidents reported, 330 involved no weapon or the weapon or component involved were non-nuclear." The report does not provide any explanation of this discrepancy although a number of plausible explanations exist. For instance, the Navy could have included 330 security breaches in its overall total. Nevertheless, even if these 330 incidents are not considered "accidents," 233 nuclear weapons incidents are publically documented during the 18 year period covered by this report. At the same time, documents released by the Navy under the Freedom of Information Act cite 381 nuclear weapon incidents between 1965 and 1977.
While studies by non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace often cite many more accidents, even DoD's conservative estimates document that at least one serious nuclear weapon accident occurred every year. This should give pause to any policymaker considering the future utility of nuclear arsenals.
Listed below are accidents involving U.S. nuclear weapons. Although the list is far from complete, it includes all accidents that can be verifiably documented and corroborated from more than one source. Accidents which have not been acknowledged or verified from government sources are marked by an asterisk (*) and the source(s) of information provided. This list includes nuclear weapon accidents involving the Air Force, Navy and the Department of Energy (DoE). There is no public information available about nuclear weapon accidents involving the Army.
U.S. Navy's Definition of Nuclear Weapon Accident
Any accidental or unauthorized incident involving a possible detonation of a nuclear weapon by U.S. Forces which could create the risk of nuclear war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
The accidental or unauthorized detonation, or possible detonation of a nuclear weapon (other than war risk);
Non-nuclear detonation or burning of a nuclear weapon;
Seizure, theft, or loss of a nuclear weapon or component (including jettisoning);
Public hazard, actual or implied.
Any nuclear weapon significant incidents other than nuclear weapons accidents or war risk detonations, actual or possible.
Any nuclear weapon incident other than significant incidents.
Any nuclear reactor or radiological accidents involving equipment used in connection with naval nuclear reactors or other naval nuclear energy devices while such equipment is under the custody of the Navy.
DoD's Definition of Nuclear Weapon Accident
An unexpected event involving nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components that results in any of the following:
Accidental or unauthorized launching, firing, or use, by U.S. forces or supported allied forces, of a nuclear-capable weapon system which could create the risk of an outbreak of war;
Nuclear detonation, non-nuclear detonation or burning of a nuclear weapon or radioactive weapon component, including a fully assembled nuclear weapon, an unassembled nuclear weapon, or radioactive nuclear weapon components;
Seizure, theft, or loss of a nuclear weapon component, including jettisoning;
Public hazard, actual or implied.
DoD's Definition of Nuclear Weapons Incident
An unexpected event involving a nuclear weapon, facility, or component, resulting in any of the following, but not constituting a nuclear weapons accident:
an increase in possibility of explosion or radioactive contamination;
errors committed in the assembly, testing, loading or transportation of equipment, and or the malfunctioning of equipment and material which could lead to an unintentional operation of all or part of the weapon arming and/or firing sequence, or which could lead to a substantial change in yield, or increased dud probability;
any act of God, unfavorable environment, or conditions resulting in damage to the weapon, facility or component.
Triggering a Nuclear Exchange
"The explosion of a nuclear device by accident--mechanical or human--could be a disaster for the United States, for its allies, and for its enemies. If one of these devices accidentally exploded, I would hope that both sides had sufficient means of verification and control to prevent the accident from triggering a nuclear exchange. But we cannot be certain that this would be the case."
- John T. McNaughton, Assistant Secretary of Defense, 1962
EXPLOSION, BURNING OR OTHER SPREAD OF FISSILE MATERIAL
(in chronological order)
August 5, 1950, Suisun Air Force Base, Fairfield, California
A B-29 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon without its fissile core crashed and burned near a trailer park occupied by 200 families. The crew experienced difficulty with the aircraft's propellers and with retracting its landing gear immediately after takeoff from Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base (now Travis Air Force Base), eventually crashing while attempting an emergency landing.
The bomber was carrying 10-12 500 lb. conventional explosive bombs, which detonated 15 minutes after the crash. The ensuing blast was felt as far as 30 miles away and created a crater 20 yards across and six feet deep. The crash and subsequent detonation killed eighteen personnel, including Air Force General Travis, and injured 60 others.
May 22, 1957, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
A nuclear weapon without its fissile core fell from the bomb bay of a B-36 at an altitude of 1,700 feet and exploded upon impact. The bomber was transporting both the weapon and its fissile core, which had been removed for safety, from Biggs Air Force Base in Texas to Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. Although parachutes attached to the weapon were deployed during its descent, they did not function properly.
The nuclear weapon was completely destroyed in the detonation which occurred approximately 4.5 miles south of the Kirtland control tower and 0.3 miles west of the Sandia Base reservation, creating a blast crater approximately 25 feet in diameter and 12 feet deep. Fragments of the bomb and debris were scattered over a one mile area. A radiological survey of the area was conducted, but revealed no radioactive contamination beyond the lip of the crater.
January 31, 1958, Unidentified Overseas Base
A B-47 bomber with one nuclear weapon in strike configuration was making a simulated takeoff during an exercise when the left rear wheel casting failed, causing the tail to strike the runway and rupturing the fuel tank. The aircraft caught fire and burned for seven hours. Although the weapon's high explosives did not detonate, there was some contamination in the area immediately surrounding the crash. Following the accident, exercise alerts were temporarily suspended.
The crash may have taken place at a U.S. airbase in Sidi Slimane, French Morocco. An earlier Air Force document reported that "contamination of the wreckage was high, but that of the surrounding area was low." A June 8, 1960, New York Times report mentions a nuclear weapon accident having occurred "at a United States field near Tripoli, Libya," but provides no further details.
*February 1958, Greenham Common Airbase, England
A B-47 bomber experiencing engine trouble during takeoff jettisoned two full 1,700 gallon fuel tanks from an altitude of 8,000 feet, which missed a designated safe impact area and exploded 65 feet behind a parked B-47 loaded with nuclear weapons. The resulting fire burned for 16 hours and caused the high explosives package of at least one weapon to explode. The explosion released radioactive material, including powdered uranium and plutonium oxides, at least 10 to 20 grams of which were found off base. An adjacent hangar was also severely damaged, and other planes nearby had to be hosed down to prevent their ignition by the intense heat fueled by the jet propellant and magnesium in the B-47. The fire killed two people, injured eight others, and destroyed the bomber.
The Air Force has never officially admitted that nuclear weapons were involved in this accident. The Air Force and British Ministry of Defence agreed in 1956 to deny the existence of nuclear weapons in any accident involving U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in England. In 1985, the British government reported that the accident involved a parked B-47 that was struck by a taxiing B-47 on a training exercise, omitting any mention of the ensuing fire.
"Activists Claim Proof of Nuclear Accident," San Francisco Examiner, July 15, 1996, p. A-11; Shaun Gregory, The Hidden Cost of Deterrence: Nuclear Weapons Accidents, Brassey's UK, London, 1990, p.152; From a report on Greenham Common Accident, "Broken Arrow," Center for Nuclear Disarmament, London, England, July 1996, http://www.cnduk.org/brokenarrow/index.html.
November 26, 1958, Chennault Air Force Base, Lake Charles, Louisiana
A B-47 bomber caught fire on the ground, destroying the single nuclear weapon onboard. Contamination was limited to the immediate vicinity of the aircraft wreckage.
July 6, 1959, Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City, Louisiana
A C-124 aircraft transporting a nuclear weapon without its fissile core crashed during takeoff, completely destroying the aircraft and nuclear weapon. There was a limited amount of contamination immediately below the destroyed weapon, but not enough to hamper rescue or firefighting operations.
June 7, 1960, McGuire Air Force Base, near Trenton, New Jersey
A BOMARC* air defense missile being stored in a ready state that permitted its launch in two minutes was destroyed after a high pressure helium tank exploded and ruptured the missile's fuel tanks. Although the warhead was also destroyed by the fire, the safety devices acted properly and prevented the weapon's high explosives from detonating. A New York Times article described a near nuclear disaster, noting that the missile "melted under an intense blaze fed by its 100-pound detonator TNT...The atomic warhead apparently dropped into the molten mass that was left of the missile, which burned for forty-five minutes." The ensuing radiation "had been caused when thoriated magnesium metal which forms part of the weapon, caught fire." The Pentagon report said that only the area immediately beneath the weapon and an adjacent elongated area approximately 100 feet long were contaminated by water runoff from fighting the fire.
* "BO" for Boeing and "MARC" for Michigan Aeronautical Research Center.
November 13, 1963, Atomic Energy Commission Storage Igloo, Medina Base, San Antonio, Texas
While three employees were dismantling the high explosive (HE) components of a nuclear bomb, they began burning spontaneously, triggering a large blast involving 120 pounds of HE. The explosion caused little contamination.
New York University's Dr. Joel Larus, who investigated the incident, was provided details of three similar incidents by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) on January 13, 1966. They are as follows:
Hamburg, New York (January 4, 1958)...An eastbound Nickel Plate railroad freight train derailed. Five cars carrying "AEC classified material" were involved in the accident. According to the report there was no damage to the material and no injury to AEC personnel escorting the shipment.
Winslow, Arizona (November 4, 1961)...A trailer truck caught fire while carrying a small amount of radioactive material. There was no contamination resulting from the fire.
Marietta, Georgia (December 2, 1962)...A Louisville and Nashville train derailed while carrying nuclear weapons components. The material was not damaged, but three couriers were injured.
As these accounts demonstrate, accidents of this nature probably happen more frequently than reported. For instance, a Department of Energy trailer carrying plutonium from Richland, Washington, to New Mexico overturned on icy roads on Interstate 25 near Fort Collins, Colorado, in December 1980.
December 8, 1964, Bunker Hill (now Grissom) Air Force Base, Peru, Indiana
A B-58 bomber lost control and slid off a runway during taxi, causing portions of the five nuclear weapons onboard to burn in an ensuing fire. There were no detonations and contamination was limited to the immediate area of the crash.
October 11, 1965, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio
A C-124 transport aircraft containing nuclear weapons components and a dummy training unit caught fire while being refueled. The fire started at the aft end of the refueling trailer and destroyed the aircraft's fuselage. There were no casualties and the resultant radiation hazard was minimal.
January 17, 1966, Palomares, Spain
A B-52 bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs collided in midair with a KC-135 tanker near Palomares, Spain. Of the four H-bombs aboard, two weapons' high explosive material exploded on ground impact, releasing radioactive materials, including plutonium, over the fields of Palomares. Approximately 1,400 tons of slightly contaminated soil and vegetation were later taken to the United States for storage at an approved site. A third nuclear weapon fell to earth but remained relatively intact; the last one fell into the ocean.
The weapon that sank in the Mediterranean set off one of the largest search and recovery operations in history. The search took about eighty days and employed 3,000 Navy personnel and 33 Navy vessels, not including ships, planes, and people used to move equipment to the site. Although the midget sub "Alvin" located the bomb after two weeks, it was not recovered until April 7. Wreckage from the accident fell across approximately 100 square miles of land and water.
The accident occurred during a routine high altitude air refueling operation as the B-52 was returning to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina, after flying the southern route of the Strategic Air Command air alert mission code named "Chrome Dome." The bomber was attempting its third refueling with a KC-135 tanker from the American base at Moron, when the nozzle of the tanker's boom struck the bomber. The boom ripped open the B-52 along its spine, snapping the bomber into pieces. The KC-135's 40,000 gallons of jet fuel ignited, killing seven crewmen.
January 21, 1968, Thule, Greenland
Four nuclear bombs were destroyed in a fire after the B-52 bomber carrying them crashed approximately seven miles southwest of the runway at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. The B-52, from Plattsburgh Air Force Base in New York, crashed after a fire broke out in the navigator's compartment. The pilot was en route to Thule AFB to attempt an emergency landing. Upon impact with the ground, the plane burst into flames, igniting the high explosive outer coverings of at least one of the bombs. The explosive then detonated, scattering plutonium and other radioactive materials over an area about 300 yards on either side of the plane's path, much of it in "cigarette box-sized" pieces.
The bomber had been flying the Arctic Circle route as part of the Strategic Air Command's continuous airborne alert operation, code-name "Chrome Dome." One crew member was killed in the crash.
The government of Denmark, which owns Greenland and prohibits nuclear weapons on or over its territory, issued a strong protest following large demonstrations in that country. A few days after the crash, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered the removal of nuclear weapons from airborne alert. The alerts themselves were later curtailed and then suspended altogether.
September 19, 1980, Damascus, Arkansas
Fuel vapors from a Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) exploded in the missile's silo, blowing off the 740-ton silo door of reinforced concrete and steel and catapulting the missile's nuclear warhead 600 feet. The accident occurred when an Air Force repairman dropped a heavy wrench socket that struck the missile, causing a leak in the missile's pressurized fuel tank. The fuel caught fire and exploded approximately 8 ½ hours later, killing one person and injuring twenty-one others. The missile's reentry vehicle, which contained a nuclear warhead, was recovered intact.
March 10, 1956, Over the Mediterranean Sea
A B-47 bomber carrying two nuclear weapon cores in their carrying cases disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea. The aircraft, on a nonstop flight from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, to an undisclosed overseas airbase, was lost with its crew. After takeoff the B-47 was scheduled for two in-flight-refuelings before reaching its final destination. The first refueling was successfully completed, but the aircraft never made contact with the second refueling tanker over the Mediterranean Sea. Despite an extensive search, no trace of the aircraft, the nuclear weapon cores, or crew, were ever found.
July 28, 1957, Over the Atlantic Ocean
A C-124 transport aircraft that was having mechanical problems jettisoned two nuclear weapons without their fissile cores off the east coast of the United States. The C-124 was en route from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware when it lost power to its number one and two engines. The crew determined that level flight could not be maintained with the weight of the weapons onboard and decided to jettison the cargo. Although neither weapon detonated, both are presumed to have been damaged from impact with the ocean surface and to have sunk almost instantly. Neither the weapons nor debris were ever found. The C-124 safely landed at an airfield near Atlantic City, New Jersey, with the remaining weapon and nuclear warhead aboard.
