RECONNAISSANCE

Aircraft

M - Q

 

McIninch, Thomas P. "The OXCART Story: Record of a Pioneering Achievement." Studies in Intelligence 15, no. 1 (Winter 1971): 1-34.

This article gives an "account of the inception, development, operation, and untimely demise of this remarkable airplane. The OXCART no longer flies, but it left a legacy of technological achievement which points the way to new projects. And it became the progenitor of a similar but somewhat less sophisticated reconnaissance vehicle called the SR-71."

Merlin, Peter W. Mach 3+: NASA/USAF YF-12 Flight Research, 1969-1979. Monographs on Aerospace History No. 25. Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 2002.

Chilstrom, Air & Space Power Journal 17.4, finds this to be a "well-illustrated and detailed book on NASA's flight testing of the YF-12" varient of the A-12. Merlin "cites recently declassified documents and makes good use of personal interviews with key figures in the program's history."

Miller, Jay.

1. Lockheed U-2. Austin, TX: Aerofax, 1983.

2. Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works. Leicester, UK: Midland, 1995. Skunk Works: The Official History. North Branch, MN: Specialty Press, 1996.

Mobley, Richard A. [CDR/USN] "EC-121 Down!" U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 127, no. 8 (Aug. 2001), 62-66.

The author looks at the shootdown by the North Koreans of a U.S. Navy EC-121M 90 miles off North Korea on 15 April 1969.

Mobley, Richard A. [CDR/USN (Ret.)]

1. Flash Point North Korea. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003.

Brooks, NIPQ 19.4, says that the author "has put together an excellent chronology and analysis of the Pueblo incident and the North Korean shoot-down of our EC-121."

2. "New Insights into the USS Pueblo Seizure and EC-121 Shootdown." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 19, no. 4 (Dec. 2003): 38-39.

The author offers a quick look at some of the questions raised by these two incidents.

3. "Lessons from the Capture of the USS Pueblo and the Shootdown of a US Navy EC-121 -- 1968 and 1969." Studies in Intelligence 59, no. 1 (Mar. 2015): 1-10.

"The two incidents are best considered together because they reveal related systemic flaws in indications and warning, intelligence analysis, military planning, and command and control."

Morris, Jack [COL/USAF (Ret.)]. "Disaster Over Armenia: A Personal Recollection." American Intelligence Journal 17, no. 3/4 (1997): 5-6.

The author was the Watch Officer for the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon, on 1-2 September 1958 when a U.S. Air Force Rivet Victor C-130A strayed over Soviet Armenia and was shot down. Seventeen crew members died. Morris describes his involvement in the Washington end of the reaction to that tragic incident.

On 2 September 1997, the National Vigilance Park and Aerial Reconnaissance Memorial, Ft. George Gordon Meade, Maryland, was dedicated. The ceremony honered the aircrew and families of the 2 September 1958 flight. "Dedication of National Vigilance Park and Aerial Reconnaissance Memorial," American Intelligence Journal 17, no. 3/4 (1997): 4.

O'Leary, Michael, and Eric Schulzinger. Black Magic: America's Spyplanes -- SR-71 and U-2. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1989.

Pedlow, Gregory W., and Donald E. Welzenbach. The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954- 1974. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 1992.

This study was written in the 1980s as a CIA internal history. Robarge: "Chapter 6 on OXCART declassified October 2004."

Pedlow, Gregory W., and Donald E. Welzenbach. The CIA and the U2 Program, 1954-1974. Washington, DC: History Staff, Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 1998. ["Synopsis" and 9.48 mb PDF file available at https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/the-cia-and-the-u-2-program-1954-1974/synop.htm]

For Goulden, Intelligencer 10.2, "[t]he technical and political problems of the U-2's birth are grippingly told" by this work.

Click for Table of Contents.

