Apr 15

15 April 1969: Deep Sea 129 Shootdown

Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:45 PM

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EC-121M "PR-21" of VQ-1 in flight in 1969.

EC-121M “PR-21” of VQ-1, the aircraft involved in the incident, in flight in 1969 (U.S. Navy)

15 April 1969 (Korean time) marked the final flight of a Navy VQ-1 EC-121 callsign Deep Sea 129. Roughly 100 nautical miles off the North Korean peninsular site where the Hermit Kingdom today defies the world with its ballistic missile tests, lies the watery grave of 31 Americans (2 bodies were later recovered):

The crew of Deep Sea 129:

LCDR James H. Overstreet, LT John N. Dzema, LT Dennis B. Gleason, LT Peter P. Perrottey, LT John H. Singer, LT Robert F. Taylor, * LTJG Joseph R. Ribar, LTJG Robert J. Sykora, LTJG Norman E. Wilkerson, ADRC Marshall H. McNamara, CTC Frederick A. Randall, CTC Richard E. Smith, * AT1 Richard E. Sweeney, AT1 James Leroy Roach, CT1 John H. Potts, ADR1 Ballard F. Conners, AT1 Stephen C. Chartier, AT1 Bernie J. Colgin, ADR2 Louis F. Balderman, ATR2 Dennis J. Horrigan, ATN2 Richard H. Kincaid, ATR2 Timothy H. McNeil, CT2 Stephen J. Tesmer, ATN3 David M. Willis, CT3 Philip D. Sundby, AMS3 Richard T. Prindle, CT3 John A. Miller, AEC LaVerne A. Greiner, ATN3 Gene K. Graham, CT3 Gary R. DuCharme, SSGT Hugh M. Lynch,(US Marine Corps) [* Recovered]

North Korea not only acknowledged the shoot down, they loudly and boastfully celebrated their action. President Nixon suspended peacetime aerial reconnaissance program (PARPRO) flights in the Sea of Japan for three days and then allowed them to resume, only with escorts. No reparations were ever paid to the United States or the families of the lost airmen.

And Kim Il-Sung celebrated another birthday (April 15th).

Read more here, here and here