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In October, 1970 during the flight from Erzerum to Kars (territory of Western Armenia, now Turkey) because of the cloudy weather and pilot’s mistake the American plane lost its orientation, violated USSR border and landed in Leninakan (now Gyumri, Republic of Armenia). The Soviet propaganda described that fact as “gross violation of air border and provocation”.
The passengers of the plane were: head of American Military Representation in Turkey Major General Edward Scherrer, military representative of USA Embassy in Turkey Major General Claude Monroe McQuarrie, pilot Major James Russel and Turkish Colonel Cevat Deneli.
On concatenation of circumstances a week ago father and son Brazinscasses hijacked the Soviet plane to Trabzon (Turkey). During this terrorist act one of the passengers was killed, two were wounded. The Soviet government demanded the criminals’ extradition from Turkey, however didn’t get any reply.
Another случай of hijacking happened before that: two fellows – Nikolay Ginlov and Vitaliy Pozdeir hijacked the Soviet plane to Sinop (again Turkey). Because of these incidents the Americans feared that the Soviet Union would not free the generals.
The American generals were kept in a luxurious mansion. A KGB Colonel arrived from Moscow specially to question them. “Always there were two Majors and one Armenian interpreter with us, – told afterwards General Scherrer. – We played nardie, sometimes two generals joined us who were interested in American army tactics”.
After 20 days the Soviet Union eventually returned the American generals and the Turkish Colonel.

Category: #42 (907) 27.10.2011 – 2.11.2011, News, Spotlight, Pages of History