It took a very long time, but the UK Ministry of Defence finally released the Royal Air Force files on British participation in the CIA’s U-2 program to overfly the Soviet Union in the late 1950s. And fascinating they are, containing everything from operational cables and reports, to policy deliberations within the Air Ministry and … Continue reading BRITISH U-2 FLIGHTS: AT LAST, THE DECLASSIFIED FILES!
The February 2021 edition of COMBAT AIRCRAFT magazine marks the 30th anniversary of Desert Storm. I have contributed a seven-page article that describes the U-2’s important role in the conflict.
This is the last untold episode from the early U-2 days. How the CIA attempted to train some Greek air force pilots to fly the U-2 over the Soviet Union, instead of Americans. Even today, the story is obscured by misinformation and continuing secrecy. The CIA has declassified two histories of the U-2 project, but … Continue reading THE STRANGE STORY OF THE GREEK U-2 PILOTS
I recently posted some new information about the U-2 shootdown on 1st May 1960. Here is some more information, from documents and imagery that was declassified by the CIA after I wrote 50 YEARS OF THE U-2 in 2005. It throws new light on an old question: should Gary Powers have been sent on that … Continue reading THE MAYDAY SHOOTDOWN – WAS IT A DOOMED MISSION?
It is the 60th anniversary of the shootdown of Gary Powers. This was a seminal event in the Cold War, that prompted massive media coverage at the time, and a steady stream of articles, books, and documentaries since then. Much misinformation has been peddled. I am not going to rehash most of that here. I … Continue reading THE MAYDAY SHOOTDOWN: SOME NEW TWISTS FROM RUSSIAN SOURCES
I need your help to produce another book about the Dragon Lady. But this time, my role will only be that of editor. YOU will be the authors. I seek your personal reminiscences for DRAGON TALES – PERSONAL STORIES OF THE U-2 SPYPLANE. There are so many interesting stories out there, most of which have … Continue reading MY NEXT BOOK – AN APPEAL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
On 17th November 1955, a USAF C-54 that was ferrying U-2 project personnel from Lockheed’s Burbank airfield to the test site at Watertown Strip crashed onto the peak of Mount Charleston near Las Vegas in bad weather. All fourteen people on board were killed: the five aircrew, two each from Lockheed and camera makers Hycon, … Continue reading SILENT HEROES OF THE COLD WAR
At a dinner in Las Vegas on Friday 15 November, three heroes from U-2 history will be honored by "enshrinement" into the Nevada Aerospace Hall Of Fame (NVAHOF). The best known of them is the late Gary Powers, but the others are of equal note: the late Marty Knutson, and Tony Bevacqua, who is thankfully still … Continue reading LAS VEGAS DINNER TO HONOR THREE U-2 HEROES
The Flight Test Historical Foundation (FTHF) is seeking sponsors for the U-2D that it maintains at the Blackbird Air Park, Palmdale, CA. That's me in front of the jet in the photo above, holding a copy of 50 YEARS OF THE U-2. The FTHF is the nonprofit organization that preserves the history of Edwards AFB, … Continue reading HELP TO SPONSOR A U-2
I am often asked for my opinion of this 2015 movie, directed by Steven Spielberg. So here goes. It is an outstanding production, as long as you remember the usual caveat that Hollywood provides when it portrays a real happening – “Inspired By True Events”. The recruitment by the CIA of U-2 pilots to overfly … Continue reading BRIDGE OF SPIES