1958 C-130 shootdown incident
|Date||September 2, 1958|
|Passengers||11 mission crew from the United States Air Force Security Service (USAFSS)|
|Fatalities||17 (presumed – only the six flight crew remains were repatriated)|
|Aircraft type||Lockheed C-130A-II-LM|
|Operator||United States Air Force on behalf of the USAFSS|
|Flight origin||Incirlik Air Base Turkey|
|Destination||Incirlik Air Base Turkey|
The 1958 C-130 shootdown incident was the shooting down of an American Lockheed C-130A-II-LM reconnaissance aircraft which had intruded into Soviet airspace during a reconnaissance mission along the Turkish-Armenian border.
On September 2, 1958, a Lockheed C-130A-II-LM (s/n 56-0528), from the 7406th Support Squadron, departed Incirlik Airbase in Turkey on a reconnaissance mission along the Turkish-Armenian border. It was to fly a course parallel to the Soviet frontier, but not approach the border closer than 100 miles (160 km). The crew reported passing over Trabzon in Turkey at 25,500 feet (7,800 m) and then acknowledged a weather report from Trabzon, but that was the last communication received from the flight. It was later intercepted and shot down by four Soviet MiG-17s 34 mi (55 km; 30 nmi) north-west of Yerevan. The six flight crew were confirmed dead when their remains were repatriated to the United States, but the 11 intelligence-gathering personnel on board have never been acknowledged by Soviet / Russian authorities.
The exact cause of why the aircraft strayed into Soviet airspace is unknown, but according to the Aviation Safety Network, the crew may have become confused with navigational beacons in the USSR with similar frequencies to the Trabzon and Van beacons they were briefed to use.