RECONNAISSANCE

Aircraft

G - L

 

Gann, Ernest K. The Black Watch: The Men Who Fly America's Super Secret Spy Planes. New York: Random House, 1989.

Grier, Peter. "A Quarter Century of AWACS." Air Force Magazine, Mar. 2002, 42-47.

This is a compact look backward and forward on the use of AWACS.

Goodall, James.

1. SR-71 Blackbird. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1995. [Robarge]

2. And Jay Miller. Lockheed's SR-71 "Blackbird" Family: A-12, F-12, M-21, D-21, SR-71. Hersham, UK: Midland, 2002.

McCue, Air & Space Power Journal 22.1 (Spring 2008), says that this is "a well-written and well-documented work containing a military story that will fascinate the casual reader, inform the Air Force reader, and enrich the aviation-history buff -- and the many excellent pictures of jets will hold the interest of every aircraft enthusiast."

Graham, Richard H.

1. SR-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales, and Legends. St. Paul, MN: MBI, 2002.

From publisher: "Former SR-71 pilot, instructor and wing commander, Richard Graham, presents the most intriguing SR-71 stories ever told. This once highly classified program is fully revealed through the words of pilots, commanders, mechanics, and instructors involved in the Blackbird's creation and flight-testing."

2. SR-71 Revealed: The Inside Story. Osceola. WI: MBI, 1996.

From publisher: "Former SR-71 Wing Commander Rich Graham ... provides a detailed look at the entire SR-71 story beginning with his application to be an SR pilot through commanding an entire wing."

Hagedorn, Dan, and Lief Hellstrom. Foreign Invaders: The Douglas Invader in Foreign Military and US Clandestine Service. Leicester, UK: Midland, 1994.

Hall, R. Cargill. "The Truth About Overflights." MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History 9, no. 3 (Spring 1997): 24-39.

Jacobsen, Annie. Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. New York: Little, Brown, 2011.

For Rhodes, Washington Post, 3 Jun. 2011, the author "does an adequate if error-ridden job of reporting" on such black-budget projects as the U-2 and A-12 spy planes and the earliest UAVs. "Then, like a test pilot who pushes her plane too far, she crashes and burns on the grisly tales of an unnamed single source ... who leads her on a wild goose chase of honking absurdity straight down the UFO vapor trail.... In attributing the stories ... to an unnamed engineer and Manhattan Project veteran while seemingly failing to conduct even minimal research into the man's sources, Jacobsen shows herself at a minimum extraordinarily gullible or journalistically incompetent."

Peake, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011), notes that for the CIA test programs, this work "adds little" to what is produced in a Google search. For her other tale, "the juxtaposition of fact with science fiction is so strong, it casts doubt on the entire book. As a contribution to intelligence literature, it falls rather short." To Anderson, Intelligencer 18.3 (Summer-Fall 2011), including the single-source "UFO" story was a "strategic error" in "an otherwise well-done history."

Jenkins, Dennia R. Lockheed SR-71/YF-12 Blackbirds. North Branch, MN: Specialty Press, 1997. [Robarge]

Johnson, Clarence L. ("Kelly")

1. "Development of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird." Studies in Intelligence 26, no. 2 (Summer 1982): 3-14.

2. With Maggie Smith. Kelly: More Than My Share of It All. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985. 1989. [pb]

In a 40-plus-year career, Kelly Johnson did much more than engineer the U-2, A-12, and SR-71, and those masterpieces are only a part of Johnson's recounting of his life.

Lashmar, Paul. Spy Flights of the Cold War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1996. Phoenix Mill, UK: Sutton, 1996.

Clark comment: The genesis of this book is found in a BBC TV Timewatch documentary, "Spies in the Sky," first broadcast in the UK in February1994 and later carried in the United States by the A&E Network in May 1994. The focus is on strategic aerial reconnaissance primarily against the Eastern Bloc up to 1962. The author raises some concerns about the role and "intentions" of Gen. Curtis E. LeMay.

From the point of view of Brugioni, WIR 16.3, one of the author's "great contributions is revealing the role of the RAF 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing" in the early overflights of the Soviet Union. However, the "chapters on the U-2 reveal little new information," and "Lashmar goes too far in implying that a comment made by General LeMay was intended to provoke the Soviets into a nuclear war."

Anderson, Intelligencer 8.3, finds Lashmar's frequent use of the word "provocative" to describe the U.S. spy flights and his conclusion that the flights prolonged and intensified the Cold War a bit much to take, but concludes, nonetheless, that the less opinionated and polemical parts of the book are "informative and historical." Twigge, I&NS 14.2, finds this work to be "well balanced," "impressive," and "an important contribution to our understanding of the strategic role played by aerial reconnaissance during the cold war.... The only minor criticism is that the citation of documents consulted at the Public Record Office is so incomplete as to be useless."

For Thomas, Air Power Journal 13.1, this work "represents an ambitious and impressive effort to reveal the truth from a shroud of secrecy.... Personal accounts by aircrews provide rich detail and offer fascinating insights into the operational and tactical aspects of these courageous missions. Lashmar's effort, however, is undermined by questionable propositions regarding the USAF's unofficial, provocative strategy."

Lashmar, Paul. "Stranger than 'Strangelove': Did Gen. Curtis LeMay Have a Secret Agenda Aimed at Starting World War III?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 11-17 Jul. 1994, 24.

Lert, Frederic. Wings of the CIA. Paris: Histoire et Collections, 1998.

According to Hauver, CIRA Newsletter 23.2, "[c]overage begins with the B-26s of the Bay of Pigs and proceeds through the U-2, the SR-71 and drone aircraft. A unique portrait of Agency air ops from 1948." Leary, JMH 64.1, finds little of value to this work, calling it "poorly written..., episodic, disjointed, filled with invented conversations, and -- worst of all -- frequently inaccurate." The book has "no footnotes and only a sketchy bibliography"; it "should be treated with great suspicion."

Lowenhaupt, Henry S. "Mission to Birch Woods, via Seven Tents and New Siberia." Studies in Intelligence 12, no. 4 (Fall 1968): 1-12.

Lundestad, Svein, ed. U-2 Flights and the Cold War in the High North. Bodo, Norway: Bodo College, 1996.

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