rc135x
Topic Author
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:46 am

ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:01 pm

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.
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
bennett123
Posts: 7530
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:23 pm

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

The incident on 1st July 1960 may be the one.
 
rc135x
Topic Author
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:46 am

RE: ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:48 pm

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  
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
User avatar
dlednicer
Crew
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:35 am

RE: ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:18 pm

The information I used in my list for that incident came from Tom Cooper's book "Iran-Iraq War in the Air, 1980-1988"
 
rc135x
Topic Author
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:46 am

RE: ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:34 pm

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.
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
bennett123
Posts: 7530
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:21 pm

Given the small number of ERB47H's, could process of elimination at least identify contenders.
 
rc135x
Topic Author
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:46 am

RE: ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:00 pm

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.
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
User avatar
dlednicer
Crew
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:35 am

RE: ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:20 am

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!
 
rc135x
Topic Author
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:46 am

RE: ERB-47H Crash In Iran Circa 1967

Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:17 pm

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!)
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cumulushumilis, Google Adsense [Bot], impromark and 17 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos