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Navy F-14 Downs AF Jet; No One Hurt in Mishap

September 24, 1987|Associated Press

NAPLES, Italy — A U.S. Air Force reconnaissance jet was accidentally shot down by a U.S. Navy aircraft during North Atlantic Treaty Organization military exercises in the western Mediterranean, a U.S. 6th Fleet spokesman said Wednesday.

No one was hurt in the accident, which occurred Tuesday afternoon during the Display Determination exercises being conducted by the allied forces of Southern Europe, Lt. David Morris said.

Morris said the Navy F-14 fighter aircraft fired an air-to-air missile that struck the Air Force RF-4C plane, causing it to crash. Its two occupants ejected safely and were picked up in the sea after 30 minutes by the U.S. aircraft carrier Saratoga, he said.

He identified the men as Lt. Randy Spouse of Sumter, S.C., the pilot, and Capt. Michael Ross, a weapons systems officer from Portsmouth, N.H.

Another accident involving a U.S. military aircraft occurred in West Germany when an Army helicopter crashed during NATO maneuvers, slightly injuring two soldiers. Maj. Peter van Geldorp, a spokesman, said the helicopter went down near Doehle, a town about 60 miles south of Hamburg. The identities of the injured soldiers were not released.

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