PROJECT ‘OLDSTER’

RAF AND THE U-2

Sixty years ago, on the last day of 1958, an RAF pilot flew an operational mission in a Lockheed U-2 of the US Central Intelligence Agency for the first time. Long kept under wraps, much light has now been shed on Britain’s involvement in the CIA’s U-2 programme, not least by the recent declassification of once-top secret documents. In the first half of a two-part feature, we use the latest sources to describe the early years of the story: from the initial American U-2 deployment to the UK to the overflights of the Soviet Union by RAF pilots

CIA-operated U-2A N801X (USAF serial 56-6681) being prepared for take-off. This aircraft served with Detachment A at Lakenheath, Wiesbaden and Giebelstadt during 1956-57.
CIA

He has placed at our disposal various intelligence sources without which we would have had considerably less knowledge of events behind the Iron Curtain.”

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