TFR 23 Demarches on RB-50 shootdown 29 June 1953

[TFR 23-1]

[handwritten "35"]

To para. 1 protocol No. 23.

Draft

Demarche of the Soviet Government

to the US Government

With regard to the memo of the US Embassy of 31 Jul of this year, the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers it necessary to declare to the US Government the following:

Confirmed reports, cited in the Soviet Government's demarche to the US Government of 30 Jul of this year, testify that an American four-engine "B-50" type bomber with US markings violated the State border of the USSR on 29 Jun of this year. Starting in the area of Cape Gamov, it continued its flight over the territory of the USSR near Askol'd Island, not far from Vladivostok. The American aircraft opened fire during the approach of two Soviet fighter planes, which had the mission of pointing out to the American aircraft that it was within the border of the USSR and to suggest that it leave the airspace of the Soviet Union. The American aircraft opened fire and inflicted serious damage on one of the Soviet aircraft by piercing the fuselage and left wing and also by destroying the cockpit's hermetic seal. The Soviet aircraft were forced to return fire, after which the American aircraft withdrew in the direction of the sea.

The facts cited above contradict the assertion in the US Embassy memorandum alleging that an American aircraft was attacked by Soviet fighters during a routine flight over the Sea of Japan.

[TFR 23-2]

[handwritten "36"]

- 2 -

The Soviet Government does not have any further information concerning the crew or the whereabouts of the aforementioned American aircraft which withdrew in the direction of the sea.

The Soviet Government affirms its demarche of 30 Jul, insists on strict accountability of the people responsible for this violation, and expects that the US Government will take steps to, henceforth, not permit American aircraft to violate the State borders of the USSR.

The Soviet Government rejects the protest contained in the embassy memorandum as being groundless.

3 Aug 53

5-p

[handwritten on reverse, "Presidential Archives RF, F. 3, Op. 66, D 391, p. 34-36"]

[TFR 23-3]

[handwritten "23"]

Enclosure No. 1]

Draft of the demarche to

the US Embassy in Moscow

The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers it necessary to declare the following to the Government of the United States of America.

According to confirmed reports, on 29 Jul of this year at approximately 0700 hrs Vladivostok time, a four-engine "B-50" type bomber with US markings violated the State border of the USSR. Starting near Cape Gamov, it continued its flight over the territory of the USSR near Askol'd Island, not far from Vladivostok. On the approach of two Soviet fighter planes, the American aircraft opened fire. The fighters' mission was to indicate to the American aircraft that it was within the borders of the USSR and to order it to leave the airspace of the Soviet Union. The American aircraft inflicted serious damage on one of the Soviet aircraft by piercing the fuselage and left wing and also by destroying the hermetic seal of the cockpit. The Soviet aircraft were forced to return fire after which the American aircraft headed out in the direction of the sea.

The Soviet Government is declaring a strong protest to the US Government against this flagrant violation of the Soviet border by an American military aircraft. It insists that the people responsible for this violation be held strictly accountable and it is expected that the US Government take steps to henceforth forbid American aircraft to violate the State borders of the USSR.

9-ls

[TFR 23-4]

[handwritten "24"]

Enclosure No. 2

Draft of the demarche to

the US Embassy in Moscow.

The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers it necessary to declare the following to the Government of the United States of America.

According to confirmed reports of official Soviet organs, on 27 Jul of this year, at 0628 hrs Moscow time, 4 American fighter aircraft violated the borders of the People's Republic of China. Near the city of Khuadyan', 110 km from the Sino-Korean border, they attacked and shot down a Soviet passenger aircraft that was making a scheduled flight along an established flight route from Port Arthur to the USSR. The aircraft was destroyed and 15 passengers and 6 crew members on board perished.

The Soviet Government declares a strong protest against this piratical attack by American warplanes on a Soviet passenger aircraft over the territory of the People's Republic of China. It is expected that the US Government take steps to severely punish those responsible for this attack and to not permit, henceforth, similar criminal acts by the American military command.

The Soviet Government reserves the right to demand compensatory payment in connection with the deaths of the aforementioned 21 Soviet citizens and the loss of the aircraft.

9-ll

[TFR 23-5]

[handwritten "71"]

Translated from English.

[handwritten "23 Jul 56"] Delivered by US Ambassador Bolen to Comrade Gromyko A. A. during a discussion on 31 Jul 53

MEMORANDUM

My government has instructed me to convey the strongest possible protest against the shoot down on 29 Jul by a Soviet aircraft of a USAF RB-50 aircraft which was on a routine navigational training flight over the Sea of Japan.

