On This Day, Sept 1, 1983 – Korean Airlines Flight Shot Down by Russia

Soviet jet fighters intercept a Korean Airlines passenger flight in Russian airspace and shoot the plane down, killing 269 passengers and crewmembers. The incident dramatically increased tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. On September 1, 1983, Korean Airlines (KAL) flight 007 was on the last leg of a flight from New York City to Seoul, with a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska. As it approached its final destination, the plane began to veer far off its normal course. In just a short time, the plane flew into Russian airspace and crossed over the Kamchatka Peninsula, where some top-secret Soviet military installations were known to be located. The Soviets sent two fighters to intercept the plane. According to tapes of the conversations between the fighter pilots and Soviet ground control, the fighters quickly located the KAL flight and tried to make contact with the passenger jet. Failing to...

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