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The early U-2 overflights of the Soviet Union

by Chris Pocock
Given at the Allied Museum conference, Berlin, 24 April 2006.

On this day fifty years ago, a unique flying unit was preparing to deploy from the US to Europe for the first time. It comprised over 100 people, a mix of CIA, US Air Force and civilian contract personnel. Their mission was to conduct aerial reconnaissance deep into the airspace of the Soviet Union and the neighboring countries of the communist bloc. They would use a newly-developed aircraft that could fly for up to nine hours at an unprecedented height. At 70,000 feet this unusual machine would be invulnerable from interception by Soviet fighters. Hopefully, it would also be undetectable by Soviet radars. For these flights would clearly be illegal in international law. Therefore, the entire development and training program had been conducted in great secrecy.

This type of operation was first conceived in the early 1950s by Colonel Richard Leghorn, an innovative US Air Force reconnaissance expert. But it was a group of civilian scientists, mostly from the Boston area, who pushed for the concept to be adopted at the highest levels of the US government. In 1954, they became members of a ‘think-tank’ known as the Technological Capabilities Panel. The TCP’s task was to advise the Eisenhower Administration on strategies to meet the threat of a surprise attack on the US by the Soviet Union.

Why was this threat of such concern? While ‘spies on the ground’ — or beneath the ground — in Berlin and elsewhere in eastern Europe did produce ‘tactical’ intelligence on communist bloc military deployments, the Western allies knew very little about Soviet strategic nuclear weapons development deep inside Russian territory. The National Intelligence Estimates were full of uncertainties about long-range jet bomber and guided missile development behind the Iron Curtain.

Edwin Land, the founder of the Polaroid camera company, was chosen as chairman sub-group three of the TCP, which examined US intelligence capabilities. The other members included Jim Baker, a talented specialist in optics from the Harvard University Laboratory; Ed Purcell, a Nobel Laureate in physics, also from Harvard; and Allen Donovan, an aeronautics expert from the Cornell Laboratory.

They soon recognized the value of an unconventional proposal from the Lockheed Aircraft Company. It was designated the CL-282 and designed by Kelly Johnson, who headed Lockheed’s tightly-knit research and development team in Burbank, CA, known as “The Skunk Works”. The CL-282 traded structural weight for altitude, building on the recent, successful development of the F-104 interceptor by Johnson and his team. A modified F-104 fuselage was combined with a new, high-aspect low-thickness ratio wing. This featured a new control surface technique to reduce aerodynamic loads, thus permitting a very light construction. To save further weight, there was no undercarriage. Instead, the CL-282 would takeoff from a ground cart and land on a skid.

This was all too much for the US Air Force, which rejected Johnson’s design. But the Land Panel embraced the CL-282. It also recommended a new operational concept that took control away from the military and placed it in a small, secret task force within the Central Intelligence Agency. However, the US Air Force would play a vital supporting role.

On 5th November 1954, Edwin Land sent a five-page report to CIA Director Allen Dulles. He wrote: “It has until now been dangerous to fly over Russia...thus no statesman could have run the risk of provocation towards war that an intensive program of overflights might produce. But, he continued, the “special powered glider” proposed by Lockheed “can go where we need to have them go efficiently and safely.” Moreover, at a price of $22 million for an initial six aircraft that would be ready to overfly within 20 months, it was a bargain! [1]

Land urged “very prompt action” and, within a month, President Eisenhower had approved the project. Dulles appointed Richard Bissell as the head of a new Development Project Staff (DPS) reporting directly to him. Bissell was an economics professor with no aviation experience, but he was a quick learner and a superb manager. DPS negotiated with Lockheed and the other suppliers of sensors, navigation systems, the pilot’s life support system, etc. DPS also created the security system; the requirements process that defined the priority targets for overflights, and the processing system for the ‘take’ from the aircraft’s sensors. The cryptonym AQUATONE was allocated to the project.

In the Skunk Works, Kelly Johnson chose 25 engineers and began detailed design. There had already been some changes: his preferred engine had been vetoed by the Air Force, which would supply specially-modified Pratt & Whitney J57 turbojets instead. Urgency, as well as secrecy, was paramount. Lockheed worked without a proper contract for the first three months. Design, tooling and fabrication phases overlapped, as Johnson strived to achieve his promise of a first flight just eight months after go-ahead.