The copilot of the American aircraft, who was rescued by a US ship approximately 40 kilometers from the Soviet coast, south of Cape Povorotnyj, verified that his aircraft, with a crew of 17, was attacked by one or more Soviet MIG-15 aircraft. They shot at its engines which caused a fire and led to the American aircraft's crash.

Information was also received that other crew members who survived were picked up by Soviet ships in the crash area. My government has instructed me to ask that the Soviet authorities immediately report the condition of these people as well as the steps they are taking for their timely repatriation.

AMERICAN EMBASSY Moscow, 31 Jul 53

Translated:[signature](Alekseeva)

[TFR 23-6]

[handwritten "69"]

[handwritten "30 July"] No. 23/osa

The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers it necessary to declare the following to the Government of the United States of America.

According to confirmed reports, a four engine "B-50" type bomber with US markings violated the State border of the USSR on 29 July of this year at approximately 0700 hrs, Vladivostok time. Starting near Cape Gamov, it continued its flight over the territory of the USSR in the area of Askol'd Island, near Vladivostok. On the approach of two Soviet fighter planes, the American aircraft opened fire. The fighters' mission was to indicate to the American aircraft that it was within the borders of the USSR and to order it to leave the airspace of the Soviet Union. The American aircraft inflicted serious damage on one of the Soviet aircraft by piercing the fuselage and left wing and also by destroying the cockpit's hermetic seal. The Soviet aircraft were forced to return fire after which the American aircraft headed in the direction of the sea.

TO THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES

OF AMERICA

Moscow

[TFR 23-7]

[handwritten "78"]

No. 25/osa

With regard to the memorandum from the US Embassy of 31 Jul of this year, the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers it necessary to declare to the US Government the following.

In the Soviet Government's demarche to the US Government of 30 July of this year, confirmed reports testify that an American four-engine "B-50" type bomber with US markings violated the State border of the USSR. Starting in the area of Cape Gamov, it continued its flight over the territory of the USSR in the area of Askol'd Island, near Vladivostok. The American aircraft opened fire on the approach of two Soviet fighter planes, which had the mission of pointing out to the American aircraft that it was within the borders of the USSR and to suggest that it leave the airspace of the Soviet Union. The American aircraft inflicted serious damage on one of the Soviet aircraft. The Soviet aircraft were forced to return fire, after which

To the Embassy of the United States of America Moscow

[TFR 23-8]

[handwritten "79"]

2.-

the American aircraft headed in the direction of the sea.

The facts cited above contradict the assertion in the US Embassy memorandum alleging that an American aircraft was attacked by Soviet fighters during a routine flight over the Sea of Japan.

The Soviet Government has no information at its disposal concerning the crew or the whereabouts of the aforementioned American aircraft which withdrew in the direction of the sea.

The Soviet Government affirms its demarche of 30 Jul, insists on strict accountability of the people responsible for this violation and expects that the US Government will take steps to henceforth not permit American aircraft to violate the State borders of the USSR.

The Soviet Government refutes the protest contained in the Embassy memo as lacking in any basis.

Moscow, 3 Aug 53

Official:[signature]

Distributed to: Comrades Molotov Vyshinskij Gromyko Zorin Pushkin Podtserob Il'ichev DVO Embassy of the USSR in Washington case file (2)

[TFR 23-9]

[stamp "Prot. Prez

TsK No. 21, pg 9"]

[handwritten "25"]

Top Secret Copy No. 1

TO THE PRESIDIUM OF THE TsK KPSS

to Comrade G.M. MALENKOV to Comrade N.S. KHRUSHCHEV

According to the report from the Pacific Ocean Fleet Air Forces Command, on 27 Jul of this year at 0628 hrs Moscow time, 4 American fighters intruding on the boundaries of the PDRK, attacked and shot down a Russian IL-12 transport airplane that was flying from Port Arthur to Vladivostok. This occurred near the city of Khuadyan', 110 kilometers from the Sino-Korean border. The aircraft burned up and the 6 man crew and 15 passengers on board were killed.

An American B-50 type four-engine bomber violated the State borders of the USSR on 29 Jul of this year at approximately 0700 hrs Vladivostok time. This occurred in the area of Cape Gamov and Askol'd Island not far from Vladivostok. During the approach by two Soviet fighters, the American aircraft opened fire on them and inflicted serious damage on one of them. The American bomber was shot down by return fire from the Soviet fighters and it crashed into the sea.

