Updated: 23 June 2003
Posted: June 2003
Several different views of the 147B test drone
The first two drone launchers owned by the USAF, used for training
and lauching target drones.
This photo was taken at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
Test launch of 147B at Holloman AFB, NM in 1963
In July 1963, they were transferred to the 4028th SRWS at Davis-Monthan, AZ, which was part of the 4080th SRW. In August 1964, they went TDY to Kadena AB, Okinawa to fly "Blue Springs" missions, which were to over fly mainland China. The drones were launched over the South China Sea, near Hong Kong, and the recoveries were made at Taoyuan AB, Taiwan, which interesting enough the Taiwanese and the CIA base operating U-2 overflights of China using Taiwanese pilots.
"Results" of over flights of mainland China
One of these drones was the first shot down by the Chinese. Drone B-19 was launched by Marvin's aircraft, and was shot down by Chinese fighters "zoom climbing" and firing their missiles just before they stalled. When Marvin and his crew launched their drone an intercepted radio transmission from one of the Chinese fighters was asking if he could go shoot down the "mother ship"............