Incredibly, the promise was achieved. Moreover, the first flight took place from a hastily-built test base in the Nevada desert, far from prying eyes. Located on the edge of Groom Dry Lake, it was known in those days as Watertown Strip. Like the U-2 itself, this secret facility has been enlarged and improved, and is also now 50 years old.

The aircraft that first flew on 4th August 1955 was not yet designated the U-2. It was known simply as The Article. More changes had been made to Kelly’s original design, notably the addition of an undercarriage — of sorts. There was a main landing gear and a tailwheel in the fuselage, with balance for taxi-ing provided by two outriggers or ‘pogos’ which attached to the wings and dropped away during the take-off run.

A compressed flight test program was conducted by four Lockheed pilots. After only four weeks, the aircraft reached 65,000 feet - a world record that was not publicized! But there were engine, fuel and autopilot problems, leading to numerous ‘flame-outs’ at high altitude and a silent return to the lakebed — or at least, to a lower altitude where the engine might be relit in thicker air. The Article was not easy to fly, especially since pilots had to wear a tight and uncomfortable pressure suit to keep them alive, in the event of a loss of cockpit pressure at high altitude.

The recruitment of operational pilots began late in 1955. The selection process was rigorous, and those heading for deployment and overflights were required to resign their commissions and join the CIA under contract. The first six operational pilots arrived at Watertown in mid-January 1956. Together with mission planners, operations, maintenance, security and contract maintenance personnel, they formed ‘Detachment A’, the first of three such units. Det A was declared ready to deploy in mid-April, by which time 10 aircraft had been delivered. In late April, four of these were dismantled, loaded into Air Force C-124 transports, and flown to the US base at Lakenheath in eastern England.

Project AQUATONE was a covert operation, therefore a ‘cover story’ was required. On 7th May 1956 the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA — the predecessor of NASA) issued a press release that described the U-2 as an aeronautical research aircraft capable of reaching 55,000 feet. NACA would be flying it in the US, and from US airbases abroad.

At Lakenheath, the aircraft were re-assembled and test-flown. There was one serious technical question to be resolved. Should Det A await delivery of the more reliable high-altitude version of the J57 engine, that was still in flight test?

There were also political questions. President Eisenhower had been kept informed of progress on Project AQUATONE, but had not yet received the promised briefing upon which he would decide whether to approve operational missions. Meanwhile, the British government had approved the deployment, but not yet the overflights. On 16 May, Prime Minister Anthony Eden wrote to President Eisenhower requesting a postponement of operational flights. This was because of his current embarrassment over British spying activity during the recent visit to the UK of Soviet leaders Bulganin and Khrushchev, that had been discovered. [2]

But Richard Bissell was in a hurry. DPS viewed Project AQUATONE as a short-term operation, to photograph the highest-priority targets before the Soviet Union realised what was going on, and developed countermeasures. The question of whether Soviet radar systems were yet capable of detecting and tracking the aircraft was unresolved. Certainly, the aircraft had been periodically tracked by US and Canadian radar systems during the development and training phase. Moreover, US intelligence believed that new Soviet interceptors would be able to reach the U-2 within a couple of years. Finally, there was the weather. June and July were the best months for flying over the Soviet Union. Some of the more northerly targets for photography were covered in cloud throughout most of the year.

On 28th May, the AQUATONE project was discussed in the White House, and it became clear that Eisenhower was also prevaricating over whether to proceed. Two weeks earlier, the Soviet Union had protested a recently-completed series of overflights of northern Siberia by RB-47s of the Strategic Air Command. The extent to which the President was aware of the extent of these missions, is not clear to this historian. They were flown out of Thule airbase in Greenland and over the North Pole. They were designed to map entry routes for SAC nuclear bombers and test Soviet air defences. [3]

Amidst the uncertainty, DPS and the US Air Force considered alternative basing options to the UK. Germany was favoured. From the US airbase at Wiesbaden near Frankfurt, the CIA already conducted occasional low-level covert air operations over Eastern Europe. Detachment A could quickly be moved there. A second U-2 detachment was planned for Turkey, but it had only recently begun training, and would not be ready to deploy until August.