February 5, 1958, Savannah River, Georgia
A nuclear weapon without a fissile core was lost following a mid-air collision. A B-47 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon without its fissile core collided with a F-86 aircraft near Savannah, Georgia. Following three unsuccessful attempts to land the plane at Hunter Air Force Base in Georgia, the weapon was jettisoned to avoid the risk of a high explosive detonation at the base. The weapon was jettisoned into the water several miles from the mouth of Savannah River in Wassaw Sound off Tybee Beach, but the precise point of impact is unknown. The weapon's high explosives did not detonate on impact. A subsequent search covering three square miles used divers and sonar devices, but failed to find the weapon. The search was ended on April 16, 1958, and the weapon was considered to be irretrievably lost.
Some accounts of nuclear weapon accidents list a February 12, 1958, accident involving a B-47 near Savannah, Georgia. "The best estimate" of the weapon's location, an earlier DoD narrative noted, "was determined to be 31 degrees 54' 15" North, 80 degrees 54' 45" West." The B-47 was on a simulated combat mission from Florida's Homestead Air Force Base.
September 25, 1959, Off Whidbey Island, Washington
A U.S. Navy P-5M aircraft carrying an unarmed nuclear depth charge without its fissile core crashed into Puget Sound near Whidbey Island, Washington. The weapon was never recovered.
January 24, 1961, Goldsboro, North Carolina
In what nearly became a nuclear catastrophe, a B-52 bomber on airborne alert carrying two nuclear weapons broke apart in midair. The B-52 experienced structural failure in its right wing and the aircraft's resulting breakup released the two weapons from a height of 2,000-10,000 feet. One of the bomb's parachutes deployed properly and that weapon's damage was minimal. However, the second bomb's parachute malfunctioned and the weapon broke apart upon impact, scattering its components over a wide area. According to Daniel Ellsberg, the weapon could have accidentally fired because "five of the six safety devices had failed." Nuclear physicist Ralph E. Lapp supported this assertion, saying that "only a single switch" had "prevented the bomb from detonating and spreading fire and destruction over a wide area."
Despite an extensive search of the waterlogged farmland where the weapon was believed to have landed, the bomb's highly enriched uranium core was never recovered. In order to prevent any discovery of the lost portion of the weapon, the Air Force purchased an easement which required that permission be obtained before any construction or digging could begin in the area. Three crew members were killed in the crash.
The accident was apparently so serious that it was reported to newly-elected President John F. Kennedy. According to Newsweek, President Kennedy was informed after the accident that "there had been more than 60 accidents involving nuclear weapons" since World War II, "including two cases in which nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft missiles were actually launched by inadvertence." As a result of the Goldsboro accident, the U.S. placed many new safety devices on its nuclear arsenal and the Soviet Union was encouraged to do the same.
December 5, 1965, Aboard the USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) in the Pacific Ocean
An A-4E Skyhawk strike aircraft carrying a nuclear weapon rolled off an elevator on the U.S. aircraft carrier Ticonderoga and fell into the sea. Because the bomb was lost at a depth of approximately 16,000 feet, Pentagon officials feared that intense water pressure could have caused the B-43 hydrogen bomb to explode. It is still unknown whether an explosion did occur. The pilot, aircraft, and weapon were lost.
The Pentagon claimed that the bomb was lost "500 miles away from land." However, it was later revealed that the aircraft and nuclear weapon sank only miles from the Japanese island chain of Ryukyu. Several factors contributed to the Pentagon's secretiveness. The USS Ticonderoga was returning from a mission off North Vietnam; confirming that the carrier had nuclear weapons aboard would document their introduction into the Vietnam War. Furthermore, Japan's anti-nuclear law prohibited the introduction of atomic weapons into its territory, and U.S. military bases in Japan are not exempt from this law. Thus, confirming that the USS Ticonderoga carried nuclear weapons would signify U.S. violation of its military agreements with Japan. The carrier was headed to Yokosuka, Japan, and disclosure of the accident in the mid-1980s caused a strain in U.S.-Japanese relations.
Spring 1968, Aboard the USS Scorpion (SSN-589) in the Atlantic Ocean
Although the Pentagon has not publicly released details of the accident, it probably refers to the nuclear powered attack submarine USS Scorpion that was lost at sea. The sub, carrying unidentified nuclear weapons, was last heard from on May 21, 1968, while returning to Norfolk, Virginia, after a three month training exercise in the Mediterranean Sea. The USS Scorpion sank 400-500 miles southwest of the Azores.
The U.S. initially suspected that the Soviet Union was somehow involved. The suspicions were allayed when the research ship Mizar (T-AK-272) photographed the wreckage lying on the sea floor at 10,000 feet. A Navy court of inquiry found "no evidence of any kind to suggest foul play or sabotage," and found that the "certain cause of the loss of the Scorpion cannot be ascertained from evidence now available."
FALSE WARNING OF NUCLEAR LAUNCH AGAINST THE U.S.
October, 5, 1960, Thule, Greenland
"We have highly trained and experienced personnel in charge of all phases of the warning process, and there is no chance that any irreversible actions would be taken based on ambiguous computer information." -Annual Report to the Congress for Fiscal Year 1982, Department of Defense, p. 121
An early-warning system radar malfunction falsely warned the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters of a "massive" Soviet ballistic missile strike approaching the United States. A fault in the computer system had removed two zeros from the radar's ranging components, causing the radar to detect what it believed was a possible missile attack at 2,500 miles. The radar was actually detecting a reflection from the moon, located 250,000 miles away.
Shaun Gregory, The Hidden Cost of Deterrence: Nuclear Weapons Accidents, Brassey's UK, London, 1990, p. 156.
October 25, 1962, Volk Field Base, Wisconsin
An alarm bell indicating that a nuclear war with the Soviet Union was beginning went off accidentally during the height of the Cuban missile crisis. Pilots ran to their nuclear-armed aircraft and were ready to take off when the mistake was detected by an officer in the command post. The pilots were ordered to return.
Scott D. Sagan, The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1993, p. 3.
June 3 and 6, 1980, Unknown Location
An alarm indicating a massive Soviet missile attack was registered by a communications computer connected to NORAD. A threat assessment conference was called, and 100 nuclear-armed B-52s were put on alert for imminent takeoff. Although the mistake was detected, the same computer produced an identical warning three days later on June 6, 1980. A threat assessment conference was again called and 100 nuclear-armed B-52s were put on alert for takeoff. The problem was later traced to the failure of an integrated circuit in a computer, which was producing random digits representing the number of missiles detected.
Shaun Gregory, The Hidden Cost of Deterrence: Nuclear Weapons Accidents, Brassey's UK, London, 1990, p. 178.
January 10, 1984, Warren AFB, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, recorded a message that one of its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles was about to launch from its silo due to a computer malfunction. To prevent the possible launch, an armored car was parked on top of the silo.
Shaun Gregory, The Hidden Cost of Deterrence: Nuclear Weapons Accidents, Brassey's UK, London, 1990, pp. 181-182.
ACCIDENTS RESULTING IN FATALITIES NOT INVOLVING FISSILE MATERIAL
July 13, 1950, Lebanon, Ohio
A B-50 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon without its fissile core crashed while on a training mission from Biggs Air Force Base near El Paso, Texas. Mechanical difficulties caused the bomber to nosedive from a height of 7,000 feet and crash. The weapon's high explosives detonated upon impact, causing an explosion felt well over 25 miles away and creating a crater 25 feet deep and 200 feet square. Four officers and twelve airmen were killed in the accident.
April 11, 1950, Manzano Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico
A B-29 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon, four spare detonators, and a crew of thirteen crashed into a mountain near Manzano Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The crash occurred within three minutes of departure from the Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and resulted in a major fire which was reported by the New York Times as being visible from "fifteen miles." The bomb's casing was completely demolished and its high explosives ignited upon contact with the plane's burning fuel. However, according to the DoD, the four spare detonators and all nuclear components were recovered. A nuclear detonation was not possible because the weapon's core, while being carried on-board, was not placed in the weapon for safety reasons. All thirteen crew members were killed.
July 27, 1956, Lakenheath Royal Air Force Station, England
A B-47 bomber crashed into a storage igloo containing three MK-6 nuclear weapons while on a routine training mission at the Lakenheath Royal Air Force Station, 20 miles northeast of Cambridge, England. Although the bombs involved in the accident did not have their fissile cores installed, each of them carried about 8,000 pounds of high explosives as part of their trigger mechanism. The crash and ensuing fire did not ignite the high explosives and no detonation occurred. A retired Air Force general who was in England said later that if the weapons' high explosives had detonated, releasing radioactive material, "it is possible that a part of Eastern England would have become a desert." Another Air Force officer present at the scene said that it was only through "a combination of tremendous heroism, good fortune and the will of God" that a horrific nuclear weapons accident was avoided. The damaged weapons and components were later returned to the Atomic Energy Commission. The B-47 involved in the accident, which killed four crewmen, was part of the 307th Bombardment Wing.
November 4, 1958, Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene, Texas
A B-47 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon caught fire during takeoff and crashed from an altitude of 1,500 feet, killing one crew member. The resulting detonation of high explosives created a crater 35 feet in diameter and six feet deep. Nuclear materials from the weapon were recovered near the crash site.
October 15, 1959, Hardinsberg, Kentucky
A B-52 bomber carrying two atomic bombs collided at 32,000 feet with a KC-135 refueling aircraft shortly after initiating refueling procedures near Hardinsberg, Kentucky. The ensuing crash killed 8 crew members and partially burned one of the weapons. No nuclear material was released, however, and the unarmed weapons were recovered intact. Both planes had departed from Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.
*January 19, 1961, Monticello, Utah
A B-52 bomber carrying one or more nuclear weapons was reported to have exploded in midair about 10 miles north of Monticello, Utah. The bomber had left Biggs AFB near El Paso, Texas, bound for Bismarck, North Dakota, on a routine "round-robin" training mission. Near Monticello the aircraft began climbing from 36,000 to 40,000 feet and soon experienced a violent bump followed by a descending right roll of about 410 degrees, a short period of wings-level, nose-down flight, and then a violent spin. The aircraft descended rapidly and at an elevation of 7,000 feet broke into several pieces that landed within an area two miles wide by 11 ½ miles long. Observers on the ground said the plane's left-wing engine caught fire, after which there was a midair explosion. Five crewmen were killed in the accident.
"Report of AF Aircraft Accident," January 19, 1961; "Missing Airman Found Dead," The San Juan Record, Monticello, Utah, January 27, 1961. Cited in Chuck Hansen, "Appendix 3: Typical U.S. Nuclear Weapon Accidents: 1950-1981, p. 34.
HIGH EXPLOSIVE DETONATION WITH NO SPREAD OF FISSILE MATERIAL
February 13, 1950, off the Coast of British Columbia
An American B-36 bomber was forced to jettison a weapon which exploded on impact. The bomber, carrying one weapon containing a dummy warhead, was flying a simulated combat mission from Eilson Air Force Base, near Fairbanks, Alaska, to Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. After six hours of flight the bomber experienced mechanical problems and was forced to shut down three of its engines at an altitude of 12,000 feet. Fearing that severe weather and icing would jeopardize a safe emergency landing, the weapon was jettisoned over the Pacific Ocean from a height of 8,000 feet. The weapon's high explosives exploded upon impact. All sixteen crew members and one passenger were able to parachute to safety and were subsequently rescued from Princess Royal Island.
The Pentagon's summary report does not mention if the weapon was later recovered.
November 10, 1950, St. Lawrence River, St. Alexandre-de-Kamouraska, Canada
A B-50 bomber was forced to jettison a nuclear weapon containing high explosives (HE) but no nuclear material, causing the HE to detonate on impact. The bomb exploded near the middle of the 12 mile wide St. Lawrence River, rattling the windows of houses across a 25 mile area.
The accident occurred not long after takeoff when the aircraft lost power in two of its engines during a training flight as it was returning from Labrador, Canada, to its home base at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. Although the Pentagon's 1980 summary of nuclear accidents did not specifically mention the accident's location other than to say they were "over water, outside the United States," news reports and eyewitness accounts identified the location as being over the St. Lawrence River near St. Alexandre-de-Kamouraska, Canada. The DoD documents do not mention whether the weapon was recovered.
October 11, 1957, Homestead Air Force Base, Homestead, Florida
A B-47 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon and its separated fissile core crashed shortly after takeoff. The aircraft crashed in an inhabited area approximately 3,800 feet from the end of the runway, enveloping the nuclear weapon and its fissile core in flames which burned and smoldered for approximately four hours. Although two small explosions occurred during the burning, the weapon core and its carrying case were recovered intact and only slightly damaged by the heat. Approximately one-half of the weapon remained and all its major components were recovered but damaged.
March 11, 1958, Florence, South Carolina
A B-47E accidentally jettisoned an unarmed nuclear weapon without its fissile core at 15,000 feet, which impacted in a sparsely populated area 6-1/2 miles east of Florence, South Carolina. The bomb's high explosive material exploded on impact, causing property damage and several injuries. The aircraft, which was heading to an undisclosed overseas base, returned to Hunter Air Force Base in Georgia without further incident.
Numerous accounts of the accident describe the bomb falling in the garden of Mr. Walter Gregg in Mars Bluff, South Carolina. The high explosive detonation virtually destroyed his house, creating a crater 50-70 feet in diameter and 25-30 feet deep. It caused minor injuries to Mr. Gregg and five members of his family, and damaged five other houses as well as a church. Following the accident, Air Force crews were ordered to "lock in" their nuclear bombs, which reduced the possibility of accidental drops but increased the danger during a plane crash.
