RAF AND THE U-2
While the May Day 1960 shootdown of Francis Gary Powers’ aircraft may have spelt an end to Central Intelligence Agency — or any other — Lockheed U-2 overflights of the Soviet Union, the British still wanted to be part of the programme. In the second half of our two-part feature, we zexamine the Project ‘Jackson’ years
KEEPING BRITAIN IN THE U-2 GAME
It took about a month from the Powers shootdown for the minor British political storm to break. On 1 June 1960, testifying before a US Senate foreign relations committee hearing on the U-2 affair, NASA deputy director Dr Hugh L. Dryden listed the airfields from which the aircraft had operated weather research flights. One was RAF Lakenheath.
CIA U-2s had been deployed to Lakenheath back in 1956, under the cover of conducting weather research. RAF-flown CIA examples had also carried out weather flights from Watton in 1958-59, a fact publicised at the time as part of the Project ‘Oldster’ cover story, but this seemed to cause no concern.