Stationing of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft in 1956
In 1956, U-2 aircraft were stationed in Wiesbaden for several months. They belong to the CIA and carry out espionage flights at great heights above the Eastern bloc states.
A U-2 of the US Air Force
Source: US Air Force, Public Domain
● 11 June 1956: Relocation of Detachment A or "Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Provisional) WRSP-I" from Lakenheath (Great Britain) to Wiesbaden. It is operational with 4 airplanes U-2.
● 20 June 1956 - Mission 2003:
First mission flight of a U-2. The route leads over East Germany and Poland.
● 02 July 1956 - Mission 2009:
Reconnaissance flight over Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria
● 02 July 1956 - Mission 2010:
Reconnaissance flight over the GDR, Poland, Hungary and Romania
● 04 July 1956 - Mission 2013:
First flight of a U-2 over the Soviet Union, airplane is the Article 347. Route: Wiesbaden - Poznan (Poland) - Belarus - Leningrad - Baltic Soviet Republics - Wiesbaden
● 05 July 1956 - Mission 2014:
Flight over the Soviet Union, similar route as the day before, but a little more to the south and further east. It also led over Moscow and it remained the only U-2 flight over the Soviet capital
● 09 July 1956 - Mission 2020:
Wiesbaden - GDR - Poland - Kaliningrad - Lithuania - Belarus - Poland - GDR - Wiesbaden
● 09 July 1956 - Mission 2021:
Wiesbaden - Czechoslovakia/Prague - Austria/Vienna - Hungary - Ukraine/Lviv/Kiev - Belarus/Minsk - Poland - Czechoslovakia - Wiesbaden
● 10 July 1956 - Mission 2023:
Wiesbaden - GDR southern part - Poland southern part - Ukraine - Soviet Union/Moldovan SSR - Crimea - Moldovan SSR - Romania - Hungary - Czechoslovakia - GDR - Wiesbaden
● 29 August 1956 - Mission 1104 and 1105:
Reconnaissance flights on the Suez crisis from Wiesbaden to the Middle East. The landing took place in Turkey in Adana. On the following day, further reconnaissance flights with return to Wiesbaden.
● 17 September 1956: Crash of U-2 "56-6679" (Art 346).
Approximately eight minutes after take-off the aircraft was seen by two pilots in a T-33 and four pilots in a flight of Royal Canadian Air Force F-86's at 35.000 feet. About five seconds after passing the F-86's and 500 feet above them the U-2 disintegrated and fell. The pilot was fatally injured. The cause of this accident could not be definitely determined beyond an initial failure of the right wing. Metal fatigue over stress or high internal wing pressures were suggested as possible causes of the wing failure. The possibility of sabotage was thoroughly investigated and sufficient evidence was produced to rule out sabotage as a cause.
After the first flights, it was recognized that when taking off on a wet runway, splash water came onto the camera covers and affected the image quality. As a result, the runway was cleared of puddles in an elaborate manual process before each take-off.