In June of 1969 a U. S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft, code named Rivet Amber, disappeared while flying from Shemya Island to Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska. No wreckage or any sign of the missing plane was ever located.
Read alsoSaartjie se afskeid (#24)
Saartjie gee haar graadnege klas baie plesier met die dinge wat sy aanvang, maar dan betrap sy en die hoofseun rowers en dit plaas haar eers in die kollig. Die hele Lynnekom gons ook oor die wedstryd waarin ’n 14-jarige meisie ’n oorsese reis kan wen.
This story fictionalizes that incident by moving it forward a couple of years to November of 1971, allowing one crewmember to bail out of the stricken aircraft and be picked up by a Russian fishing boat.
The narrative then switches scenes to Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska, where another mission is preparing to launch. Word of the loss of Rivet Amber is presented to the crew, and the determination is made that this mission will proceed as scheduled since there was no indication of hostile action directed toward the missing aircraft.
The story follows this mission through the pre-mission briefing, introduces the crew, departs Offutt, and enters the area where communications reconnaissance takes place.
In a surprise attack, the mission is intercepted by Soviet fighters and disabled, causing the airplane to crash land on the ice pack in the Gulf of Anadyr, near the Arctic Circle. Most of the crew survive the crash and are rescued by U. S. Search and Rescue Service; however, four of them are captured by Russian forces and imprisoned.
Their ordeal in the months following capture is depicted in the remainder of the story.