Story from the Indian press with several mentions of Takhli as U-2 base and some history I'd never known of Indian cooperation in the U-2 program.
Here's a section of the article:
The use of Charbatia, an abandoned World War II base in Orissa, was agreed during a meeting between the then US President John F Kennedy and Indian President S Radhakrishnan on June 3, 1963, but Indian work to improve it took longer than expected. Therefore, the missions resumed from Thailand's Takhli, NSA said, based on the 400-page CIA report released by it.
According to the report, which details the spying programmes conducted with the planes from 1954 to 1974, the U-2 mission on 10 November 1963 was the longest yet flown by a U-2 at 11 hours 45 minutes, and the pilot was so exhausted that project managers limited future flights to 10 hours endurance.
In fact, the longest U-2 mission to date was the one flown from Takhli on September 29, 1963, it said.
The article mentions a newly declassified CIA history of the U-2 program. I'll try to find that online when I return from a trip next week or you can all do some sleuthing and see if you come up with it - the article cites the National Security Archive so that's a good place to start.
Fascinating part of Takhli history and I've never known of anyone associated with the U-2 program at Takhli to make mention of it here or elsewhere on Takhli websites. Maybe with this declassification some will feel free to do so. We saw the U-2s land and takeoff sometimes but they were in a world of their own once on the ground. Their own spooky CIA world.
Takhli Base Weather 69-70
Kansas City MO
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