35th  SQUADRON  

 R.o.C.A.F.

 

THE " BLACKCATS"

WE ARE WATCHING YOU

In 1956 the term "Dragon Lady" was born with a major Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation by the same name using the U-2. "Dragon Lady" was the name of a popular comic strip during this time that seemed to represent the nature of U-2.

The only other U-2 operator was the Republic of China (Taiwan), which flew missions mostly over the People's Republic of China (PRC). Since the 1950s, the Republic of China Air Force had used the RB-57A/ D aircraft for reconnaissance missions over the PRC, but suffered two losses when MiG-17 and SA-2 SAM were able to intercept the aircraft. In 1958, ROC and American authorities reached an agreement to create the 35th Squadron, nicknamed the BlackCat Squadron, aka C.I.A DET H composed of two U-2Cs in Taoyuan Airbase in northern Taiwan.

 To create the typical misdirection's at the time, the unit was created under the cover of high altitude weather research missions for ROCAF. To the US government, any US CIA/USAF personnel assigned to the unit which was known as Detachment H on all documents.  Main ground rule of each of the 35th Squadron's operational missions had to be approved by both the US and the Taiwan presidents beforehand. To add another layer of security and secrecy to the project, all US military and CIA/government personnel stationed in Taoyuan assigned to Detachment H were issued official documents and ID's with false names and cover titles the same as Lockheed employees/ tech representatives in civilian clothes. The ROCAF pilots and ground support crew would never know their US counterpart's real name and rank/title, or which US government agencies they were dealing with.

DET H   structure

Commander- USAF officer

Blue suiters -Operations, mission planners, material and maintenance control.

CIA , communications, finance, security specialists. 1 C.I.A pilot

ROCAF

Squadron Commander

Operations Chief, mission planner and others.

5 ROCAF pilots.

35th SQUADRON

I HAVE IT

Thanks Mory Tsai

 

R.O.C.A.F. On 14 December 1960, Detachment H was created in Taiwan. The "Blackcat" nickname associated with the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron was started by Detachment H.
Det H flyers would frequent an establishment called the "Blackcat" in a nearby town. The name "Blackcat" soon became synonymous with the members of the U-2 Det. The original Blackcat patch was designed in 1961 by Lieutenant Colonel Chen, Whei-Shen. Lt Col Chen was shot down on 1 September 1962.

A total of 26 out of 28 ROC pilots sent to the US completed training between 1959 and 1973, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. On the night of 3 August 1959, a U-2 on a training mission, out of Laughlin AFB, Texas, piloted by Maj. Mike Hua of ROC Air Force, made a successful unassisted night time emergency landing at Cortez, Colorado, that was later known as "Miracle at Cortez", and Major Hua was later awarded the US Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross for saving the top secret aircraft.

In July 1960, the CIA provided the ROC with its first two U-2Cs, and in December the squadron flew its first mission over mainland China. Other countries were also covered from time to time by the 35th Squadron, such as North Korea, North Vietnam and Laos, but the main objective of the ROC 35th Squadron was to conduct reconnaissance missions assessing the PRC's nuclear capabilities. For this purpose the ROC pilots flew as far as Gansu and other remote regions in northwest China. Some of the missions, due to mission requirements and range, plus to add some element of surprise, had the 35th Squadron's U-2s flying from or recovered at other US air bases in Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia, such as K-8 (Kunsan) in South Korea, or Tikhli in Thailand. All US airbases in the region were listed as emergency/alternate recovery airfields and could be used besides the 35th Squadron's home base at Taoyuan airbase in Taiwan.

Initially, all film taken by the Blackcat Squadron would be flown to Okinawa or Guam for processing and development, and the US forces would not share any of the mission photos with Taiwan. Only in late 1960s did the USAF agree to share a complete set of mission photos and help Taiwan set up a photo development and interpretation unit at Taoyuan AB.

In 1968, the ROC U-2C/F/G fleet was replaced with the newer U-2R. However, with the coming of the Sino-Soviet split and the rapprochement between the US and the PRC, the ROC U-2 squadron stopped entering Chinese airspace, and instead only conducted electronic surveillance plus photo reconnaissance missions with new Long-Range Oblique Reconnaissance (LOROP) cameras on the U-2R while flying over international waters. The last U-2 aircraft mission over mainland China took place on 16 March 1968. After that, all missions had the U-2 aircraft fly outside a buffer zone at least 20 nautical miles around China.

 

 

During his visit to China in 1972, US President promised the Chinese authorities to cease all reconnaissance missions near and over China, though this was also made practical because US photo satellites by 1972 were able to provide better overhead images without risking losing aircraft, pilots and international incidents.