OTHER MINOR INCIDENTS INVOLVING NUCLEAR MATERIALS
*January 9, 1956, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
An incident involving a B-36 bomber carrying one or more nuclear weapons occurred on January 9, 1956, at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico, according to a February 1991 report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, however, provides no further details on the type of weapon involved or of any damage to the weapons onboard.
"Crash Site May Be Radioactive," San Jose Mercury News, April 9, 1992. Cited in Chuck Hansen, "Appendix 3: Typical U.S. Nuclear Weapon Accidents: 1950-1981," p. 9.
*February 1958, Aircraft Unknown, Location Unknown
An unidentified aircraft crashed "on base" while carrying a MK-7 training weapon in February, 1958. Aircraft wreckage and weapons parts were scattered over an area approximately 250 feet wide by 0.25 miles long. The largest piece of weapon recovered was located with part of the plane's tail section.
OOMA Airmunitions Letter 136-11-56A, Summary of Nuclear Weapons Incidents (AF Form 1058) and Related Problems, Calendar Year 1958, Headquarters Ogden Air Materiel Area, USAF, Hill AFB, Utah, 23 June 1960, p. 2. Cited in Chuck Hansen, "Appendix 3: Typical U.S. Nuclear Weapon Accidents: 1950-1981," p.18.
January 18, 1959, Unspecified Pacific Base
A grounded F-100 interceptor carrying a nuclear weapon without its fissile core burst into flames when its external fuel tanks were inadvertently jettisoned during a practice alert. The plane was carrying a payload of one nuclear weapon and three external fuel tanks. The fire was doused in about seven minutes and there were no contamination or cleanup problems.
*August 18, 1959, Aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Wasp (CVS-18)
A severe fire aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp threatened to engulf the nuclear weapons storage space and required flooding of the forward ammunition stores. Foam was pumped through the flight deck, and the crew prepared to flood the nuclear weapons storage spaces. The fire was brought under control before that command was given.
William Arkin and Joshua Handler, Naval Nuclear Accidents: The Secret History, Greenpeace, Vol. 14, #4, July/August 1989, p. 17.
*January 16, 1961, Undisclosed U.S. Air Force Base, Britain
A nuclear bomber on round-the-clock alert crashed on takeoff causing spilled fuel to erupt into flames which engulfed the aircraft at an undisclosed USAF base in Britain. A nuclear weapon mounted on the aircraft's centerline pylon was badly damaged before the fire could be put out. According to secret correspondence to the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Commission on Atomic Energy (JCAE), the accident was so serious that the weapon was "scorched and blistered." The U.S. Government has never acknowledged the accident and it is not included on the DoD's list of broken arrows.
January 23, 1961, letter from Herbert B. Loper, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy) to Honorable Clinton P. Anderson, Chairman, JCAE. Cited in Chuck Hansen, "Appendix 3: Typical U.S. Nuclear Weapon Accidents: 1950-1981," p. 31; Eddie Goncalves, "Broken Arrow," Center for Nuclear Disarmament, http://www.cnduk.org.
March 14, 1961, Yuba City, California
A B-52 bomber carrying two nuclear weapons crashed, tearing the weapons from the aircraft on impact. The weapons' high explosive did not detonate and their safety devices worked properly. The aircraft had departed from Mather Air Force Base near Sacramento and was forced to descend to 10,000 feet after the crew compartment pressurization system failed. Flying at the lower altitude increased the plane's fuel consumption, causing it to run out of fuel prior to its scheduled rendezvous with a tanker.
*June 4, 1962, Pacific Ocean Near Johnston Atoll
A nuclear test device atop a Thor rocket booster fell into the Pacific Ocean near Johnston Atoll after the booster malfunctioned and was destroyed minutes after liftoff. The test was the United States' first attempt at conducting a high-altitude atmospheric nuclear test.
William Arkin and Joshua Handler, Naval Nuclear Accidents: The Secret History, Greenpeace, Vol. 14, #4, July/August 1989, p. 16; Joshua Handler, Amy Wickenheiser and William Arkin, Naval Safety 1989: The Year Of The Accident, Greenpeace, Neptune Papers, # 4, April 1990, p. 25.
*June 20, 1962, Thor Rocket, Pacific Island
A second attempt to detonate a nuclear device in the high atmosphere failed when a Thor booster malfunctioned over Johnston Atoll. The nuclear device fell into the Pacific Ocean.
William Arkin and Joshua Handler, Naval Nuclear Accidents: The Secret History, Greenpeace, Vol. 14, #4, July/August 1989, p. 16; Joshua Handler, Amy Wickenheiser and William Arkin, Naval Safety 1989: The Year Of The Accident, Greenpeace, Neptune Papers, # 4, April 1990, p. 25.
January 13, 1964, Cumberland, Maryland
A B-52D bomber carrying two nuclear weapons crashed approximately 17 miles southwest of Cumberland, Maryland. The nuclear weapons were being transported in a tactical ferry configuration, meaning that no mechanical or electrical connections had been made from the bombs to the aircraft. The bomber was en route from Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, to its home base at Turner Air Force Base in Albany, Georgia, when it encountered violent turbulence. During an altitude change from 29,500 to 33,000 feet, the aircraft encountered more violent air turbulence and suffered structural failure. Both weapons were recovered relatively intact.
December 5, 1964, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City, South Dakota
A retrorocket located below an LGM 30B Minuteman I missile's Reentry Vehicle (RV) fired while two repairmen were working nearby, sending the reentry vehicle crashing down to the bottom of its silo. The arming and fusing/altitude control subsystem containing the RV's batteries were torn loose on impact, removing all sources of power from the RV and causing it considerable damage. The missile's safety devices operated properly and did not allow the warhead to become armed. The Minuteman I was on strategic alert.
January 19, 1966, Aboard the USS Luce (DLG-7)
A W-45 nuclear warhead separated from a Trier surface-to-air missile and fell 8 feet while it was being loading on the frigate USS Luce. The warhead was dented but otherwise unharmed. The incident was first documented in the "Chronology of Nuclear Accident Statements" released by the Department of Defense in 1968.
*February 22, 1970, Boetingen, West Germany
A nuclear warhead from a Pershing ballistic missile fell to the pavement during maintenance procedures. The launch pad was evacuated and the area sealed off. The warhead, however, did not detonate.
The incident occurred when a crewman, working alone in violation of regulations that require at least two persons to be present around nuclear weapons, accidentally removed an explosive bolt and its detonating cable, causing the warhead to fall. The fall broke off approximately a one-half inch piece of the missile's nosecone and also put a two inch gouge in the nosecone and badly scratched the warhead's ablative material. The incident was originally reported as a "Broken Arrow," but was later downgraded to a "Bent Spear" incident.
Nine teletypes dated February 22, 23 and 27, and March 10, 1970, to Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army in Europe, Heidelberg, Germany. Cited in Chuck Hansen, "Appendix 3: Typical U.S. Nuclear Weapon Accidents: 1950-1980," p. 59.
*November 10, 1970, USS Canopus (AS-34)
A fire broke out in the stern of the U.S. Navy submarine tender USS Canopus which was carrying several nuclear-armed missiles. The tender was at the Holy Loch submarine base in Scotland moored alongside two American nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. It took four hours to bring the fire under control.
"Selected Accidents Involving Nuclear Weapons -1950-1993," Greenpeace, http://www.greenpeace.org.
*February 14, 1974, Plattsburgh AFB, New York
The nose landing gear of a USAF FB-111 carrying two short range attack air-to-surface missiles and two nuclear bombs collapsed as the aircraft was commencing an engine run-up during an alert exercise. There was no damage to the weapons and they were unloaded without incident.
February 15, 1974, letter from Brig. Gen. James R. Brickel, USAF, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy, to Edward J. Bauser, Executive Director, JCAE. Cited in Chuck Hansen, "Appendix 3: Typical U.S. Nuclear Weapon Accidents: 1950-1980," p. 59.
*October 23, 1975, Yucca Flats, Nevada
A canister containing a nuclear weapon's fissile core fell 40 feet to the bottom of a shaft during preparations for an underground nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site. The warhead had a yield of less than 20 kilotons. Although the warhead did not detonate and there was no leakage of radioactive material, 11 Nevada Test Site workers were injured. The device was to be detonated as part of a series of underground tests code-named "Peninsula."
The incident was verified by U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) spokesman, David Miller. According to the ERDA, safety mechanisms built into the warhead precluded the possibility that the device could have accidentally detonated.
The Washington Star, October 30, 1975, p. 2 (31).
*November 22, 1975, Aboard the USS Belknap (DLG-26) and USS John F. Kennedy
(CVA-67), 70 Miles East of Sicily, Italy
During night exercises the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy and the cruiser USS Belknap collided, lodging the Belknap's superstructure beneath the Kennedy's overhanging flight deck. The carrier's fuel lines were ruptured, spreading gasoline over the deck of the Belknap, which ignited and burned for more than two hours.
Although this accident is one of the best-known and well-documented nuclear weapons accidents, the presence of nuclear weapons onboard the Belknap and the Kennedy have never been publicly acknowledged by the Navy or Pentagon. However, documents obtained by Greenpeace show that minutes after the incident occurred, the commander of Carrier Striking Forces for the Sixth Fleet sent a secret nuclear weapons accident message (a "Broken Arrow") to the Pentagon, warning of the "high probability that nuclear weapons aboard the Belknap were involved in fire and explosion." The story has been corroborated by a retired admiral who was aboard the Belknap at the time of the accident.
One of the ships that came to the Belknap's aid was the nuclear-capable frigate USS Bordelon, which collided with the USS John F. Kennedy a year later 75 miles north of Scotland. That ship's anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) container, where nuclear weapons would normally be held, was nearly crushed.
*April 16, 1976, Aboard the Cruiser USS Albany (CG-10)
The Cruiser USS Albany experienced a nuclear weapons incident -- known as a "Dull Sword" -- when a TALOS surface-to-surface missile's nuclear warhead was damaged.
"Selected Accidents Involving Nuclear Weapons -1950-1993," Greenpeace, http://www.greenpeace.org.
*November 28, 1977, West Germany
An army CH-47 carrying nuclear warheads on a logistical move crashed shortly after takeoff when a fire caused the helicopter to lose power to an engine. The fire was extinguished and the weapons were safely removed to a storage site.
"Dull Sword" Incident. Teletype dated November 28, 1977, to Commander, Field Command Defense Atomic Support Agency, Kirtland AFB, from Commander, Army Armament Materiel Readiness Command (ARRCOM), Rock Island, Illinois. Cited in Chuck Hansen, "Appendix 3: Typical U.S. Nuclear Weapon Accidents: 1950-1980," p. 60.
*September 15, 1980, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota
A B-52H bomber carrying nuclear-armed AGM-69 short range attack missiles caught fire while on the ground during an alert exercise. A strong wind and firefighters managed to keep the intense flames away from the missiles. The fire was caused by a fuel leak and burned intensely, fed by fuel from the Number Three main wing tank. The fire burned for more than three hours and was extinguished only after the fuel flow had ceased.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Roger Batzel later testified that if "the wind was blowing down the axis of the airplane, the whole aircraft [including its load of nuclear-armed missiles] would have been engulfed in flames."
USAF Mishap Report, Headquarters 15th Air Force, March AFB, California, September 29, 1980; "North Dakota's Near-Nuclear Disaster," Peninsula Times Tribune, August 13, 1991, pp. A-1, A-6; Kidder UCRL-LR-107454, p. E1. Cited in Chuck Hansen, "Appendix 3: Typical U.S. Nuclear Weapon Accidents: 1950-1980," p. 61.
*April 9, 1981, Aboard the USS George Washington (SSBN-598) in the South China Sea
The nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine USS George Washington collided with a Japanese freighter in the East China Sea, causing slight damage to the submarine's sail and sinking the freighter. The submarine carried up to 160 nuclear warheads on its 16 Poseidon C-3 sea-launched ballistic missiles.
*March 12, 1984, Aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk collided with a Victor-class Soviet nuclear-powered attack submarine in the Sea of Japan. At the time of the collision, the USS Kitty Hawk was carrying up to several dozen nuclear weapons, and the Soviet submarine probably carried two nuclear torpedoes.
So while the public slept unmindful of these events, our veterans were very much aware.
