Aerial combat / Military radio recordings gallery

This gallery contains some radio recording excerpts of actual combat missions and other interesting stuffs to hear. I've been collecting a number of them during the last years and deciced to share the most interesting ones. I'll be adding new records as time permits. Put your earphones, turn up the volume and check your six o'clock.

Lancaster raid, 1943.
This recording was made of the crew inside a Lancaster bomber during a raid over Berlin in September 1943. Amazing how calm these folks looks even under enemy fire...
- Hello, Skipper.
- Hello, Navigator.
- Half a minute to go.
- OK - er, hello Engineer, Skipper here.
- Yes?
- Will you put the revs up please?
- Yes.
- OK - keep weaving.
- A lot of search light and fighter flares, Skipper, over there.
- OK, boys, OK...
- Bomb doors open!
- Hello, Bombardier, OK when you are.
- Bomb doors open!
- Bomb doors open, Bombardier.
- Right...
- Steady...steady...
- Bombs going in a minute...
- Hey, Jimmy, tracer behind us boy...

- Where is he, Rear Gunner, can you see him?
- Down! Down!
- Down?
He's come down.
- Did you shoot him down?
- Hes got him boys...!
- Keep weaving theres some flack coming up...
- OK, don't shout all at once.
- Hello, Mid Gunner, did you recognise that fighter you shot down?
- No I didn't recognise it but its definitely going down now.
- Good, Jimmy, I can see him, boy. Good show!

Sound file:
(1:26min / 1.32 MB / wav file)

BBC audio clips library

Gulf of Sidra incident, 1989.

January 4,1989.

Two VF-32 Swordsmen F-14As from USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) fly a CAP mission close to the Libyan cost when a pair of Libyan Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 Floggers were detected.The MiG-23s had taken off from Al Bumbaw Airfield near Tobruk and they continued their flight towards the US fighters, even though the F-14s radar had locked on the bogeys. It's a common procedure under such circumstances to lock the powerful AWG-9 radar on the incoming Libyan fighters, to give them the possibility to turn around and head back home. Usually this procedure was impressive enough to drive the Libyans back since the radar warning tone resulting from an armed F-14's radar was fearsome enough. But this time it did not work. For the second time US Navy F-14s were engaged by Libyan fighter aircraft under hostile conditions.

During the 8 minute engagement, the MiGs kept turning in on the Tomcats to maintain a firing solution for their Soviet built air-to-air missiles. As later examination of F-14 still photography resolved, the MiG-23s were armed with AA-7 Apex missiles. After several evasive maneuvers by the Tomcats and aggressive maneuvers by the Floggers, the incoming pair of MiG-23s were declared hostile and the F-14 crews were cleared to engage.

The crew of the lead F-14A, AC202 fired an unsuccessful AIM-7 Sparrow missile (the AIM-7s which failed was probably either a failure to track the target or a failure for the rocket motor to ignite, since the failure was noted almost immediately after launch), while the second F-14As, AC207 (BuNo. 159610) AIM-7 (launched about seven seconds later) found its target and destroyed one MiG-23. Thereafter, the lead F-14 closed in on the remaining MiG-23 and launched an AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seaking missile. The missile exploded in the tailpipe of the fleeing Flogger. The pilot of this MiG-23 also managed to eject from his destroyed aircraft. Both pilots were seen with good chutes.

After this engagement, the victorious Tomcats headed north for the carrier.

Postscript: There is a fine animation of this combat on YouTube.


Sound file:
(6:59min / 6.40 MB / mp3 file)
Wikipedia and KA8VIT

Ehime Maru incident with SSN-772 Greenville, 2001.

February 9, 2001.

During a visit of civilians aboard the submarine, the GREENEVILLE demonstrated an emergency surfacing during which the submarine collided with the Japanese fishing trawler EHIME MARU (499 tons). The collision occurred at 1.45pm local time. The trawler sank about 5 minutes after the collision. 26 of the trawler's 35 crew members could be rescued immediately. 12 of them suffered minor injuries. The trawler was a training ship of a Japanese fishing school and had 13 students and their teachers aboard. From the 35 people aboard 9 were killed in the accident. These were four 17 years old students, two teachers and three crew members of the trawler.

The collision caused damage to the USS GREENEVILLE and she had to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. The Commanding Officer was relieved.

- Coast Guard, uh, this is, uh, COMSUPAC Pearl Harbor. We have a vessel that has had a collision approximately nine miles south of Diamond Head. A commercial ship with a submarine. Vessel has sunk. Uh, people are in the water. The rough seas may prohibit submarine from ...

Sound file:
(0:20min / 245 KB / mp3 file)


Gulf of Sidra incident, 1981.
August 18, 1981.

The following transcription was made from the audio file of the August 1981 engagement of two Libyan Su-22 fighters of two VF-41 Black Aces F-14As.  

On the morning of 18 August, after having diverted a number of Libyan "mock" attacks on the battle group the previous day, two F-14s from VF-41. Fast Eagle 102 (CDR Henry 'Hank' Kleemann/LT David 'DJ' Venlet) (flying BuNo 160403) and Fast Eagle 107 (LT Lawrence 'Music' Muczynski/LTJG James 'Amos' Anderson) (in BuNo 160390), were flying combat air patrol (CAP) to cover aircraft engaged in a missile exercise. While in their CAP pattern, the F-14s detected two Sukhoi Su-22 Fitters-J taking off from Ghurdabiyah Air Base near the city of Sirte. The two F-14s set up for an intercept as the contacts headed north towards them. Only a few seconds before the crossing, at an estimated distance of 300 m, one of the Libyans fired an AA-2 "Atoll" at one of the F-14s, which missed. Then the two Sukhois split as they flew past the Americans; the leader turning to the northwest and the wingman turning southeast in the direction of the Libyan coast. The Tomcats evaded the missile and were cleared to return fire by their rules of engagement, which mandated self defense on the initiation of hostile action. The Tomcats turned hard port and came behind the Libyan jets. The Americans fired AIM-9L Sidewinders; the first kill is credited to Fast Eagle 102, the second to Fast Eagle 107. Both Libyan pilots ejected. 

