28 – USAF pilot Buz Carpenter talks Vietnam recon, Skunkworks and more

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Welcome to Episode 28 of Cold war conversations in partnership with the Cold War Museum . Today we are talking further with USAF pilot Buz Carpenter.

We talk about about flying reconnaissance over Vietnam, the Skunkworks where secret USAF projects were developed, his time commanding Ramstein airbase at the end of the Cold War and more.

Thanks to all those who are supporting the podcast with monthly pledges and donation. It is much appreciated and will allow us to expand the scope of the podcast.

If you donate more than $5 a month you get extras from the cutting room floor and this week’s episodes extra is a great anecdote from Buz where he describes an encounter with Jimmy Doolittle who was awarded the Medal of Honor for personal valor and leadership as commander of the Doolittle Raid, a bold long-range retaliatory air raid during World War 2 on the Japanese main islands four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

If you would like to support the podcast further and get access to these exclusive extras go to our web site at coldwarconversations.com and click on the “support the Podcast” menu option.

Back to todays episode…as he continues his story of his time in Vietnam, his work in the Pentagon and when he served as Wing commander at Ramstein Air Base.
We welcome Buz Carpenter

Books

Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy: 1945-1975

Video

Skunkworks

F-4 Phantom Pilots Vietnam

Support the Podcast and get access to exclusive extra content 

Available on our Patreon page here

27 – Flying the SR-71 Spy Plane

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Welcome to Episode 27 of Cold war conversations.

Today we are talking about the SR71 Blackbird spy plane of which only 32 were ever made.

The great defensive ability of the plane was its high speed and altitude. Standard evasive action was just to accelerate, which made it almost invulnerable to the attack technologies of the time. The top speed of the plane was mach 3.3 (2,200 miles/hour that’s 36 miles/minute).

Thanks to all those who are supporting the podcast with monthly pledges and donation. It is much appreciated and will allow us to expand our scope. If you would like to support the podcast further and get access to some exclusive extras click here.

Back to todays episode…our guest knows a bit about the SR71…

Buz Carpenter accrued 777 hours flying SR-71 planes. He flew Blackbirds as an aircraft commander and later as an instructor pilot, with over 60 operational missions. He also flew in the C-141, RF-4C, and T-38 planes, flying 150 combat hours in Vietnam. He worked in the Pentagon and served as Wing commander at Ramstein Air Base in German during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

He retired as a Colonel after serving as the 2nd Air Force Vice Commander, responsible for all the USAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance flying assets. He is currently a docent for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Udvar Hazy Center.

We welcome Buz Carpenter to Cold War Conversations.

Books

Sr-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales and Legends

The Complete Book of the SR-71 Blackbird/The Illustrated Profile of Every Aircraft, Crew, and Breakthrough of the World’s Fastest Stealth Jet

Video

Tour of the SR71 with Buz Carpenter

More from Col Buz Carpenter and the SR-71 Blackbird

Best Documentary 2016 First Stealth Blackbird SR 71 | History Documentary HD 1080p

Support the Podcast and get access to exclusive extra content 

Available on our Patreon page here

23- Gary Powers & the 1960 U2 Incident

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Gary PowersWelcome to episode 23 of Cold War Conversations.

Today’s episode is the first in a new partnership we have formed with the Cold War Museum.

We speak with Gary Powers Junior. His father piloted the U2 spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union.

Powers’ U-2 was shot down on May 1, 1960, as he flew over Soviet airspace, and after parachuting out of the plane he was captured and convicted of espionage. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was freed on Feb. 10, 1962, in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. The incident and exchange was detailed on the Steven Spielberg film “Bridge of Spies”.

If you would like to support the podcast further and get access to some exclusive extras go to our web site at coldwarconversations.com and use the Patreon link our home page.

Back to today’s episode and a warm welcome to Gary Powers Jr.

The Cold War Museum Web site

The Cold War Museum on Facebook

Books

The Cold War – Jeremy Isaacs & Taylor Downing

The Cold War – John Lewis Gaddis

Operation Overflight – Francis Gary Powers

Mayday – Michael Beschloss

Bridge of Spies – Giles Whittell

Brotherhood of Spies

Letters from a Soviet Prison – Gary Powers Jr

Spy Pilot – Gary Powers Jr

Videos

20 minute BBC documentary on the U2 incident

USAF Documentary on the 1960 U2 Incident

Letters from a Soviet Prison – lecture with Gary Powers Jr

Bridge of Spies – movie trailer

3 minute summary of the 1960 U2 Incident

19 – Able Archer & the War Scare of 1983

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Album Able Archer

Welcome to episode 19 of Cold War Conversations

Today we’re talking to Francesca Akhtar who holds a  BA Hons in American Studies with 1st class honours  from Canterbury Christ Christ Church University in Kent, and a Masters degree in US history & Politics from the Institute of the Americas, University College London.

