The story of
The Impact of U.S. Aerial
during the Early Cold War
Service & Sacrifice of the
Cold Warriors

Appendix D
U.S. Cold War Overflights

Page 1 of 1

Description of Events

CIA and USAF flights into USSR and Soviet
block nations to support anti-Soviet forces
and to infiltrate spies.

Shallow overflights of Soviet North, Northeast
and Siberia Coastal areas and islands to
conduct PHOTINT and early ELINT.

RF-80 and RB-45 missions over Manchuria,
Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China
in support of UN action on the Korean
Peninsula and to gauge Communist strengths
and weaknesses in the Far East theater.

Shallow overflights of USSR and PRC to develop
target folders and test defenses in preparation
for conflict with these two undeclared
co-belligerents. Aircraft types used included
RB-29, RB-45, RB-50 and various Navy platforms.

After Korean War armistice signed, overflights
of Soviet maritime possessions and in Far East
continued with RB-84, RT-33 and RB-57
aircraft – overflights continued through 1955.

B-47 PHOTINT mission over the Chutskoi
peninsula in Soviet Far East.

RB-47 PHOTINT mission over the Kola
peninsula in Northwest USSR

USAF, Europe conducts overflights of Western
USSR and Soviet block countries with RB-45’s.

Shallow overflights of Novaya Zemlya, coastal
islands, and into northern USSR by RB-47E’s
(PHOTINT) AND RB-47H’s in SAC Project

Six RB-47E’s make massed overflight behind
Urals and into Soviet Union.

CIA U-2 reconnaissance aircraft conducts first
overflight of USSR from Detachment A
(Weisebaden AB, Germany); mission #2103
tasked to photograph Leningrad submarine
pens and look for BISON Bombers at various
Soviet bomber bases.

Second CIA U-2 flight over USSR; mission
#2104 again searched for Soviet bombers at
airfields, took photographs of BISON training
fields and arsenal at Ramenskoye and flew
over missile and rocket plants in Kaliningrad
and Khimki. This was the only mission to fly
directly over Moscow.

Two U-2 missions (#2020 and #2021) flown
over Eastern Europe Communist Block nations
and the Soviet Union (Belorussia and the Ukraine).

Last U-2 overflight of Western USSR during
the July window.

First U-2 overflight of USSR since July 1956;
mission #4016 left Det B and flew over Iran
and into Soviet Armenia where it crossed over
into the USSR and photographed Yerevan.

Two U-2 missions flown over Bulgaria; Det A
mission #2029 and Det B mission #4018.

Three USAF RB-57’s conducted simultaneous PHOTINT overflight of Vladivostok from
three different directions.

First ELINT-equipped U-2 aircraft flew mission
#4019 along the Soviet border between Black
and Caspian Seas.

U-2 flying ELINT mission along southern
Soviet border strays into USSR.

First resumed U-2 overflight since November
1956; first flight from Detachment C (Eielson
AFB, Alaska) and first flight from U.S. territory.

U-2 overflight of Eastern USSR.

U-2 Detachment B (Adana AB, Turkey)
begins overflights of Central USSR.

U-2 Det B overflight.

U-2 Det C Overflight.

Only U-2 overflight of USSR flown from Atsugi,
Japan; mission #6011 conducted overflight
of Soviet Far East.

U-2 Det B overflight of Tyuratam missile base
with another U-2 overflight of USSR occurring
later in the year.

U-2 overflight of USSR

Last successful (and intentional) deep overflight
of USSR by a CIA U-2.

CIA U-2 on mission GRAND SLAM shot down
by Soviet SA-2 SAMS over Sverdlovsk.

CIA U-2’s from Detachment G (Laughlin AFB,
Texas) conduct overflights of Cuba –
Operation KICKOFF.

Det G U-2 conducts Cuban overflight –
Operation GREEN EYES.

Det G U-2 conducts Cuban overflight –
Operation GREEN EYES.

Detachment G conducts monthly Cuban
overflights and overflights begin in Southwest
Asia in support of the French in Indochina.

U-2 aircraft from Det G (Del Rio, Texas) overflys
Cuba and brings back photos of increased
military activity and SAM site construction.

A SAC U-2 overflys Sakhalin Island in the Far
Eastern USSR.

U-2 overflight of Cuba reveals Soviet-supplied
SA-2 GUIDELINE SAM Site and MiG-21
jet fighter aircraft.

PRC shoots down a Tiawanese-piloted
CIA U-2.

USAF Maj Rudy Anderson flies U-2 over
Western Cuba and brings back photos of
SS-4 site construction near San Cristobal.
President Kennedy informed next day.






Jul 53

17 Oct

17 Oct


21 Mar-10 May 55

3 May 55

4 Jul 56

5 Jul 56

9 Jul 56

10 Jul 56

20 Nov 56

10 Dec 56

11 Dec 56

22 Dec 56

18 Mar 57

8 Jun 57

19 Jun 57

4-27 Aug 57

10 Sep 57

15 Sep 57

1 Mar 58

Jul 59

Feb 60

10 Apr 60

1 May 60

26-27 Oct 60

27 Nov 60

5, 11 Dec 60


29 Aug 62

30 Aug 62

5 Sept 62

Sept 62

14 Oct 62

End of Page 1 of 1 Page, Appendix DGo to Bibliography

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Cover PageEditor’s IntroductionOverview

AcknowledgmentsTable of Contents

Chapter — 12345

Appendixes — ABC D

BibliographyMaps & Figures Listing