On 31st May, the CIA sent a short planning document to the White House, recommending Germany. To prove that Project AQUATONE really was a reliable venture, some initial flights from there over the satellite countries eg Eastern Europe, were proposed. If all went well, Presidential permission for Soviet overflights would be sought. In a cryptic paragraph, DPS promised to inform Chancellor Adenauer before conducting any “long-range operations” eg missions over Soviet territory. But, it continued, “we will not specifically ask his approval in order to avoid placing an unwelcome responsibility on him.” [4]

On 11th and 12th June, Detachment A was moved to Wiesbaden. The enforced delay allowed the new engines to be shipped, installed and flight-tested. It also allowed CIA to consult with USAFE on desirable targets [5]

On the morning of 20th June, pilot Carl Overstreet climbed into the highly-polished Article and was strapped in. Maintaining radio silence for security’s sake, he awaited a green light from the Wiesbaden control tower. After all the intensive training, he was well-prepared for this first mission “Toward the Unknown.” Still though, he recalled one over-riding emotion as he awaited takeoff — the fear of screwing-up!

He need not have worried. Everything went well on Mission 2003. The route was deliberately planned to avoid alerting the opposition’s air defences. After take-off, he flew west towards Belgium before to turning back to overfly Wiesbaden and setting course for the east. Now at high altitude, he entered ‘denied territory’ where the borders of East and West Germany and Czechoslovakia met. After passing north of Prague, he similarly entered Poland where its border east Germany and Czechoslovakia. If the aircraft was showing up on radar screens below, the hope was that the three satellite countries would have trouble co-ordinating their air defence reaction.

Overstreet pressed on to Bydgoszcz before turning southeast to Warsaw and Lublin, then turning back to Kracow and Wroclaw. Then he flew directly over Prague heading southwest. As a further test of air defence radar co-ordination, this time in NATO territory, the route now took Overstreet all the way to the Rhine and the Franco-German border, before he descended to a safe landing at Wiesbaden.

The next day, Bissell accompanied Edwin Land and the TCP chairman James Killian to the White House for a briefing of President Eisenhower’s military aide, Colonel Goodpaster. The President was in hospital for a stomach operation, but he had read the AQUATONE planning document. He was now inclined to permit a quick series of Soviet overflights to cover the highest-priority targets, but not until Chancellor Adenauer’s agreement had been sought and obtained. [6]

Bissell quickly flew to Bonn with CIA Deputy Director Pierre Cabell. Contrary to their fears, the ‘Iron Chancellor’ proved to be enthusiastic about the project. As Bissell later recalled, Adenauer exclaimed “This is a wonderful idea. It’s just what ought to be done!” [7]

Meanwhile, the photography from Mission 2003 was examined in the dedicated facility that CIA had created in a Washington suburb. The camera that had been specially designed for the U-2 was not yet ready, so an interim configuration designated A-2 had been installed. This comprised three 24-inch focal length framing cameras taken from US Air Force stock, carefully overhauled, and improved with lenses personally polished by Dr Jim Baker. The results were excellent!

But analysis of the other sensor from Mission 2003 brought less good news. This was a small Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) receiver carried in the nose. It listened for radar activity in the S-band. The latest US National Intelligence Estimate suggested that the standard Warsaw Pact early-warning radar nicknamed the Token by Western intelligence, had no capability to detect targets flying above 60,000 feet. But the U-2’s System 1 tape revealed that Token and other radar signals were constantly received during the flight. The operators must surely have seen echoes from the U-2 on their radar scopes. [8]

On 2nd July, two more U-2 missions were launched and flew over five satellite countries, reaching as far as the Black Sea. The planes and pilots performed well on these six-and-a-half hour flights, but the A-2 camera rig had problems. The imagery from Mission 2009 was virtually useless for detailed interpretation.[9]

Bissell may not yet have known this, when he returned to the White House later that same day. He told Colonel Goodpaster that Detachment A was ready for Soviet overflights, and requested permission for a ten-day period of operations, followed by a report. The President approved this plan the next day, but specifically requested a report on whether the flights over Eastern Europe had been tracked. [10]

At 6am on 4th July 1956 — US Independence Day — Hervey Stockman took off from Wiesbaden on Mission 2013. It was the first of five deep penetrations of Soviet airspace over the next five days. Each one lasted more than eight hours. The planes and pilots performed flawlessly — and so did the cameras.