With regard to the aforementioned, the MID of the USSR and the Ministry of Defense of the USSR consider it advisable to send demarches to the Americans. A demarche concerning the violation of the Soviet border (enclosure 1) by an American aircraft is to be expediently delivered to the American Ambassador in Moscow on 30 Jul and is to be published in the press on 31 Jul. The demarche regarding the attack

[TFR 23-10]

[handwritten "26"]

2.

on the Soviet plane over Chinese territory (enclosure 2) by American fighters is to be expediently delivered to the American Ambassador on 31 Jul and is to be published on 1 Aug.

We also consider it advisable to inform the PDRK government that we have sent these latest demarches to the US Government. We should recommend that they tie in other known violations of PDRK borders by American aircraft and protest to the Americans the violation of PDRK State borders by American aircraft.

[signature] [signature]

(V. Molotov) (N. Bulganin)

30 Jul 53

[handwritten on reverse, "Presidential Archives RR, F. 3, op. 66, d. 391, pg. 22-26"]

[TFR 23-11]

[handwritten "29 Jul 53"]

[handwritten "37"]

[handwritten "22"]

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union. CENTRAL
COMMITTEE

No P21/9 30 Jul 53

to Comrade Korobov

Extract from protocol No. 21 of the session of the Presidium of the TsK on 30 Jul 53.

Concerning the demarches to the US Government regarding the violation of Soviet territory by an American aircraft and the attack on a Soviet aircraft by American fighters over Chinese territory.

1. This is to approve the drafts of the attached demarches to the US Government on this matter. They were written by comrades Molotov V.M. and Bulganin N.A.

2. The demarche regarding the violation of the Soviet border by an American aircraft is to be delivered to the American Ambassador in Moscow on 30 Jul and is to be published in the press on 31 Jul 53.

3. The demarche regarding the attack on a Soviet aircraft by American fighters over Chinese territory is to be delivered to the American Ambassador in Moscow on 31 Jul and is to be published in the press on 1 Aug 53.

SECRETARY TsK

[Printed along the left side "Subject to return after 7 days to the Office of the Presidium of the TsK KPSS"]

[handwritten notations below]

Post. SM USSR

No. 2018-827ss on 30 Jul 53

2-ns.

Published: supplement No. 1 31 Jul 53 supplement No. 2 1 Aug 53

[TFR 23-12] [handwritten "420"]

[stamp "Declassified

No dates given"]

[handwritten "80"]

Delivered by US Ambassador Bolen to V.M.Molotov 4 Aug 53

Secret

Translated from English

[stamp "MID-USSR

USA DEPARTMENT

SECRET

Entry No.757osa

4 Aug 53"]

MEMORANDUM

The US Government has information regarding survivors

of the incident involving the "B-50" aircraft.

1. The copilot was rescued by an American ship 40 miles from the Soviet coast to the south of Cape Povorotnyj.

2. The pilot bailed out at the same time as the copilot and it is assumed that other members of the crew bailed out as well.

3. The aircraft carrying out search and rescue operations dropped a life raft to other survivors. The crews of these aircraft are more or less certain that there were at least four and possibly more survivors sitting in the life raft.

4. The same American aircraft spotted approximately 9 Soviet "PT" type boats in the area and at least 6 of these "PT" boats were heading to the location where debris from the aircraft was later discovered. A Soviet trawler was also spotted in the approximate area.

On the basis of the aforementioned observations and the deposition of the rescued copilot, it is highly likely

[TFR 23-13]

[handwritten "81"]

2.

that other crew members survived and that they were possibly rescued by the Soviet ships. In view of this, the US Government urgently asks the Soviet Government to conduct a further investigation on the whereabouts of those or other surviving crew members.

Translated: [signature] (O. Troyanovskij)

Distributed: to Comrades Molotov Gromyko Zorin Podtserob Department of American countries [handwritten "596/M"]

6 copies

[TFR 23-14]

[stamp "Declassified

No dates given"]

Ministry of Defense of the USSR

[stamp" Secret Entry No. 765/ 10 Aug 53"]

[stamp" Secret Entry No.3461 of 8 Aug 53"]

MAIN STAFF OF THE NAVY

TO THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN

AFFAIRS OF THE USSR

8 Aug 53

Comrade GROMYKO A.A.

No.5/15272s

[handwritten "case file 10 Aug" 1 word illeg.]

The assertion in the American demarche of 5 Aug of this year alleging that on 29 Jul of this year the copilot of an American B-50 aircraft was sighted by an American surface ship and that 12 Soviet "PT" type boats were observed purportedly retrieving surviving crew members - does not correspond to the facts.