From All POW/MIA this list of American aircraft shot down by Communist forces
Cold War Incidents As Reported By DPMO JANUARY 2003
Incident Total: 14 Personnel Total: 165
This does not include Korea and Vietnam
4/8/50 Navy PB4Y2 crew of 10 shot down by Soviet fighters over Baltic Sea, off coast of Liepaya, Latvia. Entire crew remains unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - PB4Y-2
BECKMAN, FRANK - MISSING
BOURASSA, JOSEPH JAY - MISSING
BURGESS, TOMMY L - MISSING
DANENS, JOE H - MISSING
FETTE, JOHN H - MISSING
PURCELL, EDWARD J - MISSING
REYNOLDS, ROBERT D - MISSING
RINNIER, JOSEPH NORR - MISSING
SEESCHAF, HOWARD W - MISSING
THOMAS, JACK W - MISSING
11/6/51 Navy P2V crew of 10 shot down by Soviet LA-11 fighters over Sea of Japan. Entire crew remains unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - P2V
BAGGETT, REUBEN S - MISSING
FOSTER, PAUL R - MISSING
HODGSON, JUDD C - MISSING
JURIC, PAUL G - MISSING
LIVELY, JACK - MISSING
MEYER, WILLIAM S - MISSING
ROSENFELD, SAMUEL - MISSING
SMITH, DONALD ALLEN - MISSING
WIGERT, RALPH - MISSING
RAGLIN, ERWIN D - MISSING
6/13/52 Air Force RB-29 crew of 12 shot down by Soviet MiG-15 fighters over Sea of Japan. Entire crew remains unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - RB29
BECKER, ROSCO G - MISSING
BERG, EDDIE R - MISSING
BLIZZARD, WILLIAM A - MISSING
BONURA, LEON FRANK - MISSING
BUSCH, SAMUEL N - MISSING
HOMER, WILLIAM ROBER - MISSING
MONSERRAT, MIGUEL W - MISSING
MOORE, DAVID L - MISSING
MCDONNELL, ROBERT J - MISSING
PILLSBURY, DANNY H - MISSING
SCULLEY, JAMES A - MISSING
SERVICE, SAMUEL D - MISSING
10/7/52 Air Force RB-29 crew of eight shot down by Soviet LA-11 fighters north of Hokkaido Island. Capt Dunham's remains returned to U.S. in 1993. Seven remain unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type -RB29
BROCK, PAUL E - MISSING
COLGAN, SAMUEL A - MISSING
ENGLISH, EUGENE M - MISSING
HIRSCH, JOHN ARTHUR - MISSING
KENDRICK, FRED G - MISSING
NEAIL, FRANK E - MISSING
SHIPP, THOMAS G - MISSING
DUNHAM, JOHN R - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
11/29/52 ACFT - USG civilian aircraft shot down over PRC. Two crew members (Fecteau/Downey)
captured, two others (Schwartz/Snoddy) killed in crash.
SCHWARTZ, NORMAN (Civilian) - BB - KILLED IN ACTION/BODY NOT RECOVERED
SNODDY, ROBERT (Civilian) - BB - KILLED IN ACTION/BODY NOT RECOVERED
FECTEAU, RICHARD (Civilian) - RESCUED OR RETURNED ALIVE
DOWNEY, JOHN T (Civilian) - RESCUED OR RETURNED ALIVE
1/18/53 Navy P2V crew of 13 hit by Chinese shore batteries and forced to "ditch" in Formosa Straits. 11 initially rescued by Coast Guard plane, which crashed on takeoff due to rough seas. Seven from P2V (and three from Coast Guard plane) rescued by USS Halsey Powell. Six P2V crew members remain unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - P2V
ANGELL, DWIGHT C - MISSING
BEAHM, RONALD A - MISSING
MORLEY, PAUL A - MISSING
MCCLURE, WILLIAM F - MISSING
SMITH, LLOYD - MISSING
BYARS, CLIFFORD R - MISSING
MACDONALD, WALLACE L - RETURNEE/RESCUED
FRENCH, ROBERT L - RETURNEE/RESCUED
LUDENA, ROY - RETURNEE/RESCUED
VARNEY, VEARL V - RETURNEE/RESCUED
PROUHET, CLEMENT R - RETURNEE/RESCUED
BALLENGER, DANIEL J - RETURNEE/RESCUED
BROWN, CECIL H - RETURNEE/RESCUED
7/29/53 Air Force RB-50 crew of 17 shot down by Soviet MiG-17 fighters over Sea of Japan. Capt Roche recovered alive on following day. Remains of Capt O'Kelley and MSgt Brown recovered along coast of Japan. Fourteen remain unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - RB50
BEYER, FRANK E - MISSING
CZYZ, EDMUND J - MISSING
GABREE, DONALD W - MISSING
GOULET, ROLAND E - MISSING
HILL, DONALD G - MISSING
KEITH, JAMES G - MISSING
RUSSELL, CHARLES J - MISSING
SANDERSON, WARREN J - MISSING
STALNAKER, ROBERT E - MISSING
TEJEDA, FRANCISCO J - MISSING
WARD, JOHN C - MISSING
WIGGINS, LLOYD C - MISSING
WOODS, JAMES E - MISSING
BROWN, FRANCIS L - BODY RECOVERED
O'KELLEY, STANLEY K - BODY RECOVERED
ROCHE, JOHN E - RETURNEE/RESCUED
RADLEIN, EARL W - MISSING
4/17/55 Air Force RB-47 crew of three shot down by Soviet MiG-15 fighters north of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The entire crew remains unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - RB47E
BROOKS, ROBERT N - MISSING
NEIGHBORS, LACIE C - MISSING
WATKINS, RICHARD E - MISSING
8/22/56 Navy P4M crew of 16 shot down by Chinese fighters off the Chinese coast near Wenchow. Remains of LCDR Ponsford and AT1 Martin recovered by U.S. ships. Remains of AT1 Haskins and AT3 Curtis recovered and returned by Chinese. 12 crew members remain unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - P4M
BARBER, DONALD W - MISSING
CARON, WARREN EDGAR - MISSING
DEANE, JAMES BRAYTON - MISSING
FLOOD, FRANCIS ARTHU - MISSING
HUMBERT, WILLIAM M - MISSING
HUTCHINSON, MILTON - MISSING
LOUNSBURY, HAROLD E - MISSING
MESSINGER, CARL EDWI - MISSING
POWELL, WALLACE W - MISSING
SPRINKLE, DONALD EUG - MISSING
STRYKOWSKY, LEONARD - MISSING
YOUNG, LLOYD LAWAYNE - MISSING
CURTIS, JACK ALBERT - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
HASKINS, WILLIAM F - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
MATTIN, ALBERT PERRY - BODY RECOVERED
PONSFORD, JAMES W - BODY RECOVERED
9/10/56 Air Force RB-50 crew of 16 lost over the Sea of Japan. There is no evidence to suggest it was shot down, and its loss may have been due in part to Typhoon Emma. The entire crew remains unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - RB50
ARROWOOD, PALMER D - MISSING
BEISTY, JOHN EDWARD - MISSING
DAVIS, BOBBY RAY - MISSING
DISBROW, LORIN C - MISSING
ELLIS, WILLIAM H - MISSING
FAIR, WAYNE J - MISSING
FEES, RODGER A - MISSING
JOHNSON, RAYMOND D - MISSING
KOBAYASHI, RICHARD T - MISSING
MAXWELL, HARRY S - MISSING
MCLAUGHLIN, WILLIAM - MISSING
RAHANIOTES, PETER J - MISSING
SLOAN, LEO J - MISSING
SWINEHART, PAUL W - MISSING
TAYLOR, PAT PARTRIDG - MISSING
TRIAS, THEODORUS J - MISSING
9/2/58 Air Force C-130 crew of 17 shot down by Soviet MiG-17 fighters over Soviet Armenia. Soviets returned six sets of remains later that month. 11 sets of remains were recovered in 1998. All are now accounted for.
Aircraft Type - C130
BOURG, ARCHIE T - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
DUNCAN, PAUL E - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
FERGUSON, JAMES E - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
FIELDS, JOEL H - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
JERUSS, EDWARD J - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
KAMPS, HAROLD T - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
MADEIROS, GERALD H - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
MAGGIACOMO, GERALD C - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
MANKINS, CLEMENT O - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
MELLO, ARTHUR L - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
MOORE, ROBERT H - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
OSHINSKIE, ROBERT J - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
PETROCHILOS, GEORGE - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
PRICE, LAROY - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
SIMPSON, JOHN E - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
SWIESTRA, RUDY J - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
VILLAREAL, RICARDO M - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
7/1/60 Air Force RB-47 crew of six shot down over Barents Sea. McKone and Olmstead were rescued by Soviet trawler and held captive at Lubyanka prison until 25 January 1961. Palm's remains were found and returned 25 Jul 1960. Soviet documents from that time indicate Posa's remains may have also been recovered, and buried at an undetermined location. Posa and the other two crewmembers remain unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - RB47
GOFORTH, OSCAR L - MISSING
PHILLIPS, DEAN B - MISSING
POSA, EUGENE E - MISSING
MCKONE, JOHN R - RETURNEE/RESCUED
OLMSTEAD, FREEMAN B - RETURNEE/RESCUED
PALM, WILLARD G - NEGOTIATED REMAINS
12/14/65 Air Force RB-57 crew of 2 lost over the Black Sea. There is no evidence indicating it was lost to hostile action. Search and rescue efforts by US, Turkish, and Soviet forces discovered parts of the aircraft, but no survivors or remains. Both crewmembers remain unaccounted for.
Aircraft Type - RB57
LACKEY, LESTER L - MISSING
YATES, ROBERT A - MISSING
4/15/69 Navy EC-121 crew of 31 shot down by North Korean fighters over the Sea of Japan. Two remains were recovered by US Navy ships. 29 crewmembers remain unaccounted-for.
Aircraft Type - EC121
BALDERMAN, LOUIS F - MISSING
CHARTIER, STEPHEN C - MISSING
COLGIN, BERNIE J - MISSING
CONNORS, BALLARD F - MISSING
DUCHARME, GARY RAY - MISSING
DZEMA, JOHN - MISSING
GLEASON, DENNIS B - MISSING
GRAHAM, GENE KENNETH - MISSING
GREINER, LAVERNE A - MISSING
HORRIGAN, DENNIS J - MISSING
KINCAID, RICHARD H - MISSING
LYNCH, HUGH M - MISSING
MILLER, JOHN ALEXAND - MISSING
MCNAMARA, MARSHALL H - MISSING
MCNEIL, TIMOTHY H - MISSING
OVERSTREET, JAMES HO - MISSING
PERROTTET, PETER P - MISSING
POTTS, JOHN H - MISSING
PRINDLE, RICHARD THO - MISSING
SWEENEY, RICHARD E - MISSING
RIBAR, JOSEPH R - MISSING
RANDALL, FREDRICK AR - MISSING
ROACH, JAMES LEROY - MISSING
SINGER, JOHN HALLECK - MISSING
SMITH, RICHARD E - MISSING
SUNDBY, PHILIP D - MISSING
SYKORA, ROBERT JOSEP - MISSING
TAYLOR, ROBERT FRANK - MISSING
TESMER, STEPHEN JOSE - MISSING
WILKERSON, NORMAN EL - MISSING
WILLIS, DAVID MONROE - MISSING
As reported by ALL POW/MIA on their website http://www.aiipowmia.com/
Notice the total deaths listed for Cold War Era
2 September 1945 - 21 August 1991
Participants: Classified :: POWs: Classified :: MIAs: 343 :: Deaths In Service: Classified :: Deaths In Service: 407,316 ERA
One incident I believe I left out of the list was the infamous "Tree Trimming Incident".
On Aug 16, 1976, The United States and the UN Command decided that one particular tree
in the DMZ was blocking the line of sight from two checkpoints.
A workforce of South Koreans was sent out to evaluate the tree as to the best way to remove
it. They were approached by Communist guards who told them to leave the tree alone. The UNC
decided to trim the tree as a comprimise.
North Korea had been attempting to "stir up trouble" for the US and UN forces. Almost half
of the Korean Peoples Army was massed close to the border of the DMZ. And almost daily
issued reports of American brutality and wrong doing. Kim Il Sung was determined to embarrss
the U.S., and starting in March there were more incidents of shooting along the border. On Aug.
5 North Korea declared the South Korea and the United States had completed "war preperations", and ready to attack. Claiming the United States was the "problem" on the
On Aug. 18 a workforce of 15 (3 officers, 5 laborers and 7 security forces) was dispatched
at 1030 hours to trim the tree. According to reports the next six minutes were very dramatic.
Two KPA (Korean Peoples Army) officers and nine guards approached to work force.
When imformed the tree was only to be trimmed one Communist offier agreed, and some
of the guards began giving advice on how to trim the tree. At 1050 hours the Communists
orderd the work to stop, and threatened the UNC force. Thirty guards suddenly appeared
and attacked Captain Arthur Bonifas, the detachment commander. Witnesses saw the guards
bludgen Capt. Bonifas with the blunt end of an axe as he lay on the ground.
The communists also attacked First Lieutenant Mark Barrett and several other Americans
with clubs and ax handles. Pictures show groups of seven and nine communist guards striking
the Americans with their hands and feet as well as clubs.
Bonifas and Barrett died at the scene and several more Americans were injured.
Several options in put forth in Washington, as to how to respond to this attack. First the
area along the border was raised to Defcon 3 and troops were ready to mobilize and deploy.
Other plans were to fly unmanned B-52 bombers over the North, the movement of nuclear
and conventional artillary and mechanized forces to the border.
F-111's and B-52's were moved to bases closer to Korea, a carrier task group was dispatched
to the area.
The tree was cut down and removed, and General Richard Stilwell issued a strong protest
to President Kim. The U.S. did receive a very weak apology for the incident.
The deaths of two American officers should never be forgotten, and these are just two more
of the Forgotten Heroes Of The Cold War. There are many more, some whose stories may
never be told.
Let us not forget any longer. There are still thousands of Americans Missing In Action from
Korea, demand your legislators act now to demand a full accounting and return of all the
POW/MIA or their remains. This is a blot on our history that should be cleaned properly.
Bring our troops home and give closeure to their families.
Radioactive Fallout from nuclear tests spread across entire U.S.
From 1950 through 1963, thousands of ever-more powerful nuclear bombs exploded. You would think we would have noticed something like that, but the explosions were merely "tests" in "isolated" areas, like Nevada, U.S.A. No cities were blown away. Nobody died... until later.
On Feb. 28, 2002
, USA Today reported on an unreleased federal study blaming fallout from worldwide nuclear bomb testing for at least 15,000 cancer-related deaths and more than 20,000 non-fatal cancers in U.S. residents born since 1951.
While some members of Congress have criticized the Department of Health and Human Services for delaying the release of the report begun in 1998, another study completed -- and released -- in 1997, showed how the 90 U.S. nuclear bomb tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) during the 1950s and 1960s spread radioactive iodine-131 fallout across the entire country.
