Wednesday, November 02, 2005

ROC Dragon Ladies

EastSouthWestNorth has translated a history of the U-2 Dragon Lady in the service of the Republic of China, specifically the five members of the Black Cat Squadron that were shot down by Chinese surface-to-air missiles.
The Black Cat Squadron was a group of pilots from the Republic of China who had been trained by the Americans to fly the U-2 spy planes. The first operation was mounted on January 13, 1962. Flying at 75,000 feet with a range of 4,000 miles, the U-2 planes were beyond the reach from most conventional weapons and airplanes.

Meanwhile, the PLA had established the PLAAF 1st Surface-to-Air Guide Missile Battalion in October 6, 1958. Later on, the Beijing and Nanjing military districts also formed the 2nd and 3rd Battalions respectively. These battalions owned only five sets of SAM-2 guided missile launch platforms and a total of 62 guided missiles. In October 1959, the battalions were secretly deployed in the Beijing area during the 10th anniversary celebration of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

In October 7, 1959, the PLAAF was able to use 3 SAM-2 missiles, which have an accuracy rate of only 2%, to shoot down an American made RB-57D spy plane. This was how the U-2 came into the picture.

Go read the rest.