Nightstalkers in the Pacific Sky

Eavesdropping on the Soviet pilots as they close in for the kill

It was just about 1 a.m. (Japan Standard Time) on Sept. 1 when Korean Air Lines (KAL) Flight 007, cruising southwestward from Anchorage over the Bering Sea in the early-morning darkness, came under the watchful eye of Soviet radar. For the next 2½ hr. the blip moved into and out of Soviet airspace. When it crossed over the eastern border of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Soviets scrambled four MiG-23s and Su-15s from the Petropavlovsk airbase on Kamchatka to search for the intruder....

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