The 1997 National Cancer Institute report, "Estimated Exposures and Thyroid Doses Received by the American People from Iodine-131 in Fallout Following Nevada Atmospheric Nuclear Bomb Tests
," showed that depending on their age at the time of the tests, where they lived, and what foods they consumed, particularly milk, Americans were exposed to varying levels of I-131 for about two months following each of the 90 tests. Because I-131 accumulates in the thyroid gland, the report raised concerns that the fallout could eventually cause thyroid cancer in adults who were exposed as children.
Fact Sheet on Thyroid Cancer
Iodine-131 -- Thyroid Disease Glossary
Answers to Questions About Thyroid Cancer
According to the report, the thyroid of every person living in the U.S. during nuclear testing -- about 160 million people -- received an average does of about 2 rads of I-131, with maximum doses of up to 300 rads. By comparison, children undergoing a diagnostic thyroid scan in the 1950s received 200 to 300 rads. Today, a thyroid scan delivers from 0.4 to 4 rads to the thyroid.
The NCI report showed that, in general, persons living in states to the north and east of the Nevada test site received the highest doses. Midwestern states including Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri received particularly heavy doses.
US map with County-by-County I-131 Fallout Exposures
Executive Summary of NCI Report
Describes the results in non-technical language, and lists the 24 U.S. counties with the highest average cumulative exposures from all 90 tests combined.
Interestingly, Nevada counties received relatively low doses. Scientists concluded that the force of the atomic blasts carried the I-131 so high into the atmosphere that it was carried by the jet stream completely over Nevada before settling in states to the north and east.
Most children aged 3 months to 5 years probably received three to seven times the average dose for the population in their county, because they drank more milk than adults, and because their thyroids were smaller. By contrast, most adults probably received two to four times less than the average county dose.
Estimated I-131 Dosage Calculator
Determine an individual's estimated total thyroid dose of I-131 from each nuclear test or series of tests compiled by date of birth.
Testimony on Thyroid Exposure Received from Iodine-131
The testimony of Dr. Richard D. Klausner, M.D. Director, National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services before the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies October 1, 1997.
According to cancer researchers, persons exposed to the I-131 fallout would face an increased risk of contracting thyroid cancer at some time during their lifetimes. While thyroid cancer is typically rare and easily treatable, doctors estimated that I-131 fallout could result in an additional 120,000 cases and about 6,000 deaths.
At time of its release, NCI made it clear that their 1997 report did not attempt to measure fallout from nuclear testing conducted in the former Soviet Union or by U.S. tests in the Pacific.
According to USA Today, the unreleased HHS report will show that more fallout from Soviet testing than previously thought possible reached the United States. Chances are, says USA Today, the report will conclude that every person born in America since 1951 has been exposed to radioactive fallout from nuclear testing.
From the 3rd Armored Division
CASUALTIES OF THE COLD WAR
While the Cold War did not generally produce casualties as other wars do, many soldiers still lost their lives while serving on freedoms frontier. Most of the casualties died in training accidents, these soldiers died in foreign lands protecting freedom. So we wanted to honor these veterans for their ultimate sacrifice for our country. The names of these Spearhead soldiers will be added in chronological order. If we get information about the facts surrounding each soldier we will publish the story behind each soldiers death.
If you have additional information or additions that need to be made about any of these soldiers please contact the webmaster
Vincent Steiner of D Battery 57th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, died from brain hemorrhage while on duty at the Fligerhorst Kaserne on 31 October 1955. Vincent Steiner was a mechanic serving as part of the 3d Armored Division advance party for Operation Gyroscope. Cpl Victor M. Motherly a former P.O.W in the Korean War escorted his body home to Ohio. This information was provide by his daughter to honor her father.
PVT McAllister C Company 709th Tank Battalion was killed on base by another soldier in 1955. This information was provided by Joe McElreath: PVT McAllister was killed on post at Ft.Knox KY when he confronted another soldier for not doing his mess duty job. This soldier didn't like following orders and he told "Mac" he would meet him in the parking lot after they got off duty. Mac went to the lot. The guy had stolen a butcher knife from the mess hall and he jumped on Mac's back from behind stabbing him several times. Mac died before he got to the hospital. It is unknown how much time this coward spent in prison for this act. Mac was a good soldier and friend. May god bless his soul.and thanks for listing his name.---I was one of his many friends in the army. Joe McElreath
PVT Stefan J. Maj Jr A Company 23rd Engineer Battalion was run over by an M48 tank during a night exercise at Grafenwöhr in 1956 or 1957. He and another soldier were posted to guard a corner intersection. One was supposed to keep watch while other slept. The tank cut the corner where they were dug in. The survivor said he was the one who was sleeping. PVT Maj was still alive & was transported by ambulance to the hospital in Nüremberg. He was DOA. We called him Maj (also on his name tag) since his Slavic name was long and difficult to pronounce. After his death we learned that as a child he was interred in a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, reportedly not too far away from where he died. PVT Maj emigrated to the States after the war. A draftee in 1955, he said his family was opposed to his being assigned to a unit which was scheduled to replace 4th Infantry Division in Germany.
We have this additional account of this incident from Henry Wheat
:Pvt Stefan J Maj Jr was from Somerville, NJ, this was something we had in common because I was also from NJ, about 20 miles north of Somerville, a town called Parsippany. However, I did not know Maj until we met at FT Knox. Maj and his family did emigrate to the US from Czechoslovakia after WW2. He was drafted into the Army in July 1955 and assigned to A co, 23rd, AEB, 3AD. We trained with the unit at Ft Knox and arrived in Hanau, FRG on July 10, 1956. We were in our barracks in Hanau less than a month when A Company was sent to Grafenwohr during August 1956 for extensive training in the field.We were told that we would be at Grafenwohr for a few weeks, everything went smoothly and near the end of our stay we participated in a field exercise with other units of the 3AD. The field exercise lasted two days and at the end of the second day our platoon pulled into an open field, that was surrounded by woodland, for some chow and a rest period. We were hungry and tired with little sleep in the previous 36 hours. We were gathered around our vehicles eating our meal when an infantry officer, a major, appeared and ordered us to disperse because the field exercise was not over.We hurried to finish our meal and were told to pair off across the field. Maj and Landrio the driver of A-11, APC walked out into the field and placed their air mattress and sleeping bag on the ground, crawled in and went to sleep. Their sleeping bags were not side by side but head to head at 90 degrees to each other. My sleeping buddy and I were only a few yards away from them. During the night a tank came through the field missing everyone sleeping on the ground except Maj and Landrio. Because of the position they were in, at right angles to each other, the treads missed Landrio, the two tracks passed on each side of him, however one track ran over Maj. He and Landrio were transported by ambulance to the hospital in Nurnberg where Maj was DOA. Landrio suffered no injuries and was released the next day.Landrio told me later that Maj was alive during the ride to the hospital. They had a conversation during most of the trip. He did say the ride was rough and bumpy and they felt every bump which made the pain greater for Maj. Two days later A Company attended a memorial service in the chapel at Grafenwohr with Maj's closed casket in attendance. Just to set the record straight, no one was posted to guard a corner intersection and no one was supposed to keep watch while the other slept.
PFC (We need a name) of the 33d Tank Battalion was working in tank maintenance and was directing a tank into a service stall when it pinned him against a wall and crushed him to death.
(Name) 83rd Recon Battalion, (Name) was killed when he was pinned between a laundry truck andthe wall of the barracks sometime between 1956 and 1958.
CPT Edward Young of Headquarters Company, 33d Tank Battalion died from a self-inflicted 45cal gunshot wound to the head. This occurred in his office at midday while others were working in nearby offices.
(We need a name), 2nd Battalion 73rd Field Artillery (We need a name) who had just arrived five days earlier assigned to the 73rd Arty Hanau was killed when a spade was released from a tank and it crushed him during 1959 or 1960.
This information provided by Bob Bollman
: While stationed in Gelnhausen, Germany I was at Wildflecken in 1958-9 with the 6th Field Artillery, 3AD. The weather was terrible. There were 3 or more casualties. One was accidentally shot in barracks, one was a jeep rollover and one was a tank turret accident. I don't remember any more details. These were sad memories but I would like to know more about them now.
In one terrible accident on Friday 2 September 1960 at Grafenwöhr, Germany a howitzer from Battery A, 3d Battalion, 18th Field Artillery, an element of the V Corps Artillery, fired an 8 inch projectile with an incorrect charge. This round landed outside of the impact area in Camp Kaserne where the 3d Reconnaissance Squadron, 12th Cavalry of the 3d Armored Division was bivouacked. When the round impacted 16 soldiers were killed and a further 26 were wounded. The table below list the names and units of those killed and wounded.
Mappin, Jack W. Jr. MSG
Rodgers, Edward V. SFC
Cochran, Charles SGT
Eastham, Jack L. SP5
Beckworth, James B. SP4
Johnson, Earl SP4
Merrill, William A. SP4
Barofaldi, Robert E. PFC
Harris, Norman D. PFC
Higman, Michael J. PFC
Love, David L. PFC
Lucas, Elmo M. Jr. PFC
Nelson, Charles L. PFC
Parker, J. C. PFC
Pleshakov, George PFC
Saurino, Augustine PFC
Sergeant, Charles W. SFC
Crum, Melvin R. SFC
Gaynard, Grant SFC
Coomer, Robert R. SFC
Egland, Clarence C. SFC
Mollett, John B. SFC
Tilley, James V. SGT
Oldziejewski, Alesky SP4
Riechter, Charles SP4
Howard, Robert H. SP4
Pinkley, Norman G. SP4
Wilson, Robert L. SP4
Bibler, Douglas A. PFC
Carr, Richard L. PFC
Eichenlaub, George H. PFC
Richards, Lawrence PFC
Romweber, George P. "Peter" PFC
Szuravkin, George PFC
Carey, Jesse L. PFC
Church, David J. PFC
Fisher, Charles D. PFC
Patton, Thomas F. PFC
Robbins, Keith C. PFC
Siner, Bobby PFC
Vaughn, Franklin W. PFC
From Basil J. Hobar, Colonel, USA (Ret), Alexandria, VA and Bonita Springs, FL:I was looking for information on this incident for a memoir I am writing for my children and found your website on an Internet search. I was a second lieutenant in the 3rd Inf Div in Bamberg, Germany at the time of the terrible incident. I remember the news of it spreading like wildfire and the ensuing fallout. I have no first hand information on the incident and for me it was a news story only until quite a few years later.
In 1965/66 I was serving in the 5th SF Gp (Abn) in Vietnam on Detachment C-3. My boss, the detachment XO, was one Major Joseph C. Lutz, Armor. One day we got to talking about that incident and Major Lutz told me that he was the commanding officer of the cavalry troop that was on the receiving end of the artillery round! He was probably a captain at the time of the incident. Joe Lutz continued in Special Forces and rose to the rank of Major General. He died several years ago. I thought you might want to add this information to your description of the incident. I served in the 3rd AD from 1976 to 1979 so I am an old Spearheader too!
From Thomas R. Derzon on this incident:I was in B Troop of the 12th Cavalry 3rd Recon Sq. on September 2, 1960 at Grafenwöhr when the artillery shell overshot the impact area and landed in the D Troop arms tent. It as an 8 inch howitzer that had too big a bag charge of powder. A few years later I found myself working along side a fellow veteran who was actually on that gun crew. Everyone concerned was devastated by the incident. Our hearts and minds when out to our fellow troopers who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom even though it was peacetime. The only positive was that on all of our remaining trips to Grafenwöhr, we never again had to stay in tent city. We paid the price.
Documents/Graf Incident Article.pdf
The above link takes you to a section of the USAG Hessen command information newspaper, the Herald Union. I thought you might be interested in the story of page 6 of the PDF file. It tells the story of a former 3-12th, 3rd AD Soldier who pushed to have a memorial put up for 16 3-12th Soldiers that were killed in a training accident in Grafenwoehr, Germany in 1960.Thank you,Susan HusemanUSAG Hessen Herald UnionAssociate EditorDSN 323-2134
SGT Fisher a tank commander was killed in a night- training accident when his tank over-turned and
caught fire. The accident happened in 1960 at Area M near Schweinfurt, Germany.This information was provided by R. Turner.
SP4 Richard Buzzell of B Company 1st MTB 32d Armor I don't recall exactly what year this happened (1960-61) a fellow named Buzzell was killed when a jeep rolled over on him during a training exercise at Wildflecken. I'm not sure but I believe that Buzzy was in B. Company, My name is Kenneth R. Ashby and I was stationed at Ray Barracks from Jan 1960 to Oct 1962. I was initially in the Scout Platoon of the 52 ND Armored Rifle Bn until I raised enough ruckus and was transferred to the Support Platoon HQ Co. 1st MTB. I was finally transferred to 2nd Platoon, C. Company where I stayed until rotation Stateside. Here is an additional comment from Carl Barnett
: In the case of the 1961 accident with SP4 Buzzell, I knew him but not real well. I was a member of the 1st BN 32AR scout platoon (HQ company) from April '61 to Oct '63 and I recall the event. Buzzell was within a couple months of rotating back to the world. It was a sad event.
This update was provided by Gerald Benton
who served in HHC 3-32AR 1960-1962. SP4 Buzzell who is listed as a 1961 Cold War Casualty was a very close friend. Buzzy, as he was called, was named Richard Buzzell. He was assigned to Hq Co.Commo Platoon. I remember that many questions were raised about the correctness.of his accident report. At the time he was driving for a Captain.The story went: Buzzy got stuck on a icy ledge. The Captain got out of the jeep and told buzzy that he would walk back for help and not to try to move the jeep. The Captain left walking.The Jeep had two(2) angrc19 radios. When help arrived, Buzzy was found down the ledge pinned underneath the jeep. Buzzell was from Boston, Massachusetts and I remember that he didn't pronounce R's.
