Nine weary United States airmen held captive in the Soviet Union for ten days were released yesterday.
G.V. PLANE TAXI-ING IN.
L.V. WIESBADEN AIR TERMINAL.
S.V.PAN THE 1st AIRMAN LEAVES THE PLANE.
C.U. RE-UNION WITH RELATIVES.
S.V.PAN OTHER AIRMEN LEAVING THE PLANE, AND BEING UNITED WITH THEIR FAMILIES.
C.V. RE-UNIONS TAKING PLACE.
L.V.PAN THE MEN IN FRONT OF THEIR COACH.
C.U. ONE OF THE MEN.
LACK V. ENTERING THE COACH.
S.V. COACH DRIVES OFF.
BACK V. DITTO.
Initials jrg M.R./P.B.
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Background: Nine weary United States airmen held captive in the Soviet Union for ten days were released yesterday.
They were freed on the Soviet-Iranian border, immediately taken to Teheran and flown to Wiesbaden, headquarters of the U.S. Air Force, Europe.
Soon after their arrival, a USAF statement said the flyers were suffering from extreme exhaustion.
The statement said they reported their aircraft, an unarmed transport aircraft, was twice fired on by Soviet MIG fighters and set on fire at 15,000 feet by the shots.
The U.S. has admitted the aircraft had in error flown over Soviet territory. The statement said the error was due to extensive thunderstorms and high winds.
The aircraft was intercepted by the MIG fighters on June 27 ever Soviet Armania. After the attack, five flyers bailed out. The statement said the fighters fired on the aircraft again while the four remaining flyers made an emergency landing on a rough airstrip 75 miles east of Lake Sevan.
The crippled aircraft, according to the statement, was then in flames and exploded on the ground after the four men were able to reach safety.
At Wiesbaden, the flyers were ordered to make no statement to reporters.