The B-57 is one of only two major combat aircraft of foreign design adopted for use by the United States military since the end of World War II. The first British built Canberra arrived in the United States in 1951 and U.S. built aircraft began flying two years later. The B-57E version of the plane was the first aircraft in the U.S. inventory specifically built for towing aerial targets. All combat equipment was replaced with the cables and reels needed to tow the large targets used in aerial gunnery practice. The B-57E could be converted to a bomber and a number of them were converted to replace combat loses in Vietnam. Two aircraft were also converted to act as airborne relays for real-time video reconnaissance over Vietnam. While the system, code named, “Compass Site” was successful it was never deployed to Vietnam.
363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Shaw AFB, South Carolina, 1970
Pima Air & Space Museum
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