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.
He watched the rapid widening of the Yangtze River as he plummeted to earth. With the river as a gauge of his altitude, he pulled his parachute cord and landed on a hillside near the town of Hsiang Yao as early evening approached. Little did he realize that the decision he made to open his parachute would be the last one he would make for himself for quite some time."
The second edition of We Served With Honor is scheduled for publication in mid-2012.