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Customer Discussions > History forum

The Berlin Airlift

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Initial post: Nov 14, 2012 8:08:44 AM PST
Does anyone know why 3 or 4 of our transport planes were shot down over Yugoslavia in 1947? I'm thinking Berlin Airlift but couldn't find out more about it.And why wasn't there a fighter escort after the first one was shot down?(they were shot down by aircraft).

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 11:13:02 AM PST
Any historians out there ?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 1:16:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2012 1:23:42 PM PST
Bubba says:
Information about one of the shootdowns is at

Wikipedia has some references listed for this entry:

"After the end World War II, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ) was formed. One of the first diplomatic contacts made with the new communist government was the US Department of State's request for the US Army to testify at the Mihailović trial. However, the request was shunned and early relations between the United States and the government of Josip Broz Tito became strained, as American diplomats were furious over Mihailović's execution in 1946. Relations degraded even further a month later, when two USAF C-47 Skytrain cargo aircraft were shot down over Yugoslavia in the space of two weeks. More USAF aircraft were shot down over Yugoslavia up to 1948."

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 3:22:42 PM PST
John M. Lane says:
I was kid during the Berlin Airlift. I was most impressed by the "Candy Bombers." American pilots rigged small parachutes to candy bars and dropped them to street urchins as they approached Templehoff. I was sure we'd win the Cold War after that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 4:12:04 PM PST
patrick says:
the whole thing was surely a PR coup for the West and a PR fiasco for Stalin, wasnt it..

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 9:42:13 PM PST
Stalin thought the west would just roll over and take it in the rear. He was really surprised when we were able to totally supply a city with everything it needed by air. The Red Airforce couldn't have done it.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 7:49:43 AM PST
I wanted to know where these planes were going when they were shot down. And why were they shot down so easily with no fighter escort. It sounds like there were a steady stream of C-47's going over Yugoslavia. I read where Stalin ordered the countries around Yugoslavia to stop trading with them. The Berlin Airlift had planes going from England to Germany I believe. Shooting down 3 or 4 planes is a case for war.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 9:06:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 9:14:53 AM PST
Bubba says:
Berlin Airlift flights between Britain and Germany would have had to go a LONG way out of their way to over fly Yugoslavia.

Flights from Britain would have had to go through western Germany to follow the designated air corridors into western Berlin. Although some of information I have read on the Berlin Airlift mentions flights out of Britain, it appears that the British Berlin Airlift flights were out of western Germany rather than from Britain.


From the article that I had previously provided a link to: "Brig. Gen. Lucas V. Beau, commanding Air Transport Headquarters in Dotzheim, said today that United States pilots had been instructed long ago to avoid Yugoslavia. They would touch Marshal Tito's territory only if forced to do so by bad weather and he called the shooting down of an Army plane Monday "a wicked thing." General Beau gave the lie to Yugoslav allegations that United States fliers often crossed Yugoslav territory. Pilots kept in constant radio contact with bases, he said, and none had flown over Yugoslavia except in a storm."

Immediately following WWII and all throughout the Cold War, tensions between the US and Russia were VERY high. The shooting down of American Airplanes in Yugoslavian airspace were Bad Things, but not something that the US would go to war over. The Soviet Union shot down a U2 and it shot down a KAL airliner; in neither case was there any talk of war.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 9:20:48 AM PST
patrick says:
there is at least one lesser known instance of a C130 probable black ops aircraft shot down over Russia close to the Turkey frontier, too...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 9:40:02 AM PST
Bubba says:
I wouldn't be surprised if there were several more incidents that were either not well known or are not known.

An American CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down on the Korean border while I was stationed in S Korea in '77 (I arrived in-country in the middle of the "Tree War" at the Panmunjom DMZ). It is unclear where the helicopter was in respect to the border. Another American helicopter was shot down on the Korean border in 1994; there may have been more.

I was in the base Aero Club and there were maps and warnings all over about not flying anywhere near the border -- I don't want to imagine what would happen if an American registered Cessna 172 flew over the border with an Air Force sergeant flying it. I can't remember, but I think that all military members flying in Aero Club airplanes in Korea were required to be in uniform in case of an incident.
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Nov 14, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 15, 2012

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