But the jubilation at Detachment A as each mission returned safely to Wiesbaden was tempered by the pilots’ immediate postflight debriefing. The U-2 had a viewsight or downward-looking periscope, to aid navigation. On every flight, the pilot reported seeing Soviet fighters flying beneath him at various times. They were too far below to pose any danger, but it was obvious that they were searching for a target that their ground controllers had identified. The bad news was soon confirmed by the US National Security Agency, whose ground stations intercepted the voice reports from the Soviet Air Defence Troops.

Soviet air defences were better than expected! However, the early U-2 overflights strongly suggested that Soviet offensive airpower had been over-estimated. The highest-priority targets were airfields, where intelligence analysts thought they might find at least two regiments of heavy four-jet Myasischev M-4 bombers. Nicknamed the Bison, the first of these had been spotted three years earlier at the Fili airframe factory in a Moscow suburb. More had subsequently appeared over Moscow in staged flyovers. The Bison was judged capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to US territory. A second long-range bomber, the four-turboprop Bear, had also flown over Moscow.

It would take many months for the photo-interpreters and analysts to work their way through the flood of imagery from these early U-2 missions. But by early 1957, it was apparent that the ‘bomber gap’ described by some Western intelligence analysts did not exist. No Bisons nor Bears were identified at any of the airfields, only some medium-range Badgers.

But there were hundreds of other targets for these first overflight missions. Machine-building and other factories producing radio, radar and electronic equipment; design bureaus and research institutes, especially those identified with Soviet guided missile development; Shipyards, ports and submarine bases; transport infrastructure including railroad junctions; weapons storage sites; a uranium mine in Estonia; and so on.

The second Soviet overflight flew all the way to Moscow. It obtained good imagery of the first Soviet surface-to-air missile system. Western observers had glimpsed this unusual development along Moscow’s outer ring road, but its status was unknown. Fortunately for U-2 pilot Carmine Vito, the missiles for the Berkut (or SA-1) system were not routinely kept at the firing sites. An early warning radar for the system at Smolensk had detected Vito’s approach and estimated the altitude at 65,000 feet. Soviet air defence experts discounted the radar operators’ claims - no aircraft could fly that high, they judged! Still, the SA-1 missiles were immediately moved to the launch site and installed. [11]

The third and fourth overflights were delayed for a few days by cloud over the target areas, and were flown simultaneously on 9th July. The fifth flight next day had only just returned to Wiesbaden when a Soviet protest note was delivered in Washington. It described “gross violations” of Soviet airspace “for the purposes of reconnaissance” by “a twin-engine medium bomber of the US Air Force.” The note identified West Germany as the origin of the flights, described part of the routes flown on the 4th and 5th July, and complained about further intrusions on the 9th July.

Obviously, the Soviets had not yet identified the U-2 as the culprit. The protest note revealed that their tracking was imperfect - two flights were identified on 5th July, when only one took place. But it was enough for President Eisenhower. He immediately halted the operation. [12]

Bissell and colleagues in the US intelligence community were deeply disappointed. There were still many high-priority targets to cover...Kapustin Yar and other known guided missile test ranges, atomic energy plants, tactical airfields etc. Some of these would best be allocated to Detachment B, when it deployed to Turkey. But as Bissell gloomily noted, Soviet radars in that southern region were as least as good as those in European Russia. [13]

In today’s world, where satellite imagery of the earth is extensive, multispectral and freely available, it is not easy to appreciate the breakthrough that the early U-2 overflights represented. In an expansive, almost lyrical memo that was written to justify a resumption of the U-2 missions, the DPS Executive Officer Herb Miller wrote:

“For the first time, we are really able to say that we have an understanding of much that was going on in the Soviet Union on 4 July 1956...we now have a cross-section of the entire Soviet way of life for that date - their military installations, their farms, their irrigation systems, their factories, their power systems to feed the factories, their housing for the people who run the factories, their recreation, their railroads and the amount of traffic they carry, their scientific accomplishment at least in the field of electronics, the port activities...These are but a few examples of the many things which tend to spell out the real intentions, objectives and qualities of the Soviet Union, that we must fully understand and appreciate if we are to be successful in negotiating a lasting peace for the world.” [14]

The President was unmoved, even when Allen Dulles showed him dramatic enlargements of imagery from the first U-2 missions. Eisenhower strove for better relations with the Soviet leadership throughout his Presidency. He knew that overflights were a clear provocation. Eisenhower worried that the Soviets would misinterpret them as a precursor to a nuclear attack. In a sense, they could be. While the CIA used the U-2 imagery to analyse Soviet strategic weapons development, the Air Force stuffed its target folders with updated locations.

