Unsolved Scramble D.B. Cooper & the 318TH FIS 24 NOVEMBER 2011
McChord Air Museum Foundation
From Soviet Bombers to lost private airplanes, Air Defense Command fighter - interceptor squadrons were tasked to "police the skies" over America. In this role, McChord's 318th FIS became tied to one of the nations more intriguing crime mysteries on Thanksgiving eve 1971 - the D.B. Cooper Hijacking. Forty years later both can only be found in history books! In the afternoon of November 24, 1971, a man named Dan Cooper purchased a one-way ticket on a normally scheduled flight from Portland, OR to Seattle WA. He along with the other passengers boarded the Northwest Orient Flight # 305 without incident. A few minutes in the flight, Mr. Cooper passed a note to a flight attendant claiming that he had a bomb in his brief case and told to pass that message on to the flight crew along with his demands for $200,000 in unmarked $20 bills, 2 back parachutes and a fuel truck to refuel their Boeing 727.
The plane landed at Seattle - Tacoma International Airport and taxied into an isolated area where all of Cooper's demands were granted and all passengers and two flight attendants were released, but this was not the end of this drama, while refueling Cooper relayed the next phase of his plan, a safe flight to Mexico City flown at minimum speed. Officials allowed the crew to fly the plane towards Mexico, but it would not be alone, two F-106's from the 318th FIS were scrambled with a task to shadow the hijacked airliner and track its escape to Mexico. In the air over Washington or Oregon Cooper, with the ransom in hand, jumped from the rear of the 727 parachuting into the night and the history books - Cooper was never heard from again. For many years following this hijacking, members of the 318th would hold an annual dinner; commemorate this incident and their role in the mystery of D.B. Cooper. This dinner was held every year until the close of the squadron in 1989.
1972 F.B.I. composite drawings of Dan "D. B." Cooper
The McChord Air Museum Foundation P.O. Box 4205 JBLM‐McChord Field, WA. 98438‐0205 253‐982‐2485 e‐mail ‐ email@example.com website ‐ http://www.mcchordairmuseum.org