Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26, 1954: US Navy Skyraiders Shoot Down Chinese Attackers

AD-4 Skyraider prepares to launch off USS Philippine Sea in 1954
As you know by now, I find history fascinating. I often just go and take a look at the historical events associated with "today's" date. Well, I found an interesting event associated with today, one which I am sure most of you did not know about. On 26 July 1954, two Skyraiders (AD-4s) from Air Group Five and USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) shot down two LA-7 aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army  (Chinese) Air Force off Hainan Island.

The Skyraiders were attacked by the Chinese pilots, while they were searching for survivors from a Cathay Pacific Skymaster airliner which the Chinese ad shot down three days prior. The Chinese fighters had shot down the airliner near Hainan Island off the Chinese coast, reportedly mistaking it for a Taiwanese military plane. 

LA-7 in the PLAAF paint scheme.
The Navy pilots defended themselves when suddenly attacked and shot down both of the attacking Chinese fighters. The USS Philippine Sea had been ordered into the area as part of a search mission with the hope that the remaining survivors might be found.  Ten of the nineteen people on board the airliner survived the shoot down. This came to be known unofficially as the “Hainan Incident” and eventually blew over and faded from history (-that is, until I dug it up just for you).

Live Long and Prosper...

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