Created: 11/24/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible


D. C.

of the Director




You are familiar with the large gaps in our Intelligence coverage of the Soviet Union whichus from obtaining adequate knowledge of Soviet intentions and, in important respects, of Sovietand in particular, with respect to their capabilities and intentions to launch nuclear attacks on the United States. You are familiar, too, with the current and growing difficulties in the way of filling those gaps by the more classic means.

In my considered judgment, as well as that of the other members of the Intelligence Community, there is not the prospect of gaining this vital Intelligence without the conduct of systematic and repeated airover the Saviet Union itself. (Even this does not assure adequacy, but will certainlyuch closer approach to adequacy.) The members of the Doolittle Committee in their report, expressed their belief that every known technique should be used and new ones developed to increase our Intelligence by high altitude photographic reconnaissance and other means, and that no price would be too high to pay for the knowledge to be derived therefrom. Thus, thereefinite and urgent National requirement forand electronic reconnaissance overflights of the Soviet Bloc.

While wi have been considering the problemong time (you mayad with you soma months ago concerningr. James R. Killian,nd members of Projectechnological Capabilities Panel, Office of Defense MobilIration, (E. H. Land, James G. Baker, Joseph W. Kennedy, Edward M. Purcell and John W. Tukey) have independently arrived

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at essentially the same conclusion. ave also discussed it with Secretary Talbott and with General Twining, we are all agreed that the requirement is an urgent one and that with suitable direction and support, it ts feasible of accomplishment withrisk.

An existing Air Force aircraft type (the Canberra) is considered capable of modification to giveeLllng of0 feet. At such an altitude now the expectation that it would be detected is very low Indeed, and the possibility that it would beand shot down is practically nil. Theof forced landing in enemy territory exists, but the chances of that are low. The repercussions of its falling Into enemy hands can be mitigated if theshould be manned by. personnal. To the extent practicable, we would try to man thewith Poles or other. nationals. The aircraft itself, if not completely destroyed, would bear

hac would dearly identify its origin. (The Canberra itself is nearly Identical with itsprototype.)

ollow-on to the Canberra, we wouldproceed with the procurement of specially designed reconnaissance aircraft with more-

-SrA^C? cnaracteristics, chat would take it to aroundjj teet.

In addition to this high altitude day reconnaissance we would resortry low altitude reconnaissance at night with appropriate aircraft. Whereas the nightwould notubstitute for the hich altitude day photography, nevertheless it would give an opportunity for supplementary reconnaissance, exploiting such technical developments as infrared photography and certain electronics techniques.

Of course, not even0 foot opportunity will be of indefinite deration. Our problem will be one

jfp head and creating new opportunities as the oLd disappear.

We are all agreed also that, in order totatus of readiness to launch these flights as early as



desired, and then to conduct them, extraordinary procedures would have to be adopted for aircraft, crew and equipment procurement, testing, training, and for operations. This would require the greatest possible collaboration between the Air Force and the CentralAgency.

I recommend that you:

the existenceationalfor the above reconnaissance overflights.

approval of this document, directof the Air Force and the Director ofto establishatter of urgency, aproject for the procurement and testingnecessary aircraft and equipment, and for theand troinlne of the necessary crews (such crews

tothe extent practicable).

The Director ot Central Intelligence Is also hereby authorized to obligate in Fiscal5 an amount not


procurement, mtu ic is expected as the project develops additional authority will be sought by nlm for funds for maintenance, training, operations, otc.

approval of this document, directof the Air Force and th2 Director ofsubject to appropriate policy guidanceto conduct at the earliest possible date,overflights, and to do so in such ato reduce the risk of involvement of. topracticable.



(Cl/9SI3Vr* III

Original document.

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