Air battle over Merklín

Coordinates: 49°33′38″N 13°11′52″E / 49.56056°N 13.19778°E / 49.56056; 13.19778
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Air battle over Merklín
Part of Cold War

USAF Republic F-84E and Czechoslovak MiG-15UTI
Date10 March 1953

Czechoslovak victory

American F-84 fighter-bomber shot down
 Czechoslovakia  United States
Commanders and leaders
Czechoslovakia Jaroslav Šrámek United States Lt. Warren G. Brown
2 MiG-15 2 F-84 Thunderjet
Casualties and losses
none 1 F-84 shot down
Pilot survived

The Air battle over Merklín was an air-to-air engagement between Czechoslovak and USAFE air units over the Czech village of Merklín, in the Bohemian Forest, on 10 March 1953. During the action Czech pilot Jaroslav Šrámek, flying a MiG-15 (from 5th Fighter Regiment, 2nd Squadron, Plzeň-Líně air base), shot down one of a pair of American F-84E Thunderjets (from 53rd Fighter Bomber Squadron, 36th Fighter-Bomber Wing). The American pilot, Lt. Warren G.Brown ejected from the aircraft, which crash-landed in German territory, approximately 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the border, and survived.[1][2]


After the end of the Second World War, the USA created military bases in West Germany, and their military planes often flew over the territory of Czechoslovakia. Some had intelligence tasks over Czechoslovak territory. Despite the fact that the actual declaration of the Cold War did not take place, there were frequent clashes between the planes of both sides in the airspace.

It was reported in the London Times that the attack on the American aircraft was 10 miles (16 km) from the border near the town of Falkenstein, Bavaria.[3] The aircraft crashed near Regensburg, Bavaria and the burnt out wreckage of the F-84 was recovered by American soldiers.[3] The attack followed reports of other Czechoslovak aircraft over Bavarian territory. Brown, the pilot of the F-84, reported they were on a routine patrol along the border when they spotted two aircraft appear from the East, he was fired upon and bailed out after losing control.[3]

Popular culture[edit]

Incident was an inspiration for 1973 Czechoslovak film High Blue Wall which depicts fictionalised version of the incident.[4]


  1. ^ "European Air-to-Air Victories". Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  2. ^ Coilin O'Connor (4 October 2004). "Radio Prague - Czech fighter pilot recalls Cold War dogfight". Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "The Shot-Down Thunderjet". The Times. No. 52568. London. 12 March 1953. p. 5.
  4. ^ "Vysoká modrá zeď (1973)". CSFD (in Czech). Retrieved 10 July 2022.


49°33′38″N 13°11′52″E / 49.56056°N 13.19778°E / 49.56056; 13.19778