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Skyraiders Shoot Down Chinese Attackers 1954

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AD-4 Skyraider prepares to launch off USS Philippine Sea in 1954 (Photo Larry Engels)

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 Air Force off Hainan Island. The Skyraiders were attacked by the Chinese pilots, while they were searching for survivors from the shoot down of a Cathay Pacific Skymaster airliner. They defended themselves and shot down both attacking Chinese aircraft.

LA-7 in the PLAAF paint scheme.

Three days prior on 23 July, Chinese fighters had shot down the airliner near Hainan Island off the Chinese coast, mistaking it for a Taiwanese military plane.  Philippine Sea was 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 onboard the airliner survived the shoot down. Later this came to be known unofficially as the “Hainan Incident”.

(Photo Naval History and Heritage Command)

Unfortunately there would be another Hainan Incident in 2001, but luckily not as many lives were lost in this one.

 

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