32nd Fighter Squadron the Wolfhounds

Canal Zone – Soesterberg / Camp New Amsterdam – Ramstein

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Alpha-Scramble on July 4th

 

A Soviet MiG over Soesterberg - Cold War Era -

 

It’s July 4th, 1989, 09:18am. – Cold War –


A soviet MiG23 Flogger takes off at Kolobrzeg Soviet Air Base in Poland
During the take off the pilot got problems with the afterburner,
after which he decided to activate his ejection seat.

After the bailout, the MiG-23 Flogger proved not as faulty as the pilot feared
because it continued, now as a ghost plane.
At 09.30 an at an altitude of 36,000 ft.,
he was first spotted and assessed as MiG-25 by an E-3A
AWACS of the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF).

The Air Surveillance Loop sounded around 9:40 pm
the first border violation, report of the radar station Visselhövede.
At the command of the Sector Operations Centre
(SOC) identification of the aircraft, with track number "AE 214" was changed
from 'Zombie' to 'X-ray'
(unknown device with possible hostile intentions).

The NATO headquarters were informed and at
09:47 am there was a scramble ordered for the Alpha
American 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) at Soesterberg.

Since the main runway at Soesterberg was closed to maintenance
The started two F-15c Eagles with the callsigns 'AK 01' and 'AK 02',
took off from the short runway at 9:54 am.
Immediately after take-off the F-15's were guided by a
controller of the AOCS battle command station (CRC) "Bandbox".

 

MiG-23 over Soesterberg July 4th Soesterberg wolfhounds 32nd Camp New Amsterdam 32tfs 32nd Camp New Amsterdam Slobberinhounds Wolfhound 32d Tactical Fighter Interceptor Squadron Patch 32 32e 32st 32d 32nd 32TFS TDS T.D.S. TIS T.I.S. TFS T.F.S. FS F.S. FG F.G. TFG T.F.G. Tac Tac. Tactical Day Sq Sq. Sqdn Sqdn. Incpt Incpt. Ftr. Group AOS A.O.S. facebook Operation Operations USAF facebook Holland Netherlands Dutch USAF U.S.A.F. USAFE U.S.A.F.E. Air Force Europe AFB A.F.B. CR CNA C.N.A. Wolf F-15 Eagle F-4 Phantom F-102 Delta Dagger F-100 Super Sabre F-86 603rd 603d 603 soesterburg  512 512th 32ndTFS 32ndFIS

 

Upon the passage of the German border there were different
Ground Controlled Intercept (GCI) active that coursed confusion.
The F-15 pilots took matters into their own hands:
"All shut ... I'll talk to bandbox"
The MiG was intercepted at 10:02 am just east of Rheine,
22 minutes after crossing the East German border.

The F-15 pilots, Captain J.D. Martin and Captain W. F. Murphy
identified this aircraft as Soviet MiG-23 Flogger,
under the cockpit was the number '29’ (blue) written.

"Silver Cork, zero-one. We are shadowing a MiG-23 at 37,000 ft. "
A few seconds later the F-15 pilots reported that there was no canopy present,
And the ejection seat was missing.

 

MiG23 Soesterberg Wolfhounds USAF 32TFS Soesterberg wolfhounds 32nd Camp New Amsterdam 32tfs 32nd Camp New Amsterdam Slobberinhounds Wolfhound 32d Tactical Fighter Interceptor Squadron Patch 32 32e 32st 32d 32nd 32TFS TDS T.D.S. TIS T.I.S. TFS T.F.S. FS F.S. FG F.G. TFG T.F.G. Tac Tac. Tactical Day Sq Sq. Sqdn Sqdn. Incpt Incpt. Ftr. Group AOS A.O.S. facebook Operation Operations USAF facebook Holland Netherlands Dutch USAF U.S.A.F. USAFE U.S.A.F.E. Air Force Europe AFB A.F.B. CR CNA C.N.A. Wolf F-15 Eagle F-4 Phantom F-102 Delta Dagger F-100 Super Sabre F-86 603rd 603d 603 soesterburg  512 512th 32ndTFS 32ndFIS WWII WW2

Credit: USAF

 

The headquarters was discussed the possible options.
The risk, that upon firing a missile, fragments would be spread over a wide area.
they decided a cautious approach.
Around 10.13 am the aircraft crossed the Dutch border near Enschede.

One of the pilots reported that he was taking pictures.
With a fly direction was 240 degrees at 36,000 ft.  
the Flogger crossed the Belgium border at 10:19 hours near  Etten-Leur.

The Belgian CRC Glons took control of the Both QRA planes of the CRC Nieuw Milligen.
The Flogger meanwhile passed south Antwerp and flew on between St. Niklaas
and Brussels in a southwesterly direction over Ghent.
At 10.24 hours they reported the Flogger started smoking and started to slow down.
A minute later the MiG turned to the north and with its nose down.

They hoped to destroy the MiG over the sea.
But was still above densely populated areas

Suddenly, around 10.32,
the MiG began to decline steeply and passed 12,000 ft.
Apparently, running out of fuel.

After the likely "crash position" is calculated,
all emergency services were in the immediate
surrounding of the city of Kortrijk alarmed.
Seconds later the F-15 reported that 10 miles (18 km) away a larger
city ​(probably Roubaix or Lille).
This led to the order to destroy the plane if there is
imminent danger for the latter cities.

The pilots reported that the aircraft had
crashed down at 10.37 am close to a farmhouse not far from a highway.
This was close to Bellegem (borough Kortrijk), near the Belgian-French border.
The Eagle pilots reported to CRC the creation of a small fire and explode
of ammunition.
At 10:44 pm reported the QRA aircraft the
arrival of the firetruck, which within minutes the fire was under control.
A bit later came the Search and Rescue (SAR) - for helicopter site.
Quickly went after the first F-15's RTB (Return To Base) for fuel back to Soesterberg.

The incident, as would be seen later, still had led to the death of the 19 year old Wim de Laere.
He was in the house when the Flogger crashed.

Later it was reported by the Soviet news agency TASS
Dot Kite Soviet colonel Nikolaj Skoerigin over Poland had left his plane after a "technical
failure of the motor "and that he use of the outlived his ejection seat.
Skoerigin had in total 1,700 hours of jet experience, of which over 500 in
the Flogger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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