Prior to the ejections, a US electronic surveillance plane monitoring the event recorded the lead Libyan pilot report to his ground controller that he had fired a missile at one of the US fighters and gave no indication that the missile shot was unintended. The official United States Navy report states that both Libyan pilots ejected and were safely recovered, but in the official audio recording of the incident taken from USS Biddle, one of the F-14 pilots states that he saw a Libyan pilot eject, but his parachute failed to open. Less than an hour later, while the Libyans were conducting a search and rescue operation of their downed pilots, two fully armed MiG-25s entered the airspace over the Gulf and headed towards the US carriers at Mach 1.5 and conducted a mock attack in the direction of USS Nimitz. Two VF-41 Tomcats headed towards the Libyans, which then turned around. The Tomcats turned home, but had to turn around again when the Libyans headed towards the US carriers once more. After being tracked by the F-14s' radars, the MiGs finally headed home. One more Libyan formation ventured out into the Gulf towards the US forces later that day (Wikipedia).

Fast Eagle 102 (BuNo 160403) is presently stored at the Commemorative Air Force Headquarters in Midland, Texas awaiting restoration.

COMSIXTHFLT received the original tape within hours of the engagement, which remained classified until late during Clinton administration. Note that a few parts are indecipherable,

00:03 102 Going to [garbled] right now, I'll stay in[garbled]scan.
00:07 Bare Ace
(Air Intercept Controller)
And 102 [garbled] 226 36
00:15 102 Tweny miles for 102. Twenty thousand feet.
00:19 Bare Ace 225 at 33 102.
00:24 Bare Ace And what's your [garbled something about the contact]?
00:27 102 102's got one 214 16 miles out, that's all I've got. 
00:31 102 He appears to be turning a little bit left giving us a left aspect. I'm in single target track.
00:38 102 14 miles 21,000.
00:44 Bare Ace 113 say your heading.
00:48 113 113s heading 070
00:54 102 10 miles 
00:54 102 102. The bogeys got us on his nose now 8 miles.
01:03 102 We're at altitude, twenty thousand feet 6 miles.
01:06 Bare Ace 103, 113 your vector 100. 
01:25 Bare Ace 103 state. 
01:31 107 Two fitters has shot at my leader.
01:35 102 [garbled]... this is 102, we've been fire on. 
01:46 Bare Ace And 102.
01:50 Bare Ace OK copy.
01:51 unknown Did you copy that Bare Ace?
01:52 Bare Ace Negative, what did one of them say?
01:54 102, 107
02:03 unknown Bare Ace, did you just copy 103?
02:05 Bare Ace That's negative.
02:05 unknown Because they said they've just been fired upon, that's what they transmitted.
02:15 Bare Ace 103 confirm you've been shot at, over.
02:18 unknown relay [garbled]confirm you've been shot at.
02:21 102 amongst interferance Affimative.[garbled] shot one of them down.
02:26 unknown relay Did you shoot one of them down?
02:29 102 It was a clean target.
02:34 107 [garbled]Want me shoot my guy down?
02:35 102 That's affirm, shoot him... shoot him down.
02:45 Bare Ace 205, 223 vector inbound at this time.
02:49 223 223 inbound
02:53 107 Fox 2 kill from music. Fox 2 kill.
02:56 102 [name] did you get him?
02:58 107 Yes sir, I did kill him.[garbled several seconds]
03:05 107 Fox 2 kill. His chute is not deploying. He is falling free.
03:08 102 OK, roger that.
03:11 Bare Ace 106 Reset CAP 5. 106, 110 reset cap 5.
03:14 107 [garbled]123 DME on the 180. And my state ten two, ten two.
03:27 102 OK I'm nine five.
03:29 Nimitz 102 107, you are clear to defend yourself.
03:31 Bare Ace 102 107, you are clear to defend yourself. Pass from the ship.
03:35 102 And this is 102 107, ah two enemy kills.
03:40 Bare Ace Say again.
03:41 102 Two enemy kills. Two MIG-23s killed.
03:45 unknown relay Two MIG-23s. You copy Bare Ace?
03:48 Bare Ace Roger.[garbled]
03:52 107 Mine was a Fitter, a Fitter.
03:59 Bare Ace 102 107 You copy? That's vector north.
04:41 Bare Ace 107, Bare Ace. 
04:44 102 This is 102 go ahead.
04:47 Bare Ace Were one or two hit?
04:55 102 102 and 107 are fine. We're both headed north. And there are two...
04:58 Bare Ace Roger that. And confirm you've got two MIG-23 kills.
05:03 102 OK one was a Fitter and they're probably both Fitters. And there are two kills.
05:07 unknown relay Bare Ace you copy? There are two kills. Either Fitters or Floggers.

Fast Eagle 102, one of the two F-14 Tomcats on the deck of the
USS Nimitz immediately following the incident.

Sound file:
(5:45min / 2.63 MB / wav file)

USS Biddle CG-34, via Elbert Pruitt Jr.

Rato Marczak 2020