Of Dragon Ladies and Oxcarts

From the Usual USAF Source

Declassified CIA Document Released on U-2, Oxcart

George Washington University’s National Security Archive last week released a redacted, declassified 1992 CIA document on the history of the U-2 and Oxcart reconnaissance aircraft programs that includes “a significant amount” of never-before-publicized details on them, according to the archive. Among them are: “numerous references” to the Air Force’s classified test site at Groom Lake, Nev., with a map of the area; and discussion of British participation in the U-2 program, U-2 operations from India between 1962 and 1967, and US-sponsored Chinese Nationalist U-2 operations. The CIA’s release of the redacted version of this document, The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954-1974, came in response to the archive’s 2005 Freedom of Information Act request. Some press reports last week made it seem like this document represented the first time that the US government publicly acknowledged the existence of the Groom Lake facility. That is incorrect, as US government recognition goes back at least to the mid-1990s by our count. (National Security Archive webpage on document) (See also Flying High and The Oxcart Story from Air Force Magazine’s archives.)

I’m working my way through the document at the web page link (above), beginning with the Oxcart section.  It’s fascinating reading, especially about Convair’s proposed alternative to the Lockheed design.  I never knew…

Here’s the table of contents:

Chapter 1 : Searching for a System
Chapter 2 : Developing the U-2
Chapter 3 : U-2 Operations in the Soviet Bloc and Middle East, 1958-1968
Chapter 4 : The Final Overflights of the Soviet Union, 1959-1960
Chapter 5 : U-2 Operations after May 1960
Chapter 6 : The U-2’s Intended Successor: Project OXCART, 1956-1968
Chapter 7 : Conclusion
Appendices, Bibliography

Those links work.

Cross-posted from EIP.


Filed under Airplanes, History, Other Stuff

3 responses to “Of Dragon Ladies and Oxcarts

  1. Bill Brandt

    You have given me some reading material Buck!

    Thought you would find this interesting


    • Buck

      Thanks, Bill. I’d seen that A-12 article somewhere before… I’m thinking someone might have posted it here. Interesting, to say the VERY least.

    • Bill Brandt

      Buck – it might have been me. I’m at the hardware store today and a fellow asked me if he could “help me find something” – I said “My mind” 😉

      There is a Powerpoint file of the U2 program at Groom Lake – have you seen it? Kelly Johnson was a genius to be sure. What made him so effective was not only his aeronautical smarts but how to pick – and delegate – at the Skunk Works

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