Peebles, Curtis. Dark Eagles: A History of Top Secret U.S. Aircraft Programs. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1995. Rev. ed. 1999. [pb]

Peebles, Curtis. Shadow Flights: America's Secret Airwar Against the Soviet Union: A Cold War History. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 2000. 2002. [pb]

Taylor, Booklist (via Amazon.com), says that "military-aviation buffs ... will greatly appreciate the particulars Peebles reveals in this fully researched, dramatic, now-it-can-be-told tome" about secret reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union in the 1950s.

Peterson, Michael L. "Maybe You Had to Be There: The SIGINT on Thirteen Soviet Shootdowns of U.S. Reconnaissance Aircraft." Cryptologic Quarterly ([classified] 1993; Declassified and Approved for Release by NSA on 11-23-2009). Available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/nsa/maybe_you.pdf.

For information on the genesis of the declassification of this article, see Steven Aftergood, "NSA Declassifies Secret Document After Publishing It," Secrecy News, 14 May 2012 (http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy).

Pocock, Chris.

1. Dragon Lady: The History of the U-2 Spyplane. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing, Ltd., 1989.

2. 50 Years of the U-2: The Complete Illustrated History of the Dragon Lady. Atgien, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2005.

DKR, AFIO WIN 30-05 (8 Aug. 2005), notes that the author "is regarded as the foremost authority on the subject." In this book, Pocock tells the aircraft's "long and complex story from the beginning down to the present."

3. "From Peshawar to Bodo -- Mission Impossible?" In Report from the Cold War Forum Conference on the Cold War in Bodo, ed. Svein Lundestad. Bodo, Norway: Bodo College, 1995.

4. The U-2 Spyplane: Toward the Unknown: A New History of the Early Years. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 2000.

Nash, I&NS 17.2, finds that the author provides "a wealth of details about ... the famous spyplane." However, the "tone and approach are buffish rather than scholarly"; and there is a "serious ... lack of analysis or criticism." Nevertheless, "those interested in the technical side of the U-2 will profit greatly from Pocock's study."

To Haines, Studies 46.2 (2002), the author "has done his homework well." This work "is the most comprehensive examination to date of the design, production, and deployment of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft." Although there is "no separate bibliography -- one has to go to the individual footnotes for the sources" -- the author "has produced a first-rate volume that is chock-full of facts and information."

Pocock, Chris, with Clarence Fu. The Black Bats: CIA Spy Flights over China from Taiwan, 1951-1969. London: Schiffer, 2010.

According to Peake, Studies 54.4 (Dec. 2010), and Intelligencer 18.2 (Winter-Spring 2011), when the CIA ended its "its flights penetrating PRC airspace ... the missions continued with planes piloted by a US-trained unit of Chinese flyers on Taiwan named the Black Bats." The unit "flew photoreconnaissance and SIGINT missions" for another 20 years. "During the Vietnam War, the Bats flew missions over North Vietnam. That program ended in 1973 with the conclusion of the Vietnamese peace talks."

Polmar, Norman. Spyplane: The U-2 History Declassified. Osceola, WI: MBI, 2001.

Bath, NIPQ 17.4, sees this as "an exhausively detailed history of the U-2 in all its variants." The "remarkable record" of this aircraft is "well-served" by Polmar's "in-depth study."

Poteat, S. Eugene.

1. "The OXCART Tale: ELINT and Stealth." American Intelligence Journal 19, nos. 3 & 4 (1999-2000): 77-80. "ELINT and Stealth." Intelligencer 10, no. 3 (Dec. 1999): 10-13.

This article combines the story of the effort to assess the stealth capability of the CIA's OXCART with a fascinating discussion of some ELINT tricks against Soviet radars.

2. "The Use and Abuse of Intelligence: An Intelligence Provider's Perspective." Intelligencer 13, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 2002): 50-59. Diplomacy and Statecraft 11, no. 2 (Jul. 2000): 1-16.

This article expands on the above, offering additional interesting vignettes from the author's career in scientific intelligence. His comments on the Gulf of Tonkin incident are support for the view that it did not happen.

Return to Aircraft Table of Contents

Return to Reconnaissance Table of Contents