Bissell now realised that detection was the key issue for Project AQUATONE, not yet interception. At a meeting with Kelly Johnson and some of the Boston scientists in mid-August 1956, the possibility of adding radar-canceling devices to the U-2 was explored. Ed Purcell explained his theories of radar deception, and Frank Rodgers from MIT’s Radiation Laboratory was recruited to apply them to the U-2. Project RAINBOW was born - the first-ever attempt to make an operational aircraft ‘stealthy.’

Meanwhile, there was an unexpected stimulus to U-2 operations from Germany. President Nasser of Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. As tensions rose in the Middle East, the U-2 was pressed into service as a tactical reconnaissance platform. Detachment A began flying over the area in late August, sometimes flying roundtrips from Wiesbaden, sometimes landing at Incirlik airbase in Turkey. Egypt, Jordan, Israel, the Lebanon, Syria and some North African countries were overflown. No permission was sought. There was virtually no reaction from the rudimentary air defences in these countries.

Detachment B deployed to Incirlik in mid-August, and took over the Middle East flights completely by mid-October. Their frequency was stepped up as the UK, France and Israel conspired to invade and retake the canal. The British and French military build-up was captured on film as the U-2 overflew Cyprus, Malta and French ports. To speed the ‘read-out’ of imagery, CIA analysts were sent to the Air Force photo-processing and interpretation facility at Wiesbaden. Later, the CIA set up its own temporary photo-interpretation facility at Adana.

Detachment A moved from Wiesbaden to the more isolated Giebelstadt airbase in October 1956. But it was under-employed. Eastern Europe and Russia were still off-limits. However, President Eisenhower did approve some overflights of the southern satellites. Towards the end of the year, Detachment A flew three times over Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia. [15]

But the U-2 had not been conceived for these secondary tasks. Declassified US documents reveal the increasing frustration of the US intelligence community, about the political constraints. For instance, Bissell noted that “the result of keeping the car in the garage until better times will merely insure that it becomes obsolete before it is ever used at all.” [16]

Bissell hoped that the RAINBOW project would be the U-2’s salvation. During flight tests in the first half of 1957, U-2s coated with radar-absorbing materials or fitted with radar-deflecting wires did fool some US radars. The modified aircraft were then deployed to Detachment B and the new Detachment C based in Japan. But in operational test flights along the Soviet border, the technical difficulty in defeating both the S-band Tokens and the lower, VHF-band Soviet radars nicknamed Dumbo and Knife Rest was apparent. Moreover, the ‘stealth’ modifications added weight to the U-2, which reduced its maximum altitude by up to 5,000 feet.

Fortunately, US intelligence now realised that there were still some gaps in Soviet early-warning radar coverage. Not over European Russia or the Caucasus, for sure. But further east, over the remote Turkmen, Tadzhik and Kirgiz republics. The CIA gained permission to launch U-2 overflights from neighbouring Pakistan. President Eisenhower finally approved a new series of missions. During a five-week period starting 5th August 1957, Detachment B flew deep into the Soviet Union nine times on Operation Soft Touch. A large number of high-priority targets were successfully photographed, including Kapustin Yar; the newly-discovered ICBM test launch site at Tyuratam; and nuclear weapons development facilities as far north as Tomsk.

The flood of new U-2 imagery kept the analysts busy for months. The CIA planned for a new overflight campaign in spring 1958, and one of the supposedly ‘stealthy’ aircraft took off from Japan to fly over the Soviet Far East on 1 March 1958. It was detected and intercepted by MiG fighters that came uncomfortably close. A new Soviet protest note caused President Eisenhower to suspend the U-2 flights again.

Over the next 16 months, he prevaricated over further missions, despite constant pressure from the CIA and the Chiefs of Staff. In one such meeting in April 1959, Eisenhower noted that there would be “a terrible propaganda impact...if a reconnaissance plane were to fail.” A year later, he would be proved right! [17]

It was only the growing ‘missile gap’ controversy that finally persuaded Eisenhower to allow a few more Soviet overflights starting in July 1959. The Soviets had now been flight-testing their first ICBM from Tyuratam for nearly two years. But had they secretly deployed the R-7 system elsewhere, while the US was still developing its own ICBMs? The new U-2 missions were designed to find out.

