• GRC-115

    Posted on September 12th, 2009 Administrator No comments

    The Chinese shot down the U-2 for the first time on September 9 of 1962, killing the pilot Chen Huai (陳懷). Before this fateful mission, Chen had flown three other operational missions in the U-2, including the first ever Blackcat mission GRC-100. But unlike his first mission, whose aim was to collect intelligence on the development of Chinese long-range missiles in Central China, the second mission Chen flew, GRC-115, was to cover the coastal provinces of East China.


    In early 1962, thousands of hungry Chinese refugees fled to Hong Kong, which helped convince President Chiang Kai-Shek that time was ripe to launch military operations against China and win back some coastal provinces. In response, the Chinese Communist Party issued the Instructions about Crushing KMT Troops Invading Southeast Coastal Areas (關於準備粉碎國民黨軍進犯東南沿海地區的指示) to the Chinese people on June 10. Its military then moved troops to Fukien Province opposite Taiwan. Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) 13-5-62, dated June 20, stated that the Chinese Communists had moved seven army divisions, with possibly five more on the way, across the Strait from Taiwan, representing “the largest such movement since the Korean War.”


    As a consequence, CIA stepped up Det H’s intelligence collection efforts and planned eight NESTEGG in June alone. However, due to uncooperating weather, three were cancelled.


    The first U-2 mission flown to gather intelligence on the Chinese military buildup was GRC-115.


    If you are interested, you may want to plot the mission route given in the mission plan:


    Although Washington estimated that very real possibility existed that Chinese Communists intend full scale attack against some of offshore islands, the take from GRC-115 found no unusual naval or air activities on the Chinese side.


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