U.S. Ambassador to Visit Liepāja for Commemoration Ceremony

Riga, April 7, 2016 – U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Nancy Pettit will make an official visit to Liepāja and Saldus, April 7-8.

In Liepāja, Ambassador Pettit will meet with the Mayor of Liepāja, Uldis Sesks, and Liepāja City Council officials and will participate in the commemoration ceremony to honor the U.S. airmen lost when their aircraft was shot down by Soviet fighter planes.

On April 8, 1950, a PB4Y2 Privateer aircraft, carrying a crew of ten Americans, was shot down by Soviet fighter planes during an operational mission over the Baltic Sea. Search and rescue efforts to find the airmen continued until April 16, 1950, but were unsuccessful. The U.S. Navy issued a presumptive finding of death for the crew on April 11, 1951.

The commemoration ceremony will take place on April 8 at 1:30 p.m. at the Mother Sea Monument. Ambassador Pettit will be joined by Liepāja city and Latvian Navy leadership for the ceremony. The event is open to the media and to the public.

During her stay in Liepāja, the Ambassador will also visit the Liepāja Youth House, view the Great Amber Concert Hall, tour the Liepaja Society of the Blind Garden of Soul Relief, and visit the National Armed Forces Training and Doctrine Command Naval Training Center.

In addition to visiting Liepāja, Ambassador Pettit will tour the former Soviet military base at Skrunda, tour the Cemex factory, and will visit Saldus where she will meet with Mayor Indra Rassa and Saldus city officials and visit UPB Holding.