The last 35th Squadron mission was flown by Sungchou "Mike" Chiu on 24 May 1974. At the end of ROC's U-2 operations, out of a total of 19 U-2C/F/G/R operated by the 35th Squadron from 1959 to 1974, 11 aircraft were lost. The squadron flew a total of about 220 missions[ with about half over mainland China, resulting in five aircraft shot down, including three fatalities and two pilots captured, and another six U-2 were lost in training with six pilots killed. On 29 July 1974, the two remaining U-2R aircraft in ROC possession were flown from Taoyuan AB in Taiwan to Edwards AFB, California, US, and turned over to the USAF 

apr0335throcaf.jpg (28829 bytes)
35th SQUADRON

R.O.C.A.F.

 

DET H / 35th SQUADRON

R.O.C.A.F.

REPRODUCTION

I HAVE IT

 

WANTED

Seen on page 280 of Chris Pococks "50 Years of the U-2" Book  Although the letters on that patch are white on a dark (black ?) background

apr03u25thrs.jpg (122947 bytes)

 35th SQUADRON

R.o.C.A.F.

35th SQUADRON

R.o.C.A.F.

35th SQUADRON

R.o.C.A.F.

 

 

Mr. Pinky, the Lockheed Maintenance Chief, designed and made a plaque and presented it to a pilot on the occasion of hanging pogo after taking-off, hence the pilot holding said pogo.

WANTED

 

WANTED Thanks Mory Tsai
Name Mission
Total flown
DATE
Yaohua Chih 0 March 19, 1961 Yaohua Chih took off in 351 from Taoyuan for a night flight training. The aircraft veered off runway and burned. The pilot was killed.
Huai Chen 4 September 9, 1962 Huai Chen took off from Taoyuan at 0600 for a mission on military deployment in Jiangxi region in U-2C "378". He was shot down by SA-2 fired by PLAAF 2nd Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Battalion over Nanchang. Chen was alive when he was found but died at the hospital.
Hsichun "Mike" Hua 10    
Taiyou "Tiger" Wang 9    
Shihchu "Gimo" Yang 8    
Changti "Robin" Yeh 3 November 1, 1963 Robin Yeh flew this mission on nuclear weapons facilities in north-western China in U-2C "355". He was shot down by SA-2 fired by PLAAF 2nd Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Battalion over Jiangxi and was captured alive by the Chinese Communists. He was released to Hong Kong on November 10, 1982.
Nanping "Terry" Lee 7 July 7, 1964 Terry Lee took off in 362 from NAS Cubi Point, Philippines on a mission on China's supply lines to North Vietnam. He was shot down by SA-2 fired by PLAAF 2nd Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Battalion over Fujian and was killed. A Chinese source claimed that his ejection seat was not armed and so could not fire.
Tehpei "Sonny" Liang 0 March 23, 1964 Sonny Liang was in 356 for a photo training over Taiwan. The aircraft lost control due to improper handling. Liang ejected but was drowned.
Shichueh "Johnny" Wang 10    
Liyi "Jack" Chang 5 January 10, 1965 Jack Chang took off in 358 from Taoyuan at about 1830 and the aircraft was shot down in Inner Mongolia at about 2115 by missiles fired by PLAAF 1st Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Battalion and was captured alive. He was also released on November 10, 1982.
Chengwen "Pete" Wang 6 October 22, 1965 Pete Wang took off in 352 on a photo training over Taiwan. The aircraft possibly lost control due to improper handling. The pilot was missing and presumed dead.
Tsaishi "Charlie" Wu 6 February 17, 1966 Charlie Wu was undergoing a high-altitude photo training. He shut down the engine when he got an overtemp warning. He attempted to land in CCK, which was the divert field and had a very long runway. When he saw a smaller strip, he decided to land there. But the airstrip is too short. The aircraft overshot runway during forced landing and crashed into civilian housing. The pilot and five civilians perished.
Hungdi "Andy" Fan 11 March 22, 1966 Andy Fan ejected from his first training flight.
Jenliang "Spike" Chuang 9    
Jaichung "Terry" Liu 10    
Chingchang "Mickey" Yu 6 June 21, 1966 Mickey Yu was on a long-range, high-altitude flight training when the engine flamed-out due to ruptured fuel supply line. He then attempted an unsuccessful forced landing in Okinawa. He bailed out but died of wounds sustained.
Yenchin Chou 2    
Jungpei "Tom" Huang 1 September 8, 1967 Tom Huang flew this mission in 373 over Jiangsu province, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. He was shot down by Chinese-made Red Flag 2 by PLAAF 14th Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Battalion over Jiaxing and was killed.
Hsieh "Billy" Chang 8 May 16, 1969 Billy Chang flew this mission along Hebei seacoast. The aircraft lost control approximately 100nm south of Cheju Island, ROK. The pilot was killed.
Chihsien "Denny" Huang 7 November 24, 1970 Denny Huang was doing take-off and landing training in Taoyuan while the U-2R "057" crashed. The pilot perished.
Tsungli "Johnny" Shen 18    
Powei "David" Lee 7    
Tao "Tom" Wang 19    
Chu Chien 23    
Cheng Wei 9    
Sungchou Chiu 19    
Chihchiang Yee 2    
Shenghsiung "Mori" Tsai 1    

 

 

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