On 30 Jul, at approximately 0400 hrs Vladivostok time, Soviet fishing trawler No. 423, engaged in fishing, was passing through the area where the Americans were searching for their aircraft.

As has already been pointed out in the report of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Fleet Admiral Kuznetsov N.G., of 30 Jul of this year, two American destroyers approached the aforementioned trawler at approximately 0400 hrs.

American and Japanese officers, on board a cutter launched from one of the destroyers, tried to obtain information from the trawler regarding the B-50 aircraft and its crew. They were unable to get any kind of information since the trawler did not see any aircraft debris and was not engaged in recovering the crew.

The attempts of the Americans to carry on a conversation with the trawler were in vain since the Americans did not have a Russian translator with them.

Other than this trawler, there were no other Soviet ships in the area searched by the Americans for their aircraft.

CHIEF OF THE MAIN STAFF
ADMIRAL

[signature]

V. FOKIN

[TFR 23-15]

[stamp "Declassified"]

[handwritten "16"]

[handwritten "Return"]

Secret. Copy No. 1

"24" Nov 54

Issue No. 1174/osa

to Comrade GROMYKO A.A.

We submit to you the drafts of the memorandum to the TsK KPSS, the decree and the demarche to the US Government in response to its demarche of 9 Oct of this year in regards to the incident with the American aircraft which violated the State border of the USSR in the Vladivostok area on 29 Jul 53.

Please review.

[signature] [signature] (G. Tunkin) (V. Bazykin)

3 Copies issued ms/VB. 1-to Comrade Gromyko 2-to Comrade Tunkin 3-to the case file No. 1691. 24 Nov 54

[stamp "MID USSR
Comrade Gromyko's Office
SECRET
Entry No.6490- of
24 Nov 54"]

[handwritten "9629"]

[TFR 23-16]

[illeg. handwriting]

stamp "Declassified

No dates given"]

[handwritten "17"]

Secret Copy No.5

TsK KPSS

The United States Government, in its demarche of 9 Oct 54, is again raising the issue involving the American B-50 warplane that violated the State border of the USSR in the vicinity of Vladivostok on 29 Jul 53. This demarche essentially contains nothing new about this incident as compared to previous US demarches. It presents a lengthy US version of the incident as well as unfounded suppositions that the crew members of the violator aircraft may have been picked up by Soviet ships and are in Soviet custody.

The US Government raises a number of claims associated with the loss of the American warplane and its crew members. In the event the Soviet Union refuses to satisfy these claims, the US proposes to refer the issue to the World Court.

At the same time, the US Government in its demarche raises the issue of the extent of the Soviet territorial waters, asserting that territorial waters [1 word illegible] nautical miles in width as established in the Soviet Union are inconsistent with conventions of international law. The United States declares that it "does not recognize the Soviet Government's claim to territorial waters beyond three miles from its shore."

The text of the US demarche was published by the State Department, and at the requests of US representatives in the United Nations was distributed to members of the Security Council.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR considers it advisable to send a report to the US Embassy and attach to it an excerpt from the "Report on the Circumstances of a US B-50's Violation of the State Borders of the USSR near Vladivostok on 29 Jul 53."

In the opinion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, the US Government's claim of possible loss and its proposal to submit this case to the World Court for its consideration, should be dismissed as unfounded.

With regard to the US Government's statement about

[TFR 23-17]

[handwritten "18"]

2.

the width of Soviet territorial waters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR deems it advisable to respond to the substance of the statement.

Because a considerable amount of time has passed since the incident and there is no need to draw public attention to it, the opinion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR is that it would be inadvisable to publish this note.

A draft of the decree is attached.

Please review.

"[No date]" Nov 54 No.

[handwritten "pr 1266-ag 24 Nov"]

[TFR 23-18]

Workers of the world, unite!

TOP SECRET

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union. CENTRAL
COMMITTEE

No P24/1 4 Aug 53

to Comrades Molotov, Korobov

Extract from protocol No. 24 of the session of the Presidium of the TsK of 4 Aug 53.

Draft of demarche of the Soviet Government to the US Government in answer to the US Embassy Memo of 31 Jul 53.

The enclosed demarche draft by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the matter at hand is submitted for approval.

SECRETARY TsK

[Printed along the left side "Subject to return after 7 days to the Office of the Presidium of the TsK KPSS"]

Z-p [The remainder of the page is handwritten.] Disposition SM

Published USSR No. 102/31-rs 4 Aug 53

5 Aug 53