Alderson, James, MM2

Machinists Mate
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Current Service Status
USN Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Petty Officer Second Class
Current/Last Primary NEC
MM-5342-Diver First Class
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Machinists Mate
Primary Unit
1984-1985, MM-5342, USS McKee (AS-41)
Previously Held NEC
MM-4231-SSN/SSBN Auxiliary Equipment Technician
MM-0000-Machinist's Mate
Service Years
1975 - 1985
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Deep Dive Diploma
Order of the Horned Shellback
Panama Canal
Polaris Certificate
MM-Machinists Mate
Two Hash Marks

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Shellback

 Additional Information
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Cold War Incident - KAL Flight 007 Shootdown (Sea of Japan)
Start Year
End Year

USS Sterett CG 31 served as flagship of the U.S. Navy 's Task Force 71 in 1983. These ships were dispatched to conduct search and recovery operations in the immediate aftermath of the 1 Sept 1983 shoot down of Korean Air Lines flight 007 by interceptor fighters of the (then) Soviet Union, after the unarmed civilian airliner veered into Soviet airspace while en route from Anchorage, Alaska to Seoul, South Korea.

This horrific act resulted in the loss of all 269 passengers and crew - greatly heightening the Cold War tensions of the time. After steaming to the search area within international waters west of the USSR's Sakhalin Island where the aircraft was believed to have crashed, the ships of TF 71 found themselves engaged in eyeball-to-eyeball, close in, nautical manuevers with a parade of Soviet military and coastal patrol assets that had swarmed into the same area trying to reach the KAL 007 remains first. It soon became clear that many of the Soviet ships were deploying tactics aimed at hindering the search and recovery efforts of the US and its allies.

Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (also known as KAL007 and KE007) was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Seoul via Anchorage, Alaska. On September 1, 1983, the South Korean airliner serving the flight was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor. It crashed in the sea near Moneron Island west of Sakhalin in the Sea of Japan. All 269 passengers and crew aboard were killed, including Larry McDonald, a Representative from Georgia in the United States House of Representatives. The aircraft was en route from Anchorage to Seoul when it flew through Soviet prohibited airspace around the time of a U.S. aerial reconnaissance mission. The Soviets found the wreckage under the sea on September 15, and found the in-flight recorders in October, but kept this information secret until 1993.

The Soviet Union initially denied knowledge of the incident, but later admitted shooting down the aircraft, claiming that it was on a MASINT spy mission. The Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union said it was a deliberate provocation by the United States to test the Soviet Union's military preparedness, or even to provoke a war. The White House accused the Soviet Union of obstructing search and rescue operations. The Soviet Armed Forces suppressed evidence sought by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) investigation, such as the flight data recorders, which were released eight years later after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The incident was one of the most tense moments of the Cold War and resulted in an escalation of anti-Soviet sentiment, particularly in the United States. The opposing points of view on the incident were never fully resolved; consequently, several groups continue to dispute official reports and offer alternative theories of the event. The subsequent release of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 transcripts and flight recorders by the Russian Federation has clarified some details.

As a result of the incident the United States altered tracking procedures for aircraft departing from Alaska. The interface of the autopilot used on airliners was redesigned to make it more ergonomic. In addition, the event was one of the most important single events that prompted the Reagan administration to allow worldwide access to the United States military satellite navigation system DNSS, which was classified at the time. Today this system is known as GPS.

My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
To Year
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories

It was a bad end to a good west pac, we where in cebu, P.I. when we got the word under way the next day and freezing are buts of in the north sea of Japan for the next 60 days. And we all felt that the president sent us there to get are butts shot up so he could pick a fight with the russians. Soviet warships every where, near collisions on a daley basis, tensions where definatly high and all we had to fight back where 2 20 mill and 2 .50 cal mounts

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
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  74 Also There at This Battle:
  • Allen, Danny, PO1, (1979-1987)
  • Blanco, Marco, PO1, (1980-1990)
  • Bofman, David, PO1, (1982-1996)
  • Brooks, Kevin, CPO, (1979-1995)
  • Brown, Randy, PO1, (1976-1997)
  • Caples, John, MCPO, (1964-1988)
  • Clark, David, SCPO, (1980-2006)
  • DeLong, David, PO1, (1979-1984)
  • DePalma, T.J., CPO, (1970-1993)
  • Dill, John, CWO4, (1967-1997)
  • Donnell, Ken, PO2, (1981-2001)
  • Dozier, William, CPO, (1982-2008)
  • Dunham, Ray, PO1, (1978-1989)
  • Esper, Gregory, PO1, (1975-1995)
  • Flint, John, PO1, (1982-1991)
  • Foote, Skip, CWO2, (1972-1996)
  • Fulp, Samuel, CPO, (1979-2002)
  • Garrison, Merton, PO1, (1969-1989)
  • Gatica, Steve, PO1, (1981-2003)
  • Goughenour, Eric, CPO, (1981-2001)
  • Harkreader, Ed, PO1, (1977-2000)
  • Hayes, Terry, CPO, (1978-1999)
  • Houston, Scott, PO1, (1979-1999)
  • Hudgens, Kenneth, PO1, (1982-2003)
  • Hye, James, SN, (1981-1985)
  • Itterley, Donald, PO1, (1977-1997)
  • Kain, Dann, PO1, (1981-1990)
  • Kaso, Philip, CPO, (1981-2001)
  • Ketchum, Dan, CPO, (1982-2005)
  • Klein, Kenneth, PO2, (1983-1989)
  • Larsen, Allen, PO1, (1979-1995)
  • Leet, Mark, CMC, (1978-Present)
  • Masterson, Harold, CPO, (1982-2006)
  • May, Rick, PO1, (1977-1995)
  • Nester, David, CPO, (1975-1995)
  • Norman, Richard, CDR, (1970-1994)
  • Osborne, Henry, PO1, (1969-1993)
  • Russell, Scott, MCPO, (1976-2006)
  • Sanchez, Stephen, SCPO, (1972-1998)
  • Schlueter, Dan, CPO, (1982-2017)
  • Scofield, Michael, CPO, (1978-1994)
  • Sidener, Scott, PO2, (1979-1985)
  • Silvey, Mike, PO3, (1981-1985)
  • Tannehill, Gerald, CPO, (1975-1997)
  • Taylor, Steve, CWO5, (1977-2008)
  • Trombley Jr, Daniel, SCPO, (1973-1998)
  • Wages, John, PO1, (1980-1986)
  • Waldenmaier, Terry, LT, (1979-2001)
  • Wallace, David, CDR, (1967-1997)
  • Watts, Donald, CPO
  • Williams, Tim, PO1, (1977-1988)
  • WOOLSON, LEE, PO1, (1970-1992)
  • Wright, Steve, CAPT, (1973-2007)
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