THE COLD WAR: Nonstop to Copenhagen

The last message from the drop-bellied, high-tailed Navy Privateer was brief and businesslike. She was over the German North Sea port of Bremerhaven heading northeast toward the Baltic into bad weather, she radioed the U.S. Air Force Base in Wiesbaden. At Wiesbaden the four-engined patrol bomber had refueled some three hours before, a Navy stranger out of Africa, carrying a crew of four officers, two mechanics, three radar technicians and a communicator. She was supposed to be flying some kind of navigation training flight "nonstop to Copenhagen and return."

There was no return—only a long silence. Next day a score of...