Known for it’s blistering speed, the SR-71 was considered almost untouchable during its service career. Paul F Crickmore details an occasion when an example of the Blackbird almost fell into Soviet hands.

The painting by artist Stefan Löfgren that depicts the event on June 29, 1987 and was gifted to the US Embassy by the Swedish Air Force.

The 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS) was reactivated as part of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (SRW) on June 25, 1966. Based at Beale AFB, California, the unit was equipped with the exotic, trisonic Lockheed SR-71A ‘Blackbird’ and operated by Strategic Air Command (SAC).

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