70 years ago, 10 U.S. Sailors lost their lives when their aircraft was shot down by a Soviet warplane. I want to thank the Latvian Naval Forces and the City of Liepaja for this annual demonstration of solidarity. We are proud to be Latvia's partner, friend, and ally. #AmbCarwile pic.twitter.com/txQqF0pYHR— US Embassy Riga (@USEmbassyRiga) April 9, 2020
Their plane came down in the Baltic 14 miles west of Liepāja in international waters while on a reconnaissance mission, with Soviet forces claiming it had violated Soviet airspace over Latvia.
No bodies were ever recovered and no survivors ever made it home despite rumors that not all of the 10-man crew had been killed in the crash.
A ceremony was also carried out on land at the monument to all those who have lost their lives in the sea.
In a sign of how the world has changed since then, all three Baltic states occupied by the Soviet Union at the time are now independent states and full members of NATO alongside the United States.
And today, it is NATO forces in the form of the Baltic Air Policing mission that are intercepting Russian planes over the Baltic Sea.