CIA operations in Southeast Asia

Lockheed A-12 CIA involvement in Southeast Asia lasted for nearly two decades, from the mid-1950s through 1973. Though the U. S. government and many of its entities were blamed for America’s ultimate failure in Southeast Asia, the Agency performed credibly, often conducting operations outside of its sphere of responsibility. In the mid-1950s, CIA operatives began […]

Read More

KH-11/CRYSTAL program

The KH-11/CRYSTAL program had progressed to the point where it would soon become America’s sole satellite imagery system. An image of a Communist Chinese jet bomber taken by an NRO KH-11 spacecraft flying at more than 200 miles altitude illustrates the reconnaissance capability of the 35,000 lb. spacecraft. The first indication of what KH-11 optics […]

Read More

MOON SQUADRONS

SOE Drop by Ivan Berryman. Halifax B.II Series 1 (Special) JP254 of 148 Special Duties Squadron, RAF is depicted over the drop zone near to the Alt Aussee salt mine in the Austrian Alps as two of the four SOE agents exit the bomber via the crew access door. Their mission was to secure and […]

Read More

Air Espionage Far East

There were tensions between the SOE Force 136, headed by Colin MacKenzie, and OSS Detachment 101 commanded by William Peers – particularly in the China–Burma–India theatre of operations. The Americans preferred to use local agents recruited from anti-colonial or nationalist factions including the communists, and a certain amount of subterfuge had to be employed by […]

Read More

Jewish Palestine Early WWII

The Italian bombing by SM82 bombers of Mandatory Palestine in World War II was part of an effort by the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) to strike at the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations throughout the Middle East. On September 9 the European war reached Tel Aviv when Italian aircraft bombed the […]

Read More

Midway: “A Victory of Intelligence”

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Navy cryptographers, with assistance from both British cryptographers at the Far East Combined Bureau (in Hong Kong, later Singapore, later Ceylon), and Dutch cryptographers (in the Dutch East Indies), combined to break enough JN-25 traffic to provide useful intelligence reports and assessments regarding Japanese force disposition and intentions […]

Read More

Early Cold War Reconnaissance Flights

F-6D & F-6K A total of 163 P-51Ks were completed as F-6K photo-reconnaissance aircraft. 126 Inglewood-built P-51Ds from blocks 20, 25, and 30 were converted after completion as F-6Ds. A few others were similarly converted near the end of the war. All of these photographic Mustangs carried two cameras in the rear fuselage, usually a […]

Read More

Neate trick!

Informal group portrait of headquarters staff of the Desert Mounted Corps on the steps of the house of Lazar Slutzkin, where they were based. Identified from left to right, back row: Lieutenant (Lt) Frederick W Cox, Aide de Camp (ADC) to General Officer Commanding (GOC), 10th Australian Light Horse (ALH) Regiment; Reverend W Maitland Woods, […]

Read More

The RB-50G and Project Half Track

Boeing RB-50G Superfortress 343rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Yokota Airbase, Japan, July 1953 This rendering is dedicated to the memory of Capt. John Roche, USAF who passed recently. Captain Roche was the only survivor of the shootdown of this aircraft on the day after the Korean War armistice was signed. The aircraft was operating in international […]

Read More

WWI: Behind Enemy Lines by Aircraft I

British ‘Sophwith 1 1/2 Strutter’ biplane The Second World War was not the first time that intelligence agents had been flown behind enemy lines. A quarter of a century earlier, soon after the outbreak of the First World War, one of France’s most remarkable pioneer aviators became the first pilot to fly these dangerous special […]

Read More