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
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
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
I am occasionally asked about the ‘black’ paint that was applied to the U-2, after it was decided that the polished natural metal finish, or the gray paint scheme, made the jet too visible to opposition fighter pilots trying to intercept. How black was it? My answer is a bit complicated. In mid-1958, after some … Continue reading BLACK OR BLUE ? THE TRUE COLORS OF THE U-2
Yet another book has been published on the Cuba Missile Crisis, this one with significant U-2 content. And one particular focus for the “best-selling” authors of “Above & Beyond”, is the missions flown by SAC pilots Rudy Anderson and Chuck Maultsby on ‘Black Saturday’, 27th October 1962. That was the day that Maultsby accidentally strayed … Continue reading NEW BOOK ON THE CUBA MISSILE CRISIS – PLENTY TO CRITICISE!