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ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967  
User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 3578 times:

There is a widely reported assertion on the web that sometime during 1967 an ERB-47H (ostensibly from the 55th SRW) operating over the Caspian Sea was shot at and hit by a Soviet SAM. The crew flew the airplane to Iran where it crashed.

It appears that this claim can be traced to research undertaken by author Tom Cooper in his work on Iranian military aviation, ostensibly reported to him by his contacts within Iran.

I have been unable to find anyone from the 55th SRW--particularly from that time period--who recalls such an event, nor have I found any record of this loss in any U.S. government archives.

Can any forum readers, especially those with regional expertise, offer any insight into this claim?

Thank you in advance for your kind assistance.

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7457 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (9 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3300 times:

http://myplace.frontier.com/~anneled/ColdWar.html

The incident on 1st July 1960 may be the one.


User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3225 times:

The 1960 loss was over the Barents Sea and has been clearly distinguished from the supposed 1967 loss over Iran.

As you continue down the list at the URL (created and maintained by A.netter DL) you can see the 1967 incident listed separately.

Thanks for the suggestion  


User currently offlinedlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 542 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2902 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

The information I used in my list for that incident came from Tom Cooper's book "Iran-Iraq War in the Air, 1980-1988"

User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2822 times:

Thanks, David! I have no question about the reliability of your synthesis.  

My hope is that someone might be able to assist in tracking down Mr Cooper's source or some other or independent corroboration of this claim.


User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7457 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (9 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2797 times:

Given the small number of ERB47H's, could process of elimination at least identify contenders.

User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2517 times:

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 5):
Given the small number of ERB47H's, could process of elimination at least identify contenders.

A good suggestion. There were three ERB-47Hs. All were relegated to MASDC (and accounted for) on the following dates:

53-6245 7 Sep 67
53-6246 12 Jan 67
53-6249 11 Jan 67

Several sources incorrectly identify the RB-47H lost on 1 July 1960, over the Barents Sea as an "ERB-47H." Assuming that Cooper (or his source) confused the MDS and in reality meant that it was an RB-47H lost during 1967 we can check those too. There were 35 RB-47Hs. Six of these were written off between 1956 and 1965, including the Barents Sea loss and one attacked by DPRK MiGs but recovered to Yokota AB. The remaining 29 were retired to MASDC or placed on display (I have confirmed dates for each airplane).

There is always the possibility, however unlikely, that the airplane in question was a B-47 of some other type converted into a reconnaissance configuration. I have interviewed KC-97 and KC-135 Boom Operators who swear that during the 1960s they refueled an airplane matching the description of the RB-47C/RB-56, a four-engine RB-47. One specified that his crew was told to orbit at a point off the coast of the USSR and refuel whatever showed up. In this case, it was one of these mysterious airplanes. In nearly 30 years of research I have found no evidence whatsoever to support these assertions.

One additional possibility is that the airplane was a testbed of some sort. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Several RB-47Es were tested with tactical strike equipment to function as a sort of proto-Wild Weasel and battlefield assessment platforms under the MONTICELLO programs. Some 14 RB-47Es were eventually modified under the PETER PAN program with the Westinghouse APQ-56 high resolution radar mounted in fairings on either side of the fuselage. The equipment was highly temperamental and the airplanes, assigned to the 4th SRS, 26th SRW at Lockbourne AFB were removed from service. Some descendent variant of this type might have been in testbed service and was operating over the Caspian Sea to test the equipment under real-life conditions. Again, airplane record cards and other sources make this an unverifiable claim.

Another explanation is that the airplane in question was not a B-47 at all. Soviet records indicate that an unidentified airplane took off from Iran on 10 Sep 57, overflew the USSR, and returned to Iran. This was actually U-2 mission 4059. The Soviets claimed that it was not a U-2 but a high-altitude platform that launched a "cruise missile like" supersonic drone during the mission. So the 1967 loss might have been an entirely different platform.

My favorite explanation for the 1967 loss is that it never happened at all.


User currently offlinedlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 542 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (9 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2414 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting rc135x (Reply 6):
My favorite explanation for the 1967 loss is that it never happened at all.

I tend to agree. Do I see a book on the B-47 coming? I'll be the first to sign up for it!


User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2137 times:

Quoting dlednicer (Reply 7):
Do I see a book on the B-47 coming?

That was the plan but a co-author with lots of materials decided to launch a solo career.

Finishing one now for 2014 publication on cold war strategic aerial reconnaissance.

(Sorry for the shameless plugs!)


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