09.08.

1946: Yugoslavia Captures U.S. Aircraft

1946: Yugoslavia Captures U.S. Aircraft
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 9 August 1946
  • This led to tensions between the USA and Yugoslavia, and the U.S. newspaper Daily News even advocated a nuclear strike against the Yugoslav capital at Belgrade.

On this day Yugoslav authorities forced an American C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft to land some 12 km from Kranj in Slovenia.

That plane had allegedly entered Yugoslav airspace due to a storm. It was followed by Yugoslav pilots Dragomir Zečević and Dragan Stanisavljević in their Yak-3 aircraft. They started firing at the U.S. aircraft, wounding one of its crewmen. The Americans landed and were captured by the Yugoslav authorities.

Ten days after this incident, another C-47 Skytrain entered Yugoslav airspace and was shot down by Yugoslav pilot Vladimir Vodopivec. All five Americans aboard the aircraft were killed.

The situation took a turn for the worse. Tensions flared between the USA and Yugoslavia, and the U.S. newspaper Daily News even advocated a nuclear strike against the Yugoslav capital at Belgrade.

U.S. Secretary of State Byrnes called deputy prime minister Edvard Kardelj and threatened him. However, there were no further incidents, and the captured Americans were soon released.

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