Her main research interests are US Cold War foreign policy, intelligence history and defence. Francesca has written a dissertation entitled  “The most dangerous Soviet-American confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis?” An analysis of the origins, nature and impact of the Able Archer 83 incident .

I am delighted to welcome Francesca Akhtar to Cold War Conversations.

Books

1983: The World at the Brink

The Brink: President Reagan and the war scare of 1983

Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War

Reagan by Iwan Morgan

Reagan Reversal by Beth Fisher

Video

Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War

Favourite Cold War Era Films

View to a Kill Film trailer

View to Kill – Duran Duran

Wargames – film trailer

Moonraker – film trailer

Support the Podcast and get access to exclusive extra content 

Available on our Patreon page here

18 – Greenham Common – an iconic British nuclear airbase

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Album greenhamWelcome to episode 18 of Cold War Conversations

RAF Greenham Common opened in 1942 and was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War and the United States Air Force during the Cold War.

The airfield is probably best known, certainly in the UK,  for the controversial deployment of Ground Launched Cruise Missiles in the 1980s and the resulting Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp outside its gates.

Today’s guest is is a graduate in international relations, the author of “In Defence of Freedom; a History of RAF Greenham Common” and is also a Director of Greenham Control Tower Ltd.

I am delighted to welcome Jonathan Sayers.

Websites

Jonathan’s site covering the history of Greenham Common

Jonathan’s book detailing the history of the base.

The Greenham Cold War Experience

Greenham Common Control Tower preservation group

Website of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp

Videos

Video about the GLCM deployment

501st Tactical Missile Wing Parade of vehicles

Greenham Common; The Other Side of the Fence (documentary 1994) Part 1:

Greenham Common; The Other Side of the Fence (documentary 1994) Part 2:

Video about the peace protests at the base.

Books

Jonathan’s book detailing the history of the base.

Favourite Cold War Film

By Dawn’s Early light 

Cold War Music

99 Red Balloons

Depeche Mode – And then

Who would you like to meet from the Cold War?

President Bush Senior, General Eisenhower, Uk Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger

Social Media Profiles 

Jonathan’s Twitter account

Support the Podcast and get exclusive extra content

Available on our Patreon page here

Episode 2 – Berlin during the Cold War and Signals Intelligence

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Welcome to Episode 2 of Cold War Conversations where we start with a fascinating eyewitness account of Berlin during the Cold War.

Michael K Ferris  lived in Berlin as a child of US Airforce personnel in the 1960s and 70s and then subsequently joined the US Airforce himself and worked in Signals Intelligence during the 1980s.

In a wide ranging chat, we talked about life for American families and their kids in Berlin during the Cold War and also about the challenges of signals intelligence in the heart of East Germany at tail end of the Cold War. We also talked about the Stasi spy in Michael’s unit, Kennedy’s visit to Berlin, Baader Meinhof attacks on US Forces, Soxmis and much more.

Our guest’s unit was described by the Commander in Chief US Airforce Europe as “his eyes and ears to the East.”

We welcome Michael K Ferris

Links to videos we talked about:

Counterpoint TV Series set at Templehof Airfield

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__PftXbeNWI

Documentary on Stasi Spy Jeffrey Carney

https://www.facebook.com/kevin.s.sweeney/videos/10208878757341371/

Video of the remains of Marienfelde Monitoring Post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=818IBwSsM5Y

The Same Sky – TV Series

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtGSu-DJtPU

Berlin Enclaves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bqtY2PtEyU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8zZ6kx2EbE

The Legend of Rita (fictional drama film of Baader Meinhof terrorist crossing to the GDR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkNk6Uzuedo

Reagan at Checkpoint Charlie 1982

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr-4QaBabDw

Berlin Historical Maps

http://histomapberlin.de/histomap/en/index.html

Game Set and Match

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3cDtZ4zSsw

Music

Talking Heads

https://youtu.be/JccW-mLdNe0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVHNwBbkSj4

Books

Amazon UK  – Looking Down the Corridors: Allied Aerial Espionage over East Germany and Berlin, 1945-1990

Amazon US

https://amzn.to/2IjtF1N

(small affiliate fee from these book links helps pay for Podcast hosting charges)

Facebook discussion group-

Facebook Group

Twitter

https://twitter.com/ColdWarPod