Hunt for the U-2

Interceptions of Lockheed U-2 Reconnaissance Aircraft over the USSR, Cuba and People’s Republic of China, 1959-1968

Krzysztof Dabrowski

‘The Hunt for the U-2' is a succinct operational history of the confrontations between that reconnaissance aircraft and those trying to catch it and the impact these operations had in not so distant history. Richly illustrated with photographs and full color aircraft profiles.
Date Published :
April 2020
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
52 b/w photos/ills, 5 color photos/ills, 10 b/w maps, 1 color map, 15 color profiles, 4 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913118686
Pages : 64
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Available


The Lockheed U-2 is probably the best known spy-aircraft ever, famous for the exploits of its pilots over or near hostile territories. Indeed, the bold and provocative operations flown by the CIA-operated Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft over the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics have epitomized the rivalry between the United States of America and the Soviet Union during the early to middle Cold War period.

Much has been published about some of the overflights in question – especially the one on 1 May 1960, that ended with the downing of the US pilot Garry Powers. However, exactly how did the Soviets, and then the Chinese armed forces, react to such operations, and what kind of experiences did they go through while not only trying to detect and track, but also intercept and shoot down one of the high-flying spy-aircraft, is the part of this story that remains largely unknown.

The Hunt for the U-2 aims to answer the related question through a cross-examination of documentation and participant accounts from all of the involved parties.

Richly illustrated with 100 photographs and authentic, full color profiles of the aircraft involved – whether those configured for the glamorous role of strategic reconnaissance or those designed to intercept and destroy them - and maps, and based on extensive cross-examination of documentation and participant accounts from all the involved parties, The Hunt for the U-2 is a succinct operational history of how the confrontations between that reconnaissance aircraft and those trying to catch it played out and, last but not least, what kind of impact these operations had in not so distant history.

About The Author

Krzysztof Dabrowski from Poland has a lifelong interest in the subject of military aviation, and has written dozens of articles on a variety of related subjects for printed magazines and the, AeroHisto and The Boresight websites. His particular area of interest is the air warfare during the Cold War, the aircraft involved, and the experiences of their crews. This is his first instalment for Helion.


"The artwork by Tom Cooper and David Bocquelet beautifully illustrates the rapid evolutions in this period of both the U–2 and its Mig hunters. Hunt for the U–2 is a read worthy of anyone interested in this era in which the Cold War was anything but."

- Air Power History

"The cat and mouse aerial 'battles' proved an interesting read. Enjoyed it."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

‘’As a long-time enthusiast of reconnaissance aircraft, particularly the U-2, there was plenty of new information here to absorb. The author has also filled in important blanks for a number of U-2 overflights from when the Cold War was at its height.’’

- Air Forces Monthly

"The research is excellent, the text well written and engaging, and the photos & illustrations offer the perfect balance to the story being told."

- Internet Modeler

"...this inspiring study is enhanced considerably by the inclusion of several full-colour profiles depicting U-2 and RB-57 Canberra reconnaissance airframes, plus the opposing Mikoyan and Sukhoi types."

- Airfix

"Maps, tables, diagrams, colour profile artwork and other illustrations provide context, helping to illuminate exactly how U-2s were countered. An excellent read."

- Flypast Magazine

"...equally interesting both for history fans and modellers."

- DetailScaleView

More from this publisher