They were also launched from Pakistan, and again the Soviet early-warning radar coverage in the border areas was not good enough to detect them. Although other radars inside the Soviet Union periodically tracked the flights, no serious risk of interception was observed. This was just as well, since they flew over a number of new SA-2 surface-to-air missile sites. This semi-mobile system was much more capable than the fixed SA-1 system that was only ever deployed around Moscow. US intelligence believed that the SA-2 was capable of intercepting aircraft as high as 60,000 feet. Thanks to a newly-installed engine, however, the U-2 was still cruising at 70,000 feet.

But time finally ran out for the U-2 on 1 May 1960. Flying at 70,000 feet, Gary Powers was shot down by an SA-2 near Sverdlovsk, leading to the failure of a superpower summit meeting. Time does not permit a detailed description of that famous Cold War episode today. In summary, though, the Soviets closed their ‘radar gap’ and detected and tracked the flight on 9th April that immediately preceded the Powers mission. On that day, only the shortcomings of the Soviet Air Defence Troops prevented a successful interception. The CIA pressed on with next mission, perhaps because it did not fully appreciate the new danger, or because the pressure to fly that was induced by the ‘missile gap’ controversy, was too great to resist.

Although the U-2 never again flew over the Soviet Union, it was still a versatile reconnaissance platform. It played a decisive role in the Cuba Missile Crisis, and was deployed to southeast Asia throughout the Vietnam War. An improved, enlarged version combined with new sensors and real-time datalinks helped the aircraft survive the Cold War. It is still flying over the Middle East and Korea and other world troublespots today.

I think it was President Eisenhower who, when asked what was the greatest lesson of the U-2 incident on 1st May 1960, replied: “Don’t Get Caught!” But I contend that the greatest lesson for those who promote politically-sensitive reconnaissance missions is “Don’t Get Detected.” Ever since Project RAINBOW, aeronautical engineers have strived to produce truly stealthy airborne platforms. For combat roles, the US now has F-117 Stealth Fighters, B-2 Stealth Bombers and F-22 Raptors. But at least two US attempts to produce an aircraft that can loiter undetected for reconnaissance purposes, deep inside ‘denied territory’ in daylight at high altitude using advanced sensors and datalinks, have ended in failure. I suspect that this search for ‘The Holy Grail’ of airborne reconnaissance continues.

Chris Pocock is the author of two standard works on the history of the U-2 spyplane. Both books are available from Schiffer Publishing Ltd tel +1-610-593-1777. “The U-2 Spyplane: Toward the Unknown” is a new history of the early years, up to 1960. “50 Years of the U-2” is a much larger and comprehensive history of the whole U-2 program from 1955 until 2005.

1. Memo for DCI, “A Unique Opportunity for Comprehensive Intelligence”, 5 November 1954

2. Office of Special Activities Chronology 1954-1968, FOIA release by CIA June 2003.

3. Document 47, Memo of Conference with President, FRUS Volume XXIV, 1955-57

4. Aquatone Operational Plans, 31 May 1956, released through CREST

5. DPS Project Director memos 11 and 18 June, released through CREST

6. DPS Project Director Memo for the Record 22 June 1956, released through CREST

7. “Origins of the U-2”, interview with Bissell, Air Power History, Winter 1989

8. Preliminary Analysis of Flight No 1, 26 June 1956, released through CREST

9. Target Evaluations, Missions 2009 and 2010, released through CREST

10. Memo for the Record, 3 July 1956, White House Files, Eisenhower Library

11. “Unknown Troops of the Vanished Superpower” by Col-gen Yu.V.Votinsev, Voyenno-Istorichesky Zhurnal, No 8, 1993

12. The Soviet protest was followed six days later by one from Poland, which confirmed that the 20 June and 2 July missions had also been detected over that country

13. Memo for DCI and DDCI, 18 July 1956, released through CREST

14. Memo for Project Director, 17 July 1956, released through CREST

15. In 1957, Detachment A flew only three more operational missions, and was closed in November of that year

16. Memo for General Cabell, 2 October 1956, released through CREST

17. Document 72, Memo of Conference with President Eisenhower, 7 April 1959, FRUS Volume X, 1958-60

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