Unfortunately, incidents on the borders of the USSR in the 60s we understand a little hard because c severe censorship at the time. But the Western press reports that in the period between 1967 and 1970, only the U.S. has been a more than 10 violations of air borders of our country. One of these dramatic events happened in 1968. On it there is no mention in any of the official Russian sources, and evidence of witnesses is contradictory and incomplete.
Happy July 1, 1968 to the peninsula Iturup — second from the Japanese Hokkaido peninsula Kuril received information that the American plane crossed the Russian border near Union. At that time there was a war in Vietnam, and in the vicinity of the neutral venue held airway Yankees, kicking their troops and equipment. Pilots who committed patrols, often beheld the aircraft. On that day south american plane Douglas DC-8, which belonged to one of the transport companies in the U.S. «Seabord World Airliners», for the first time flying on this route.
To see to the behavior of the aircraft on board was vice-president of the company. Taking off from the American land, the liner had passed the Aleutian Islands and 150 km deepened our countryside. As it happened until now is a mystery, as the visibility on the day was quite good, and that actually helped out plane, identified as a civilian. Later, South American pilots referred to faulty navigation equipment, but it is clear that Japanese managers unsuccessfully warned the crew on deviation on the radio.
Lieutenant Colonel Jaroslav Hirova remaining on the base of the peninsula Iturup for the regimental commander, contacted the division headquarters in Sakhalin, later switched to Khabarovsk and was ordered to disembark from the headquarters of the commander, not to shoot down the offending state border of the USSR. Third global war could begin at least what occasion — business between the U.S. and the USSR were running up to the maximum. At 9:01 in the air rose-duty link MiG-17 under the control of five aces: IK Frost JF Vetushko, YB Alexander and VA Igonina led by squadron commander Captain Salnikov (all pilots were in the captain's ranks). Having caught the offender, they are it relies on international rules maneuver showed the character that spoke of trespassing. In response, no response. After a few minutes of flight, Russian pilots have shown more one symbol — "follow us." But the South American plane did not slow down the speed and tried to go to the hard-altitude MiGs. The situation became critical, the pilots were allowed to fire a warning shot. Requires a 3-guns almost before the aircraft cabin had a sobering effect. The commander of the South American ship showed a huge finger down, and the DC-8 has proceeded to the airport "Thunderbird".
The Yankees are very lucky when the first familiarization flight around the runway, he miraculously did not hit the volcano severe. While the planes were going to land, the commander in Khabarovsk remembered that on the airfield runway length of 1200 meters plus a little augmented "glands" — corrugated iron plates with slots acquired more Lend-Lease Act, which completely lacked a little fighter. Immediately gave the order to give flares in the air, but too late, hung in the headquarters of the theatrical pause. At 10:40 DC-8 safely wrapped in the allotted "pocket" and braked unhurt. So that guests do not run away to the very nose of the airplane airport workers drove a tractor.
The commander of the South American Crew Joseph Talzanini not read a word in Russian. Jaroslav Hirova teacher had to call the British! language, which the Yankees of Italian origin could not understand. Eventually, the conversation could build on the German, who knew the two officers slightly. It was found that the DC-8 carrying Vietnam more than two hundred American soldier traveling from holidays and hospitals in the place of service. After landing the South American Marines were scattered around the airfield, reasonable protection Obata company was unable to provide content offenders in custody, as told to charters
At that time there was a rapid radio with Sakhalin and Moscow. Everyone was confused, first order said: "Follow the environment." However, as was reported. Only here and there an hour later arrived from Moscow setting: "Hold the Yankees to special order of the Minister of Defense Andrei Grechko." It was necessary to decide the question of how and where to place the whole mass of the people. Ultimately, the Marines were given mattresses, blankets and situated right on the floor at a local club, and the crew and flight attendants were placed in one of the buildings in the airport area. All the buildings were old, wood. Fed with black bread, preserves, noodles. Gave cheese, butter, coffee and cigarettes. In a sense, the South American fighters were spotless captives — not to make demands and moved to the dining room only systems under severe clicks corporals. The gun they piled into the club-barracks in one place, put sentries. Of course, the Yankees knew they were on the terrain of the country of opposing military blocs and anything decent from us they will not. No outfit friendly exchanges and fraternization with the local was not.
Salting the U.S. in the USSR received a note of protest. Americans apologized, explaining that a violation of the air space of the USSR was unintentional. They, of course, did not believe, and the Kuril Islands profit senior military officials, intelligence and KGB men. Specialists examined the aircraft from all sides in order to find out why the navigation or denied it all carefully planned action to test the security of our distant frontiers. The crew and officers of the Marine Corps were questioned. Joseph Tozolini general categorically denied the fact of crossing the border, but in the end, signed a document violations of air space of the USSR. On the third day, it was decided to let go DC-8 course for Tokyo.
Aircraft fuel refuel and load the huge amount of water and food: sugar, butter, biscuits, coffee. According to preliminary assessment with his run-up and loading the DC-8 had to get off the ground just where already in the Pacific Ocean. Because own seal Talzanini confirmed that he does not mind if his plane fails to take off from the runway. When Douglas was ready to take off, from the staff to the Sakhalin suddenly received an order: "Do not let up special orders." On the runway put tractors. After some time the order was given: "Produce" tractors were removed, and plane took off. Contrary to all the guesswork, and thanks to the massive engines running together with the skill of the pilots, Douglas took to the air from the middle of concrete runway. Here again, repeat the command, "Do not let". But the plane had already departed.
• Vice-president of the airline showing Western decency, tried to pay by check for filled the tanks of aircraft 5 tons of aviation kerosene. The pilots laughed when he was running from the 1st to the other, trying to understand, to whom all the same to write a check.
• Marines had to manually deploy the DC-8, because the band is not permitted without the help of others to turn this bolshennomu aircraft and trucks from Talzanini refused.
• One of the days of your stay in our land Yankees coincided with the birth of days the captain of South American aircraft.
• Since this incident originated funny story about how one of the passengers, looking around miserable situation airfield, provides another way:
— I've heard that there is available a large air base.
— The entire database under the ground, and it is — just a dress!
About an hour DC-8 landed at Misawa Air Base in northern land of the rising sun, where Tozolini again refused to own an apology, claiming that his plane was not flying over Russian territory. Later, the pilots have presented mementos, Jaroslaw Hirova expressed gratitude. The commander of Sochi sent him a telegram saying, "Well, lucky for you the same, man."
In 1979, ITURUP was terrible typhoon that absolutely destroyed the metal runway, damaged and destroyed many aircraft, ruined a few people. After this natural disaster "piece of iron" have decided not to rebuild. At the ancient site was built a modern airport with a concrete runway. Plates were taken to the peninsula by sea, resulting in people airfield got the nickname "unsinkable aircraft carrier Russian Union" and the "golden airfield country."