SP4 Jackson of HQS Platoon D Company 3d Med.Tank Battalion was killed when he was run over by a
M-48 A-1 tank which he was ground-guiding. SP4 Jackson was training at Grafenwöhr, Germany -
WinterShield II in 1961. His favorite song was Georgia On My Mind. Information provided by R.Turner.
PFC Heath of HHC 2/33 Armor - It has been too many years to remember the exact date, but it happened in the winter of 1963 when the 2d Armored Division was flown over to Germany for the war games. PFC Heath died of carbon monoxide poisoning. My driver and I provided first aid, but we could not help him. There was a big CID investigation into his death. He was a good friend that I made while at the rock. This information was provided by James Lowery.
SSG Unknown. From David Melton, Company clerk of HHC, 3d AD from Oct 62 to Nov 64: I had been a clerk in AG PM, 503rd Admin Co. for about 5 mos before that. I remember an incident involving E-7 (MSgt E-7, old rank or SSgt E-7) hanging himself. He was of Italian descent, Deluccio or something like that. I remember that he worked in Division Publications, 503rd Admin in an old stable down by the theater at Drake Kaserne. He was about ready to retire, but had to pull one more hitch overseas without his wife and two daughters due to marital troubles. After he received a "Dear John" letter, they found him hanging from a rafter. I didn't know him well but had some dealings picking up things at Publications. I remember he was real quiet and very nice guy. This was in 1963 or 64.
_____Brenner of HHC 2nd Battalion 33rd Armor, Brenner was shot by the COAX machine gun while standing on the front slope of an M-60 Tank while talking to the tank driver.
SFC Cruz of A Company 1st Battalion 36th Infantry, was shot by one of his soldiers that he had recommended should receive an Article 15. CPL (name removed) received a life sentence to Fort Leavenworth.
SGT Young(s) of HHC 1st Battalion, 33rd Armor. We have received the following account of this incident written by then Lieutenant Richard Allen: "The two guys involved were Sgt(E5) Gilmore who did the shooting and Sgt (E5) Youngs who got shot. They were in the Radar Plt. GSR was attached to the S2 office and I was S2 at the time. Gilmore had been an E5 for a while. Young or Youngs, I can't remember which, went to radar school and graduated at the top of his class. He got promoted as a result. The morning of the shooting Gilmore was in bed. HHC had it's morning formation and the First Sgt noticed that Gilmore wasn't there. He sent Young upstairs to get him. Gilmore woke up hung over and mad. He came downstairs and got his M14 from the arms room. He went into the Radar track and got a magazine. Young was standing next to the First Sgt and Gilmore said "move aside Top or I'll shoot you too." He then shot Young a bunch of times. Lt. Marhoffer from 1/48th had a new Volkswagen parked next to them and it was splashed with blood. Gilmore turned and the Radar Plt Sgt, whose name I forget, called to him from about 50' away. He was duty NCO and was in the room with the radio since he hadn't been relieved. Gilmore turned and took a shot at him and it hit the top of the window frame. He then started for the West door and was going to shoot the CO Capt. Fisk. When he got to the door he threw the M14 into the bushes and just surrendered. When I talked to him an hour later I asked him why he shot Young and he said "I don't know." Gilmore was black and Young was white. I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not. I think Gilmore was upset that Young had gotten promoted so fast, but that's a guess as well."
Adding other possibly related information from Jim Chorazy:Unless there were two similar shootings I'm wondering if Dick means the shooting occurred in front of HHC 1-48 INF. I may have events confused, but it seemed like it happened on a weekend morning. I recall the pool of blood almost in front of the Orderly Room. The rumor had it that the two had gotten into an argument over a German woman, but of course the source of such rumors was usually the guy with the best imagination.
Adding other information provided by John Levine:I served at Coleman Kaserne in 1964 and 1965 and I was witness to Sergeant Young's murder. His name was Young, not Youngs, and as I recall the whole battalion had just loaded our tanks on flat cars to go to Graf. It was fall, October or November I think, but I'm not sure. I was in Bravo Company and SGT Young was in Alpha Company. Also serving in Alpha Company was John Rogers, the son of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans who died in a hazing incident where he was coerced into drinking over 4 Zombies; a combination of many shots of bar liquor. He was taken up the hill to the infirmary outside the gate and left to sleep it off. When they came to check on him in the morning he had aspirated and he was dead. In my opinion, he was left to die and killed by neglect and he should be listed among the Cold War dead.Adding other information provided by John Follis:
I was stationed with HHC, 1st Bn. 33d Armor from Jan 1964 to Jul 1966. I remember the death of SGT Young and also PVT John Rogers very well. As John Levine from B Co. already stated in his letter, PVT John Rogers was the son of Roy Rogers & Dale Evens. For about 6 months I was the Battalion mail clerk and got a chance to talk to just about everybody at one time or another when they picked up their mail. So I knew SGT Young as well as the man that shot him, SGT Gilmore. Later I became the Battalion Courts & Boards Clerk and I had to process the paper work concerning both of these deaths. So I remember them very well. What I remember most about John Rogers was that he reminded me of Forrest Gump. He was a rather simple but very likeable person. They nicknamed him Trigger. Not to make fun of him, but because it was the name of his father's famous horse. I think he liked his nickname. I agree with John Levine. I think John Rogers should be listed among the Cold War Dead. I'm sure his parents would have liked that. I know he didn't die a hero in combat, but he was doing something very important. He was an American Soldier.
SP5 COOKSIE of HHC 23rd Engineer Battalion SP5 Cooksie was a heavy equipment operator and was killed while driving a 5 ton tractor with a flatbed trailer hauling earth moving equipment when the brakes went out on the trailer and died when his truck crashed. If you know the date or have any additional information please let us know.
PFC Castor was shot and killed while on guard duty around 1966. He was in the 1st Battalion 32d Armor. Anyone with additional information, please let us know.
PFC Bukowski of Company B, 503rd S&T PFC Bukowski was killed in a 5 ton Wrecker accident while on a training mission.
From James Littleton: I know of a soldier who was killed in 1966 or 1967. We had just returned from the field and he was new and got run over by a M-109 in the motor pool. He was in 2/6 Arty C Battery at Gelnhausen. Don't remember his name as he was new to unit. Sorry I can't remember more info but it was a long time ago. Note from Daryl W. Gordon: I believe this incident occurred in 1967 prior to my arrival in December of that year. The investigation of the incident was actually still going on and I was aware of it since I was attached to the S-1 at Battalion Headquarters.
SP4 Salyers of A Company 3rd Battalion 36th Infantry, a soldier from the 3rd Platoon was run over when he fell down while ground guiding an M113. This accident occurred on post in Kirch-Goens at the intersection of the PX parking lot & the dentist office in March of 1968. Don Wilkins helped us update this information on May 11, 2006. Wilkins was assigned to mortar platoon 106 section and was at the back door to the company when the 3rd Platoon was passing by to the motor pool returning from a seven day training exercise. He states that he heard a loud scream from the street and when he turned towards it, he saw SP4 Salyers under the driver side track. Medical assistance was sought from the dentist office and aid was rendered by those close by. Don thinks that it was the platoon sergeant that was driving the vehicle and the grief and shock of the incident was felt by all.
SP4 Frank Truschone. HHC & A Company 2nd Battalion 32 Armor, was in the Mortar Platoon of HHC 2/32 Armor and was transferred to A 2/32 to assist with the MTA exercise at Graf. SP4 Frank Truschone was crushed by the main gun breach block while serving as the gunner on A-14 during the winter of 1968. This is from 1LT F.J. Haas: I was platoon leader in Company C, 2/32, when Frank was killed. He leaned across the main gun breach block, trying to clear the machine gun which had jammed. He depressed the main gun by accident and was crushed between the breach block and the turret ceiling. It was not a pretty sight.
(We need the names) 2nd Battalion 36th Infantry, During hand grenade live fire training SGT (Name unknown) & PV2 (Name unknown) were both killed when the hand grenade they were throwing exploded inside the throwing pit. Where was this training taking place?
2LT Winters of 1st Plt, C Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 12th CAV, was killed in a car crash on the outskirts of Budingen, when his car hit a tree. Info provided by Larry Brown.
SP4 Wakefield of HHQ Plt, C Trp, 3rd Sqdn, 12th CAV, was killed when the jeep he was riding in rolled over in a one vehicle accident at Graf. Info provided by Larry Brown.
Unknown Soldier of Company E, 23d Engineer Battalion climbed on top of a vehicle on the autobahn to tie down something that was flapping in the wind. He was killed when the vehicle passed under a bridge and he struck the bridge. Info provided by Bruce Carswell
SGT Bounds of 1st Battalion 36th Infantry, SGT Bounds was riding on top of a M-113 during a training exercise when the vehicle rolled over and he was crushed.
(We need the name) 503d S&T BN (We need the name) was killed when his 5000 gallon tanker over on a tank trail and he couldn't get him out it of the because he was pinned to a bank by the drivers door and windshield. He drowned in the diesel fuel pouring from the tanker truck.
SGT Mathews Scout Platoon, Combat Support Company 3rd Battalion 32nd Armor, was ground guiding a Track Recovery Vehicle (TRV) when SGT Mathews was pinned between the TRV & the wash rack wall. SGT Mathews was helping retrieve 'busted up' dune buggies on the recently opened race track that had been built by the engineers
(Name unknown) 3rd Squadron 12th Cavalry (Name unknown) was shot in the neck with a 45 and died. One soldier walked up to the other while pulling guard duty, surprised the soldier, and he was shot. We have this additional information from Patrick Ballback: I WAS ON GUARD DUTY THE NIGHT THE SOLDIER WAS KILLED. IT WAS IN THE AMMO DUMP JUST OUTSIDE THE POST. There were THREE GUARDS , FRONT GATE , BACK GATE & ROVER. I DO NOT REMEMBER THE GUY'S NAME THAT WAS KILLED. I THINK HE WAS FROM C TROOP. THE SHOOTER WAS FROM B TROOP. THEY CALLED HIM MOUSE (NICKNAME) I WAS ON THE BACK GATE , IT WAS GETTING CLOSE FOR US TO BE RELIEVED. MOUSE CAME BY MY STATION. I WAVED, HE WENT ON UP TO the FRONT gate. THATS WHEN I HEARD a SHOT. THE GUARD HID ON HIM & WHEN MOUSE SHOWED, UP HE JUMPED OUT FROM THE SHACK & MOUSE SHOT HIM. SOME TIME AFTER I SAW HIM FROM the BACK GATE. HE PULLED SLIDE ON 45. HE THEN TOOK CLIP FROM the GUARD, PUT HIS IN THE WEAPON & shot THROUGH OUTSIDE the FENCE tO MAKE THEM THINK HE WAS SHOT FROM the OUTSIDE. THE POST WENT ON FULL ALERT. AFTER BEING QUESTIONED BY MPs, HE confessed, TO THE SHOOTING. HE WAS HOPPED UP ON DOPE . HE GOT LIFE AT LEAVENWORTH. This hAPPEND in DECEMBER 1972 . I WAS THERE MARCH 1972 TO AUGUST 1974.
Here is additional information on this incident from Don Snyder
: I was stationed at Buedingen's Armstrong Kaserne from March 1972 to October 1973. If this is the same shooting I remember, the killed soldier was nicknamed "Spaceman". Maybe that would jog someone's memory as to his real name.
1973Info provided by Mitch Hill
. Kirkstetter (I don't remember his first name or rank ) was pulling guard duty at the PX, which was right behind Brigade HQ, on The Rock, sometime in "73 or "74, when he was brutally beaten and stabbed to death. I'd like to mention that there was an officer on the scene trying his best to keep Kirk alive until help arrived. Unfortunately, he died at the scene, despite this officer's best efforts. I don't know who he was, or where he came from, but it would be great if he were recognized for what he tried to do. How do i know these things? Because i was on my way to relieve Kirk, and i saw what transpired immediately after these cowards killed him. I will never forget the look on that young man's face as he lay there dying, staring blankly up at the stars. Or the officer giving him chest compressions and yelling, " breathe son, breathe for me! " I guess the only good to come from this, is that after Kirk's death, the brass finally saw the futility in carrying around an empty M-16 and began issuing ammo to anyone pulling guard duty. If you are aware of the murder of a soldier by the name of Kirkstetter at Ayers Kaserne ( The Rock ) in '73 or '74, please send us an email to update this entry.
SP4 Jessup of HHC 3rd Battalion 33rd Armor had just reenlisted for 6 years and received a large reenlistment bonus. SP4 Jessup purchased a motorcycle with his bonus money. He was taking a ride down through Kirchgoens one day and did not make the "Z" turn in the middle of town. According to the Polizi and CID he burned to death under the big bike. Also it was found that his brake cable had been cut with a hacksaw. This incident occurred sometime between 1974 and 1977. 1975
SP4 Keith Sutherland, HHB 1st Battalion 40th Field Artillery, was riding in the back of a gammagoat when the vehicle rolled over and crushed him in July of 1975.
(We need the name) 3rd Battalion 36th Infantry, (Name) was killed by another soldier during an exchange of post guard shifts. The incident involved the one troop shooting the other in the head with an 'unloaded' .45. He pointed the weapon at the other troop and said 'bang' while pulling the trigger, the weapon was loaded and the soldier was killed. This incident occurred sometime between 1975 and 1978.
Possibly the same incident received from James Mark McGehee
I was legal clerk in 2/36 when the soldier was shot by a fellow guard at Ayers Kaserne. The year was 76 or 77 and the victims unit was from 2/36. The soldier was left back from a field exercise to process him for discharge. I was the one who told his commander not to take him to the field so I could process his discharge. He was guarding the motor pool and armed with a baseball bat. The other guard was armed with a 45 because he was to guard the PX and bank.
