1958 C-130 shootdown incident

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1958 C-130 shootdown incident
A large four-engined transport aircraft
C-130A-45-LM (57-0453), modified to represent 56-0528, on display at the National Cryptologic Museum, Fort Meade, MD
DateSeptember 2, 1958 (1958-09-02)
40°33′0″N 44°6′0″E / 40.55000°N 44.10000°E / 40.55000; 44.10000Coordinates: 40°33′0″N 44°6′0″E / 40.55000°N 44.10000°E / 40.55000; 44.10000
Aircraft typeLockheed C-130A-II-LM
OperatorUnited States Air Force on behalf of the USAFSS
Flight originIncirlik Air Base, Turkey
DestinationIncirlik Air Base, Turkey
Passengers11 mission crew from the United States Air Force Security Service (USAFSS)
Fatalities17 (presumed – only the six flight crew remains were repatriated)

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.[1] 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.[2][3][4][5]After the fall of the Soviet Union a US excavation team found hundreds of skeletal fragments; two remains were identified[6][7]A group burial of the 17 crew remains was at Arlington National Cemetery[8]

Probable cause[edit]

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 or it may have been a deliberate manoeuvre to obtain better data.[4]


  1. ^ NSA PDF file
  2. ^ "60528's Last Flight" (PDF). nsa.gov. National Security Agency. August 31, 2009. Archived from the original (pdf) on April 10, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Shootdown of Flight 60528". NSA. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Criminal Occurrence description". Aviation Safety network. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Lockheed C-130A-II..." Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  6. ^ Korea Cold war org Feb 2018 Newsletter
  7. ^ NSA news relief of the incident naming those who perished
  8. ^ Arlington Cemetery net

External links[edit]