• Can This Explain Why P-3A Were Removed?

    Posted on February 23rd, 2006 Administrator 12 comments

    ROCAF 34th SQ received two P-3A from the US on May 19 and July 12, 1966, respectively.  But their tenures with ROCAF were very short.  All P-3A missions were called off as of January 25, 1967.  Both aircraft were flown out of Taiwan shortly.

    None of the books I have explain why the US withdrew the P-3A in only half a year.  Yesterday I found a declassified “Top Secret” CIA memo which may provide an explanation.  Given the “Idealist” classification and the date November 30, 1966, it is very likely that this memo is related to the 34th SQ’s P-3A.  But I could be wrong…


    P-3A cable



    12 responses to “Can This Explain Why P-3A Were Removed?” RSS icon

    • 張大哥您好
      我是何漢嘉不知您有沒有聽過,這是您以及蔡教官、傅大哥 and Chris Pocock和李教官在新竹的聚會,蔡教官想邀我去但因電話記錯了,沒能到真可惜希望以後能和您見面。

    • 漢嘉:

    • I told Chris Pocock about the P-3 memo during his third visit to Taiwan over the weekend. He concurred that this memo was referring to the ROCAF P-3A. He added that the electronic devices on the P-3A were so advanced that if they were shot down, it would cause a lot of trouble, thus “political implications” in the memo.

    • The P-3A’s operated under the CIA program ST/SPIN which replaced ST/POLLY (RB-69A). Wonder if any of the redacted passages referred to this program.

    • I could be wrong, but could these “two” P-3As have something to do with the three “black” Orions (BuNos 149669, 149673 and 149678)? They were converted by E-systems for covert reconaissance missions. Apart from missions over China that originated from Taiwan they also flew (in September 1966) over the Ho Chi Minh trail. Over China, their mission was psywar leaf-let dropping, and reconaissance. They were painted black overall, had heat dissipating exhaust shrouds and shortened propeller blades for noise reduction. They also carried sidewiders. Rumor has it that a PLA MiG-19 was shot down on one of the missions. Missions entailed collecting data on Chines air defence systems and industrial progress, monitoring military communications and delivering supplies to insurgents. Missions were taken over by SR-71s. For some of the operations the P-3As wore ROCAF markings. My apologies if this has been posted before.

    • I am now at the last stage of writing my book about special missions flown by RoCAF. I can’t wait to tell you guys that I finally find the identities the the two P-3A. They are 149673 and 149678. I will explain how I find them in Chapter 7 of my book. Please be patient. It is estimated to be rolled out in September.

    • I recently developed an interest in doing a model aircraft of ROCAF’s P-3A as it has been a while for me to think about which aircraft of which country shall the model represents? Finally I came across the much covered and untold history of Taiwan’s P-3A operations before landing here.

      I think this should an interesting subject as it is certainly one of the most unusual operations of P-3. However, a little info is needed before I can get start. Externally I understand the main difference with the standard ASW equipped P-3 was the removal of the MAD stinger at the tail of the aircraft. Anything else?

      I would like to know is there anyone out there have any info on the markings, if any, of either the two standard white over grey color scheme (I presume, but I maybe wrong) or the three black birds? Did they wear any number or ROC national insignia? If yes, on where? I note the above comments of JP suggested that they are the same aircraft.

      Any comments will be greatly appreciated.

    • Don’t forget the 2 Sidewiner missiles the ROCAF P-3A(EW) usually had carried……..

    • I will publish a COLOR P-3A photo with RoCAF insignia and a sideview drawing of P-3A in my book. In the text I will describe the differences of the two P-3A from other standard ones. You have to extend the exhaust covers after 4 engine and add an observation dome in the back of aft fuselage. Please wait…..

    • I am interested in any information regarding P-3’s in Taiwan. On report indicates they may have been there as early as 1963 operating in Project AF ( Source ORION Research Group).

      I recently found a picture of a ROC (I assume) air base with a Black P-3 on the ramp. It looks like a Chinese language booklet about P-2’s, but I am sure one aircraft on the ramp is a P-3.

    • I don’t think Taiwan had operated the P-3A as early as 1963. I checked the Orion Research Group website and it dates Taiwan’s P-3A introduction correctly as 1966.

    • I would like to get some information from Fu Jingping. His book talks about P-3’s in chapter 7. I can not fine an English version and I need information for research I am doing.

      Thanks You

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