In August 1961, a guard and one other man were shot dead a mid-air gun battle on a Aerovias Cuban airliner.
Six passengers were injured in the incident which saw counter – revolutionary anti-Castro gunmen attempt to hijack the 48-passenger plane and fly it to America.
The drama began just a few minutes after take-off from the Cuban capital when the hijackers went to the pilot’s cabin.
The brave pilot resisted an order to fly to Miami while the plane was on a regular flight from Havana to the Isle of Pines, off Cuba’s southern coast.
The pilot, Captain Luis Regato, refused to open the cockpit door. So the gunmen fired through the panels, killing him and guard.
The other guard fired back and fierce mid-air gun-battle raged as the co-pilot made a forced landing into a sugar-cane field near a military base at Ban Antonio – thirty miles south of Havana.
The passengers scrambled from the wrecked plane and fled into hiding.
Cuban soldiers ringed the area, hunting the gunmen.