The 1964 T-39 shootdown incident occurred on 28 January 1964, when an unarmed United States Air Force T-39 Sabreliner on a training mission was shot down over Erfurt, East Germany by a Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 fighter aircraft. becoming some of the few US confirmed direct casualties of the Cold War in Europe.
Following the cessation of hostilities at the end of World War II, a situation which came to be known as the Cold War developed between the United States, Canada, and Western European nations on one side, and the Soviet bloc on the other.
On 28 January 1964, an unarmed USAF T-39A-1-NO Sabreliner twin engine jet trainer, 62-4448, c/n 276-1,
The flight proceeded uneventfully until, 47 minutes after takeoff, radar at two U.S. air defense stations noticed that the trainer was heading toward East Germany at 500 miles per hour (800 km/h).
The T-39 crossed the border into East Germany. Within five minutes, two blips appeared near the American jet. For 11 minutes, radar blips indicated the three planes were moving eastward, then two blips suddenly veered west and the third blip disappeared. American personnel monitoring the T-39's flight could not determine what had happened, although it was later reported that residents in Vogelsberg, 50 miles (80 km) from the border, had heard machine-gun and cannon fire and had witnessed the plane crash.