Chris Pocock


Pocock, Chris. Dragon Lady: The History of the U-2 Spyplane. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing, Ltd., 1989.

Pocock, Chris. 50 Years of the U-2: The Complete Illustrated History of the Dragon Lady. Atgien, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2005.

DKR, AFIO WIN 30-05 (8 Aug. 2005), notes that the author "is regarded as the foremost authority on the subject." In this book, Pocock tells the aircraft's "long and complex story from the beginning down to the present."

[CIA/60s/U-2; Recon/Planes]

Pocock, Chris. "From Peshawar to Bodo -- Mission Impossible?" In Report from the Cold War Forum Conference on the Cold War in Bodo, ed. Svein Lundestad. Bodo, Norway: Bodo College, 1995.

[CIA/60s/U-2; Recon/Planes]

Pocock, Chris. "Operation 'Robin' and the British Overflight of Kapustin Yar: A Historiographical Note." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 4 (Winter 2002): 185-192.

Did the British overfly Kapustin Yar in 1953 or 1954? The author argues that the evidence does not confirm the existence of such a flight. The article is followed by a note from Paul Lashmar (pp. 192-193), who accepts that official confirmation of a Kapustin Yar mission is lacking but also finds enough insiders who recall the flight to suggest that it did happen.


Pocock, Chris. The U-2 Spyplane: Toward the Unknown: A New History of the Early Years. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 2000.

Nash, I&NS 17.2, finds that the author provides "a wealth of details about ... the famous spyplane." However, the "tone and approach are buffish rather than scholarly"; and there is a "serious ... lack of analysis or criticism." Nevertheless, "those interested in the technical side of the U-2 will profit greatly from Pocock's study."

To Haines, Studies 46.2 (2002), the author "has done his homework well." This work "is the most comprehensive examination to date of the design, production, and deployment of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft." Although there is "no separate bibliography -- one has to go to the individual footnotes for the sources" -- the author "has produced a first-rate volume that is chock-full of facts and information."

[CIA/60s/U-2; Recon/Planes]

Pocock, Chris, with Clarence Fu. The Black Bats: CIA Spy Flights over China from Taiwan, 1951-1969. London: Schiffer, 2010.

According to Peake, Studies 54.4 (Dec. 2010), and Intelligencer 18.2 (Winter-Spring 2011), when the CIA ended its "its flights penetrating PRC airspace ... the missions continued with planes piloted by a US-trained unit of Chinese flyers on Taiwan named the Black Bats." The unit "flew photoreconnaissance and SIGINT missions" for another 20 years. "During the Vietnam War, the Bats flew missions over North Vietnam. That program ended in 1973 with the conclusion of the Vietnamese peace talks."

[Recon/Planes; Vietnam/Gen]

Return to Po-Pol