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SILENT HEROES OF THE COLD WAR

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

LAS VEGAS DINNER TO HONOR THREE U-2 HEROES

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

HELP TO SPONSOR A U-2

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

BRIDGE OF SPIES

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

U-2 VETERANS TO GATHER AT BEALE AFB

In mid-September, some real U-2 veterans will gather at Beale AFB, California, the home of the aircraft today. It may well be the last-ever reunion of former members of the 4080th and 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wings. The 4080th was the original US Air Force U-2 outfit, based at Laughlin AFB in Texas from 1957. The … Continue reading U-2 VETERANS TO GATHER AT BEALE AFB

THE LOST BLACK CATS

This the title of a new documentary on Taiwan’s U-2 squadron, which flew over and around mainland China from 1962 to 1974. The film was made by a Taipei-based crew for a local audience, although it does have English subtitles. It is 90 minutes long and was shown in cinemas throughout Taiwan last fall. The … Continue reading THE LOST BLACK CATS

IT ALL BEGAN WITH RICHARD LEGHORN

The first photo in my book 50 YEARS OF THE U-2 is of Richard Leghorn (left). That’s because I consider him to be the conceptual father of the U-2. Why? Leghorn was a P-38 reconnaissance squadron commander in the Second World War who was recalled to military service for the Korean War. Since 1946, he … Continue reading IT ALL BEGAN WITH RICHARD LEGHORN