47. Editorial Note
On June 27, an unarmed U.S. C–118 transport-type airplane, on a flight from Wiesbaden, West Germany, via Nicosia, Cyprus, to Tehran and Karachi, crossed the Soviet border near Yerevan where Soviet fighter aircraft intercepted and shot down the military transport. Five of the nine crew members parachuted to safety. The remaining four crew members, whose escape was prevented by fire, successfully landed the burning airplane on Soviet territory. All nine were taken captive. For text of the June 28 Soviet note charging that this violation of Soviet air space was “intentional,” and the June 30 U.S. memorandum rejecting this charge, see Department of State Bulletin, July 28, 1958, pages 146–147. [text not declassified]
For text of the July 4 Soviet note responding to the U.S. memorandum of June 30, and the July 11 U.S. note, see ibid., August 4, 1958, pages 202–203.
All nine crewmen were detained by Soviet authorities until July 7 when they were returned to U.S. custody in Astara, Soviet Union, and transported to Tehran. Documentation on the negotiations in Moscow leading to their release and on subsequent discussions of the incident is in Department of State, Central File 761.5411.