PFC Thomas Leroy West lost his life in a car accident in the summer of 1975 not too far from Fliegerhorst Kaserne. This information is from Walter Zemotel who was with F Co, 122 Maintenance Battalion from 1974 to 1976. PFC West was driving around with two other members of that unit when he crossed the center line and met with on coming traffic.
This account is from Kevin E. O'Brien
. I served with 1/33 3AD on Coleman Kaserne between 1975 and 1978. I remember two soldiers who died as the result of drowning in the fire pond that was located between our old buildings in the middle of the base. As I remember it, B Co (my outfit) handed out promotions at the morning formation. It was the habit of our battalion to throw those who received a promotion into the fire pond. A Co and C Co did their promotions at the noon formation. A Co was on our left as we faced the pond. C Co was to our right as we faced the pond. Because A Co was on the left, that gave them the deep end of the pond and the location of the pond outlet. A melee of tossing broke out and numerous solders from A Co and C Co were tossed into the deep part of the pond near the outlet. What started out as fun quickly turned tragic. The upshot was that two soldiers drowned (held under by the outlet). From that moment forward our officers became overly cautious and would overreact any time a work detail or soldier came close to the pond.
(SP4 ______ & SGT_______ we need the names) HHC 3rd Battalion 32 Armor. An ammunition transport Gore overturned in the Freidberg Training Area possible killing the driver (SP4________ & SGT_______) The Gore diver was from HHC Support Platoon & assistant driver was from C Company. If you have any information please let us know.
(We need name) 3rd Battalion 32 Armor A soldier was electrocuted by a railroad power line.Apparently when the train on the way to Grafenwohr was stopped (???? Name) climbed on top of his tank to check something and somehow came in contact with the power line. We have additional information indicating that this soldier was married to a German girl named Corinna living in Bad Nauheim.
And here is something else on this incident from Doug Hall
: I was there when this one happened, but I don’t know who the soldier was. There was one more casualty that is not listed. A soldier was guiding a tank in the wash rack when the tank turned and crushed the soldier against the wash rack barrier and he died. I think that was in 77 or 78.
SGT Ira Lee Golston, Jr. and PFC Cleveland Stewart of the B Company 2d Battalion 36th Infantry, First Brigade, Kirch Goens were killed when their armored personnel carrier overturned while travelling west on the Bad Hersfeld-Alsfeld autobahn, about 8.5 miles northeast of Alsfeld. Three other soldiers in the vehicle were treated for minor injuries and released.
SGT Donald J. Kuykendall of B Battery, 3d Battalion 61st Air Defense Artillery, Budingen died of injuries he received when the Chapparall carrier in which he was riding overturned in a ditch near Budingen. Two other soldiers in the vehicle were admitted to the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt and one other soldier was treated and released.
SGT James E. Snow of 2d Battalion 32d Armor was killed during a training exercise at the Seventh Army Training Center on June 14. He and two other Sergeants were in the fourth class of the Basic NCO course that was part of the Combined Arms School when a high explosive round went off in the tube of an 81mm mortar. The other two were seriously injured and we have no further information on them. The three NCOs had fired one mortar round and were firing the second round to settle the base plate of the weapon when the round exploded in the tube.
Larry Rutledge of B Company 3rd Battalion 32 Armor. Larry, a soldier from B Company was killed during training at Grafenwohr when he attempted to climb out of the driver's station of an M60A1 tank when the turret of the tank traversed and crushed the soldier getting out of the drivers position.
First Sergeant E7 ? Information provided by Stephen Lucero
: During my time serving in Service Battery 2/3 FA in Butzbach Service Battery my First Sergeant was an E7 and I cannot recall his name. He passed away from a heart attack. They said he went to the infirmary in the morning with chest pains and they sent him to work saying it was heartburn or upset stomach anyway. Sometime during that morning I was walking in the barracks when he saw me and he yelled some expletives at me and told me to get to the motorpool with the rest of the battery. Then when we were in line to eat lunch they told us that he passed away so for awhile after that I felt guilty because I'm sure it didn’t help him to have to yell at me. He had a German wife. This was either in 1978 or 1979.
1SG Gray of C Company 2nd Battalion 33rd Armor, was killed while the company was at Freidberg Training Area - his jeep was hit by a German vehicle while at an autobahn exit at night in 1979 or 1980.
SP4 Gregory "Frank" Montoya & SP4 Patrick Romero, A Company 3rd Battalion 32 Armor. were killed on 4 November 1980 at the Hohenfels rail head when (name deleted) climbed into a tank during rail loading, loaded the M60A3 main gun with an armor piercing round (Sabot) & fired the main gun into the tank behind his. All tanks are rail loaded with the main gun in a travel lock position over the back deck. There was apparently a lot of confusion about the whole incident with reports of a lighting strike causing rounds to explode. The incident was finally solved when the tank main gun rounds were counted & inventoried. SGT Jeffrey Young & PVT David Park were also badly burned during this incident. *****The SOB convicted of this murder was sentenced to 20 yrs in Leavenworth but only served 8 years!!Additional information provided by CPT Mark S. Atwood: The 1980 incident in 3/32, when the sabot round was fired into the turret of another tank during movement by rail, it is my understanding there was bad blood between the shooter and some/all members of the other crew over a card game. During rail movements the troops played cards, D and D, etc to pass the time. The shooter had been the big loser and I believe, thought he had been cheated. Here is additional information on this incident from Ken Armstrong
: I served with 3/32 in 1979-1981 and was stationed in Freidburg at Ray Barracks. I also served with Greg Montoya and Pat Romero and was present when they were killed in November of 1980. Pat was a good friend and we drank many a beer together. Hargrove (who fired the shot) was the gunner on my tank, A-35.
SGT Jose A Company 2nd Battalion 32 Armor. SGT Jose died while ground guiding a tank in the motorpool. SGT Jose was moving his tank in position to jump start another tank when he was run over in 1980 or 1981.
SGT (Unknown name) I was in 3/33 Armor from 1979 - 1981 (HHC and B Co). I remember a SGT (can't recall the name/I think he was in CSC) was driving or riding in a jeep at the rear of a convoy and was basically run over/rear ended by a German 18 wheeler after the truck came around a turn too fast. After that we had policy to drive deuce and a halfs at the rear of our convoys. I was there Dec 3 1979 - April 26 1981 and can't remember when he was killed, but it was while I was there. Sorry I don't have more information. Steve Vaughn
SP4 Keith A. Scruggs of 3/61 ADA was killed when he hit a tree head-on in his POV. Hal Johnson
, who provided this information attended a 2d Brigade Leadership Course with SP4 Scruggs and says he was a good soldier and a good friend. His battery had just returned from Crete and he had checked in with his wife, Karen, who worked at the NCO Club. He was going to take a friend to his house in Buedingen to change clothes and return to the club when the accident occurred.
SSG Joseph This information was provided by Jose A. Buentello
: While I was stationed at Ayers Kaserne during my first tour in Germany, I met and worked with another young Staff Sergeant named SSG Joseph. Sergeant Joseph was an excellent NCO with a wife and two young kids. I learned of his death after I left the unit and I believe this happened in January of 1981. He was a professional who made a mistake that took his life. It was standard sop that when jumping off two tanks, you did not stand between two vehicles, this was the mistake he supposedly made. As I said before he was a professional and he loved his service to his country.
In November 1981, SP4 Sheridan, A Co 2nd Bn 33d Armor committed suicide while playing Russian roulette at a friends off post apartment. I remember the incident very well because the individual was assigned to my platoon. Carl Goff
(Name) Service Battery, 2nd Battalion 6th Field Artillery was killed while delivering fuel to OP Bleidorn at Grafenwoehr. The fuel goer he was driving overturned and killed him in November.
CPT Roger C. Laporte of 2nd Battalion 32nd Armor CPT Laport was a national guard officer serving as a company commander. He died after a morning PT run in October. He had gone home to shower and died of a massive heart attack in his bedroom. He was not very old and this updated information was provided by Marcy (Wilds) Walls on 3 Sep 06.CPT Roger C. Laporte was the S-1 for 2-36 Infantry when he passed away. He was the rear detachment commander and I was part of the group he did PT with the morning he died. No one had a clue that he was even sick during PT. CPT Laporte signed my NCOER as senior rater on 24 January 1983 and I departed 3AD in May of 1984. According to his SSAN record, he died in March of 1983. He was one hell of an officer. This additional information was provided on 27 Feb 07 by Robert F. Booth SGM, USA Retired 2-36 Infantry 81/84.
SFC Hightower I believe it was spring '83. I was acting BN CMDR for 3/32 AR at Ray Barracks (Rear Detachment OIC) during a training exercise. I received the word that SFC Hightower had been struck by a civilian vehicle while he was off-duty in Friedberg. Information provided by CPT Mark Atwood 3AD '82-'87
PFC Johnson D Company 23rd Engineer Battalion was transporting an M109A1 Howitzer to Lahnstein, a small town on the Lahn River, south of Koblenz. This was for a static display to celebrate the town's "Military Heritage Day" in the summer of 1984. The Truck had been dispatched with faulty air brakes on the trailer and a bad engine retarder. As the driver of the 5ton was coming down the steep grade into the outskirts of Lahnstein, the strain must have been too much and the air lines blew. Without an engine retarder, the truck simply gained momentum and gained speed coming down hill. The trailer bounced around and struck 2LT Chris Von Fahnesstock's jeep, which was escorting the truck & trailer. Two German Army MP's were injured. One MP had both his legs broken when the 5ton truck rammed his MP VW car and the other MP when he jumped from the same vehicle and hurt his arm or such. The Germans erected a monument on the spot honoring PFC Johnson.
Chaplain Curtiss Karlstad HHC 1st Brigade Chaplain Karlstad had a massive heart attack and died before he hit the ground. We have this additional information from his son, Rolf Karlstad: My Dad was Chaplain (CPT) Curtiss Karlstad. He was Assistant Brigade Chaplain and I believe Sam Sanford was the Brigade chaplain. Dad actually died on active duty on the day of the 1984 Family Fair, May 25th. My fun times as an Army brat ended then. I have some great memories of my time in Butzbach and sincerely wish they weren't cut short! Perhaps someone might recall that the Gym was actually dedicated to my Dad (named Karlstad Gymnasium) a couple of years before the base closed. We were flown over for the very nice ceremony and I won't ever forget that either.
Name. (Nickname Cabbage Patch) HHC 1st Brigade, A female soldier was murdered off post. Please forward any information concerning this soldiers death that occurred sometime between 1984 and 1987. More information from Rick Cushion
: I can't remember her name, but she worked in the mess hall. I remember her because she would make my eggs in the morning. I was in the 2/3 Artillery at Butzbach in June of 1984 before we started moving into our new billets at Ayers in the fall of that year. What I remember is that someone was jogging up the field behind the gasthaus just outside the front gate and found her there. Two weeks later a fellow soldier with dependents turned himself in for the killing. That is all I can remember. Then we have also received this information from MAJ John C. Ling
and we believe it to be this same incident: While assigned as a Cavalry Scout to HHC of 3rd Battalion, 36th Infantry (The Bayonets), 1st Brigade of 3AD, I was acquainted with a female soldier from one of the support units at The Rock. She was an attractive single soldier who had her share of attention from the males. One of her admirers was a married soldier who convinced her to have sex with him in a field across from the main gate behind the Welcome Inn and The Shop of The Rock. As the rumor went, she laughed at his smallness when he dropped his pants, so he killed her with his knife. I don’t recall if this was in 1985 or 1986. I left in July of 1986. I regret that I do not remember any of the names of the people involved.
Here is what appears to be the definitive information on this incident from James Hudson
: I'm an attorney (currently mobilized as a JAG) but was stationed at the Rock during 1985-1987. I worked in the 2/36 mess hall (still have nightmares, worst job I've ever had and I've had some bad experiences). At some point we had a joint support mission and worked with some of the Brigade HQ cooks, one of whom was the "Cabbage Patch" murder victim you have listed on your cold war deaths page. I had never known a murder victim personally prior to her slaying, and my roommate was questioned (their relationship was a bit closer) so the event sort of stuck in my mind. After 20+ years of wondering about the details and the outcome (given my profession) I decided to look up the case. I couldn't remember either of the names and the courts didn't mention Ayers or Kirchgoens so the case was a bit harder to find than one would imagine. The key to the puzzle was your entry mentioning the "Welcome Inn." I'm pretty sure her last name was Burdette, or Burnette (ct. opinion lists it as PVT B. The perpetrator was PFC Edward Whitehead. I've included the appellate courts description of the crime below. I remember a rumor that her friends had figured out who was responsible and were planning to take matters into their own hands, so he turned himself in, while possible the information below suggests otherwise. Whitehead successfully appealed and received a second trial at which he was again convicted of murder. In the end he received a life sentence and as far as I know is still in Levenworth. Here's the court's description: Early on the morning of 1 July 1986 the body of Private [PVT] B was discovered face down in a ditch along a side road not far from the kaserne where she was assigned. Her throat had been cut from ear to ear and she had been stabbed eleven times in the back of the neck and two times in the middle of her back. The shorts she wore had been cut away, leaving her essentially nude below the waist. The evidence showed that PVT B had spent the evening of 30 June with one Specialist [SPC] C and some other friends. Later that evening PVT B suggested that they stop at the Welcome Inn, a popular disco bar near the front gate of the kaserne. SPC C did not want to go but took PVT B there where he dropped her off shortly before midnight. PVT B was a regular at the bar and most of the patrons knew her. Appellant, who also knew her, was already at the bar when PVT B arrived. After she had been there for perhaps an hour, appellant engaged PVT B in conversation, during which he asked her to have sex with him. In his first statement to CID agents (see footnote 1, supra ), appellant stated that she refused to have sex with him so he went home. After indicating deception on his first polygraph examination, however, appellant stated that she did agree to have sex and because she did not want to be seen leaving the disco with him, he drove and she walked to the location where her body was ultimately found. There, they had sex on the hood of appellant's car. Appellant further stated that when he last saw PVT B, she was alive and walking in the direction of the kaserne. Appellant's estranged wife, however, testified at the rehearing that appellant came home very late that night, appeared nervous, had blood “all over” his clothes, and had in his possession a “camouflage” knife from which she saw him cleaning blood (Prosecution Exhibit, or PE 7). Mr. G, a former cellmate of appellant's while in pretrial confinement, testified that “[appellant] told me that he killed someone by cutting them and then he had sex with ... the same person that he killed.” A forensic pathologist called by the government testified that the nature of the throat wound would indicate that the wound was inflicted from behind, left to right, with “a fair amount of force,” and that following such a wound the victim would be conscious for only a few seconds. After being shown pictures of a large blood spatter near the middle of the road, he further opined that the spatter pattern was consistent with her throat having been cut at that location and that she could thereafter have retained consciousness long enough to have staggered to the side of the road before collapsing, after which the stab wounds to the back were possibly inflicted. The cause of death, however, was the throat wound.
