Catalina affair

Catalina affair

The Catalina affair was an incident on June 13, 1952, when a Swedish military DC-3 flying over the Baltic Sea carrying out signals intelligence gathering operations for the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment, disappeared east of the Isle of Gotland. Three days later, two Swedish military Catalina flying boats searched for the DC-3 north of Estonia. One of the planes was shot down by Soviet warplanes but the crew ditched near the West German freighter "Münsterland" and were rescued.


The USSR denied shooting down the DC-3, but a few days later a life raft with Soviet shell shrapnel was found. In 1956, while meeting the Swedish Prime Minister Tage Erlander, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted that the Soviet Union had shot down the DC-3. This information was not released to the public at the time.

In 1991, the Soviet air force admitted it had shot down the DC-3. In the summer of 2003, a Swedish company found the remains of the downed DC-3 by using sonar. Some time later the Catalina was also found, 22 kilometers east of the official splashdown point.


Bullet holes showed that the DC-3 was shot down by a MiG-15 fighter. The exact splash down time was also determined, as one of the clocks in the cockpit had stopped at 11:28:40 CET. To this date the remains of only five of the eight-man crew have been found.

ee also

*"Whiskey on the rocks"

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