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Sunday, November 23, 2008

McCain Shot Down By a Soviet?

Some interesting background on the first time McCain was shot down by a socialist.

From Russian news agency Novosti

MOSCOW, November 17 - An ex-Soviet officer who claims to have shot down U.S. Senator John McCain's plane over Vietnam in 1967 has said he is happy the ex-navy pilot lost his bid for the White House, a Russian paper said on Monday.

McCain was shot down over Hanoi while on a bombing mission on October 26, 1967, and taken captive by the North Vietnamese. He spent five and a half years in a POW camp, and claims that he was tortured. His time in captivity left him unable to raise his hands above his head.

Although McCain's former Vietnamese prison guards have said that they have forgiven him for his bombing raids, and that they even rooted for him in the U.S. presidential elections, 70-year-old Yury Trushyekin has no such warm feelings.

"It's good that he didn't become president. Even in the camp they said how he really hated Russians, as he knew it was our missile that shot him down," Trushyekin told the MK v Pitere paper. "Russian-American relations would have suffered, that's for sure."

There has never been any official acknowledgement that Soviet soldiers served in Vietnam on the side of the communist North Vietnamese in the 1960s and 1970s. However, Trushyekin, currently in a hospital in Russia's second city of St. Petersburg, had no qualms about speaking about his time in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

"I got to Vietnam at the time when there were mixed units with Vietnamese," he said, adding that he had served as an officer in a missile unit.

On the fateful day that McCain was shot down, Trushyekin recalled that his squad was getting ready to leave their post defending a local bridge when two U.S. planes came into view.

"We were preparing to leave when the sirens sounded again," he said. "Two American F-4 Phantoms flew in. We had two missiles out of six left. The Vietnamese fired first. Their rocket missed, it fell into the jungle. One plane went round the hill, the other came over the bridge. We fired at this one."

After McCain's plane was downed, the North Vietnamese quickly discovered him in a nearby lake.

"His hands were covered in blood and he was in a state of shock," said the former Soviet officer. "It's lucky that he was able to put his pistol into the air, or they would have shot him straight away."

McCain, as the son of a top U.S. admiral, was a major catch for the North Vietnamese. Trushyekin recovered McCain's identity card, and even brought it back with him to the Soviet Union. However, he has since mislaid it.

The ex-Soviet officer says he did not hear or think about McCain again until he became the senator of Arizona in 1986.

"They were showing archive pictures, of how he was sitting in his plane, looking so young. And I thought, 'he looks awfully familiar,'" said Trushyekin.

3 Comments:

Blogger mah29001 said...

I'm no major fan of John McCain, but it's no major surprise that the ex-Soviet fighter who shot McCain down was rooting for Obama.

I believe these Soviet pilots such as this fighter were always involved in these sort of conflicts. How can the Left have been against imperialism, when you got an open Soviet Russian pilot flying for the Viet Cong?

All this would point out is that the anti-Vietnam War movement was just a simple Soviet PR game.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

I agree MAH.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous fnb said...

It is apparent that neither one of you (mah 29001 or Mr. Loudon) never lived in the US during nor experienced the American Viet Nam Anti-War Movement. Responder mah29001, your comments show an obvious ignorance. You overlook key comments in the story: one being that the protagonist was in a anti-aircraft missle unit not a pilot. And he did not support Obama, but was glad McCain did not win - because of possible Russian-American relations. A subtle difference, but a key one. His issue is with McCain personally, not for any desire to see Obama succeed.

Another one of your comments mentions: "...Soviet Russian pilot flying for the Viet Cong...", begs for correction. The Viet Cong never had an air force, let alone an airplane. The VC were a ground insurgency group that operated as a non-regular army, a rebel militia if you will, mainly populated with local Vietnamese. They did work in cooperation of the Regular North Vietnamese Army (RVN), but also functioned and operated with great independence.

The US has documented that, yes, many anti-war groups had Soviet infiltrators. But the anti-war movement started as a student movement across the country and then eventually spread in to a true national movement crossing many economic, educational, social and political classes. Which eventually put a great force upon the US Government to seek a way out of Viet Nam and bring back home US troops. A simple Soviet PR game it was not.

While we all want a world where oppressive governments are non-existent, it would be nice to argue the point with factual information. Not mere speculation or a skewed historical opinion.

10:23 AM  

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