The following is from MAJ E L (Gene) Bigelow
, USAR, retired. He was in the 3-12 CAV at Armstrong Kaserne from Nov 1981 to Nov 1984. His last job with the 3-12 was Squadron S-1. SSG Gum, Charlie Troop maintenance NCO was killed when his M-88 rolled over. If I remember correctly the 3/12 was on an ARTEP in the summer of 1984 when this death occurred. PFC Drennen was hit by a train in Oct or Nov 1984 and was killed. His death was being investigated as a suicide as I was ending my tour and heading back to the states.
In 1985 a soldier was killed by a 50 Cal machine gun discharge on a tank range. I heard this information from friends still with the 3/12 while I was at the Infantry Officer Advanced Course. I do not know this soldiers name.
SP4 Brothers, 503 Military Police Company SP4 Brothers died from complications from a gun shoot wound. Sp4 Brothers was shot while on duty in January.
In November, a car bomb exploded at the Frankfurt Main PX gas station. As many as 53 American soldiers, family members and civilians were injured. If you have any information about this terrorist attack please let us know.
SP4 Atwell, B Battery 2/27 Field Artillery was killed in a car accident, possibly in 1985. There were two other injured from the same unit (SP4 Lyons, and SP4 Kasowski). This information was provided by Darrell Whitley
. Anyone else remembering this incident with further information is asked to provide it so that we can update this entry.
1SG Prader B Company1st Battalion 48th Infantry 1SG Prader was riding in a 5-ton truck when the 5-ton truck started to list to one side, 1SG Praderthought the truck was going to roll over and he jumped out of the truck and was run over.
SGT Griffin. B Company 3rd Battalion 33rd Armor, SGT Griffin died when he was struck by a train in Frankfurt.
(Unknown Name) A 19 year old female MP took her life with a service 45 in front of others on the softball field on Drake Kaserne in 1986. This account is from Anthony J. Renner: I was in 3d Armored Division G-2 from Jan 1985 to Jan 1987. I know this is a harsh reality and a tough one to bring to light. It left a scar on my psyche and perhaps many others as well. I in-processed this young lady through personnel security in G-2. She was from the State of Indiana, I do not recall her name. A staff sergeant in my section and a HHC 3AD medic tried to revive her but to no avail. I don't remember their names either. The medic's nickname was Red due to his red hair and he drove a motorcycle, I believe.
There were two other suicides that year that were attempted but not fatal. The stress from three bombings and other terrorist activities took their toll on morale of the HHC 3AD and other troops in the area as well I imagine.
This information was provided by Osbaldo Lujan
who served in 2/3 Field Artillery from January 1986 to December 1987 as a light wheel mechanic: Two people died at Ayers Kserne during my stay there. One was a guy that fatally shot himself while on guard duty. To my understanding and what I heard he was depressed and wanted to go home but instead while on duty he walked into a portable latrine and shot himself. [This additional information was provided by James Myers
, A CO, 5/33 Armor, '85-'87:
soldier's name was John Haidett from California. When I first arrived in Aug '85, John Haidett was one of my room-mates in the barracks and he became severely depressed. I believe a family member back home was ill or something like that, I'm not sure. After coming off guard duty at the northeast gate, John stopped in a porta-potty on the way back to the guard-shack and fatally shot himself in the head. As a result of the following IG's investigation, the 1SG retired. The Captain was quickly gone as well, I don't know if he resigned his commission or what - at any rate they were both gone within 30 days. Their replacements were 1SG Gaither and Captain Miranda, both outstanding men that did a LOT to restore the unit and its morale.]
The second person was a young female. She got to Ayers Kaserne late in the year and within two weeks or so was brutally murdered. They found her body in a field next to the pub outside the front gate with over 100 stab wounds. The guy that did this was from her unit and was later arrested. I don't know how long he in spent in jail, but this happen a little after I got to my unit and he was still in jail by the time I left.
The following account was sent to us by John C. Birch Jr
who was with the 1-36 Infantry. John cannot remember this Sergeant's name and if anyone reading this account can furnish us with a name, we would be grateful. At the time of the death of this soldier in 1986, I was a SP4 with A Co 1/36IN. Our assigned Platoon Sergeant had just returned from State side temporary assignment. He had just buried his wife and had returned to 1/36 to finish out his time before retiring. The morning of the event was looking to be a fairly nice day, I believe the latter part of March. The Battalion Commander had chosen A Co to go on his Spartan run. On this run I had stopped to take care of personal issues, we were in the sticks :) The pack had passed and I was sprinting to catch up. I came upon the Platoon Sergeant and I noticed he was not looking up to speed. I slowed and asked him if he was okay and he advised me that he was and to catch the rest and he would be along soon. True to his word he got to us as we were loading up on the trucks. The first thing he asked for when he climbed aboard was "does anybody got a smoke?" Somebody shook out a smoke. While prepping for the day. I was in my room pulling on my top in preparation for formation. I was looking to the quad where A Co stood for formation and SFC (we need this soldier's name) was talking to the other troops and he just hit the ground motionless. I ran out to the quad as SFC ??? was 4 point carried to the Battalion TMC where he was later pronounced dead.
The fall out from this event was tense for a while as our A Co soldiers were angry at what happened at the TMC. There was confusion, some accounts of inadequate care, plus the medication used was out dated. Meetings were held for all to understand what happened and what was being done to correct this type of incident from happening in the future. The conclusion was that SFC ??? heart practically exploded. Just a plain fact of life!
SGT Milam, HHC 1st Battalion 36th Infantry SGT Milam died during a live fire training accident at Grafenwoehr. While the 1-36 Infantry Mortar platoon was conducting mounted fire missions in their M-106's during rainy overcast conditions. The platoon had several hang fire situations where the 4.2 mortar round would become lodged in the tube. As per the SOP for a hang fire situation a soldier was suppose to kick the side of the gun tube to dislodge the projectile to allow the projectile to fire. On this occasion when SGT Milam kicked the side of the gun tube to dislodge the projectile the 4.2 mortar round exploded in the mortar tube. It was later determine that the mortar platoon had been provide faulty fuses for the mortar ammunition.
James Mcovich & SPC Noble are reported to have been injured from this accident that occurred in January. Were any other soldiers injured? If so let us know. Additional information on this incident from Bryan Landaw
: On the day that SGT Milam was killed, I was about 200-300 meters away. You know how things get bigger as time goes by, but at the time it happened, we where told that several were killed instantly (5-7) and 1 died before medevac arrived and another enroute. The total we heard for the accident was 7-9 dead. I served with B Co. 2/36 Infantry from the "ROCK". Hope this helps or gives leads to the whole story. I knew none of the men personally, but they were all my brothers and I love them dearly. They all deserve honor and respect.
SFC Franklin J. McCormick, D Company 1st Battalion 36th Infantry died during training when an accident occurred on July 10 at Hohenfels Training Area. SFC McCormick's company was cross-attached with the 2nd Battalion 67th Armor and while conducting company level Situational Training Exercises (STX). SFC McCormick was run over by his M-113. He was survived by his wife Rosalinda & four children Franklin Jr., Seamus, Victoria and Joseph. Additional information provided by James Myers
, A CO, 5/33 Armor, '85-'87: My tank was one of the first on the scene after SFC McCormick was injured. He had gotten out of the rear door of his M-113 with his CVC helmet hooked into the vehicle intercom with a long extension, and was guiding the vehicle backwards up a trail into the woodline (bad idea). He slipped in the mud, and was backed over. I remember it took nearly an hour for the Medevac helicopters to arrive. I believe SFC McCormick died on the way to the hospital. We never got an answer as to why it took the Medevac so long to get there, and it has bothered me to this day.
PVT George, A Company, 5/33 Armor, committed suicide in '87. In 1987, he was assigned to our Company straight out of Ft. Knox. His recruiter had promised him that in Armor he'd be working on computers (the ones in an Abrams???), as well as a host of other distortions and outright lies. Not only that, he wasn't that mature and never should have been allowed to enlist, let alone be assigned overseas. Pvt. George just couldn't deal with the basics of Army life, and made mistake after mistake, getting into trouble time after time. Finally, PVT George had been ordered to quarters by his TC because he had taken a can of paste wax from the CQ desk and wouldn't return it, and the next night while on guard duty in the motor pool George shot himself in the chest while sitting in the passenger seat of 1SG's jeep. This information provided by James Myers
, A CO, 5/33 Armor, '85-'87. PV2 Floyd Allen George, 2d Battalion 32d Armor, committed suicide in a jeep in an Ayers Kaserne motor pool while on guard duty. This additional info provided by MSG Robert Lego
, who indicated this happened in 1991, but we believe it was actually 1987 as indicated by James Myers.
SP4 Peter Nelson III C.Co 4th Support Battalion SP4 Peter Nelson III was climbing a pole & accidentally touched a live electrical line and was electrocuted in March of 1988.
Bruce Hunter of HHT 4th Squadron 8th Cavalry It was a Spearhead Thursday, 3 March 1988 when soldiers were released from work duties at 15:30 to take care of personal business. Bruce Hunter was working on a detail unloading generators from a 2 1/2 ton truck. Bruce Hunter was pulling the generators off the back of the truck, his feet got caught in the webbing of the gate, he fell backwards off the truck and the generator fell on top of him. The medics were able to keep him alive until a Medevac helicopter arrived. Bruce Hunter died in flight to the hospital.
SSG Carlos Williams - Tank Commander, John Alexio-Gunner, (We need name of the loader) C Troop 4th Squadron 8th Cavalry were killed in a tank accident in August 1988 on Range 117 Grafenwoehr when one of the combustible cartridges for the 120 mm main gun tank rounds for the M1A1 exploded in the turret of the tank. The combustible cartridge was hit by the hot aft-cap from a round that was just fired.
Robert Edward Moynihan, HHC 2nd Battalion 67th Armor, died when the M106A2 mortar track he was driving in the Freidberg Training Area slipped on a muddy road, rolled up an embankment and overturned on 19 October 1988. Here is an additional comment from John McMahon
: In regards to Private Moynihan’s death, Sgt Queral, Moynihan’s section leader, suffered a deep laceration to the forehead from the locking mechanism on the TC hatch. Private Dick and Private Bailey suffered minor injuries.
PFC Ramirez, 2nd Battalion 36th Infantry, PFC Ramirez dropped dead during a winter morning PT run.1989
SPC Jerri J. Ehle Jr, HHT 3rd Squadron 8th Cavalry, died when he was hit by a train at the Gelnhausen train station on 17 November 1989.
SFC or MSG (full name unknown) assigned to the DivArty Communications Platoon took his own life. He had been diagnosed with cancer that was believed to be due to his contact with Agent Orange in Viet Nam. At that time, the Signal Officer was MAJ Alexander and the DivArty Commander was COL Magruder. This information was provided by Todd Ringenbach. Anyone with further details, please let us know.
1LT Mike Case In 1989 or 1990, 1LT Mike Case (99% sure that's his name) took his own life by shooting himself in the head. He was assigned to one of the Cav Battalions on Kirchgoens (3-5 I'm pretty sure). One of his soldiers had accidentally shot himself or another soldier while handling Mike's POW. I remember being told about it the next morning during a softball game on The Rock. Mike was a great guy and a great Officer. I think he just thought his career was over and was devastated by it all…..Chris Barrett
SPC Michael Viloro, HHB 2nd Battalion 82nd Artillery died when he fell from the roof of his barracks in April 1990.
SSG Jackson, HHB 2nd Battalion 82 Artillery died from a heart attack while participating in physical training in April 1990.
PFC Rowe HHC 2nd Battalion 67th Armor, was assigned as a mechanic working on the B Company maintenance team. After the completion of a company service the company conducted a post service road march, during a maintenance halt to inspect the vehicles PFC Rowe was hit on the back of his head by the mirror of a passing MP escort vehicle humvee. At first it appeared the PFC Rowe had no ill effects from the blow to the head. Upon return to post he was checked out again & it was determined that his injuries were very serious. He died in a Medevac helicopter on the way to the hospital in Frankfurt on 2 September 1990.
SFC Skretchen. Mess Sergeant HHC 2nd Battalion 67th Armor died during a training rotation at Grafenwoehr in October 1990. He was shot while on duty in the Dining Facility by one of his soldiers who had just received some Uniform Code of Military Justice discipline. The soldier who shot SFC Skretchen later took his own life when he was about to be captured. PFC Berry & PFC Richardson were also wounded during this attack, but they later recuperated from their wounds.
1LT Kevin Dudley, B Company, 3rd Squadron 8th Cavalry died of an aneurysm while running for physical training in November 1990.