We Served with Honor PDF Print E-mail

We Served With Honor

Before the SR-71 Blackbird and the U-2 Dragon Lady graced the skies, SAC’s 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing was responsible for much of the Air Force’s aerial photography.  Flying the RB-17, RB-29, RB-50, RB-45 and RB-47, the 91st SRW flew critical Top Secret aerial photography missions for target and global mapping.  The wing recorded a number of events that made aviation history.

The first jet bomber to be air refueled in late 1950, the first trans-Pacific deployment of F-84G fighters air refueled in 1952, and the first bomber air refueled in combat are a sample of the distinction the unit enjoyed.  Detachments of aircraft and crews deployed to England, Japan, North Africa, Newfoundland and Greenland to support SAC missions.  In the post-WWII security environment, the men, some as young as seventeen, performed their assigned duties with the highest levels of secrecy.

One pilot describes his Top Secret over flight of Russia’s Kola Peninsula including an attack by MiG fighters.  The partnership between the Royal Air Force and this unit was a unique collaboration and is described by the RAF officer who was at the center of the events.  WE SERVED WITH HONOR tells the history of the 91st SRW from the perspective of the men who lived it. 

The Dragon Lady PDF Print E-mail

REMEMBERING THE DRAGON LADY, Memories of the Men Who Shaped History In Support of the U-2 Spy Plane, was co-authored with Brig. Gen. Gerald E. Mcllmoyle (Ret.).

It is a collection of experiences, anecdotes and memories of 80 Air Force men and their families. In addition, the book contains experiences of U-2 pilots of the Royal Air Force and Republic of China Air Force.

The book was introduced in May 2008 at the last reunion of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing veterans and their families and has continued to be a successful recollection of history-making events during the Cold War era, including the Cuban Missile Crisis. This 500 page book will soon be available in Air Force museums around the country.


"In 1951, modified bombers began overflights of the Soviet Union, and a number of border flights were shot down. At that time, the planners imagined a high altitude aircraft hard to detect and impossible to shoot down. ...

Flying the aircraft was not for the faint of heart; in fact, it was considered one of the most challenging aircraft in the inventory to fly and required a high degree of skill and ability from its pilots.

Freedom Flight PDF Print E-mail
Freedom Flight

Chang-di "Robin" Yeh was one of an elite group of Taiwanese pilots trained in the United States to fly the U-2, the single-engine, high altitude aircraft nicknamed "The Dragon Lady." The 35th Squadron, known as the "Black Cat Squadron", flew some 100 missions over mainland China. Five of those aircrafts were shot down, with 3 fatalities and 2 captures. Robin was one of the pilots captured.

Freedom Flight tells his true story:

Excerpt from Freedom Flight: A True Story

"Robin took off on his third flight on November 1, 1968, his thirtieth birthday and 18 days short of his first wedding anniversary. He was airborne for 10 hours on a scheduled photo reconnaissance mission over Mainland China. At an altitude of 74,000 feet with the sun low on the horizon, Robin was on the last leg of his flight with the coast of the ROC (Republic of China) in sight. Suddenly the System 12 radar detector sounded that he was the target of a ground-to-air missile. Even with Robin's immediate evasive action, the left wing was shot off and the canopy jettisoned as the cockpit instantly decompressed. The aircraft went into a nosedive and Robin was thrown out of the cockpit. Free falling, Robin fought to position himself to safely open his parachute.