Frequently Asked Question #2

What is the book about?

The Price of Vigilance covers the history of the Air Force airborne COMINT recon platform (ACRP) program from the first ACRP flight on an RB-29 in 1952 through C-130 ACRP operations in 1958.

A 60-page introduction describes events surrounding the midair collision in April 2001 between the EP-3 and a Chinese fighter, plus similar Cold-War Sino-American air incidents.

On the C-130 event, the book--written before the EP-3E incident--chronicles details about: an inadvertent overflight of enemy airspace; how the Soviets shot down the plane and killed 17 crewmen, yet denied complicity; how the crew's families were kept in the dark for four decades; then honored with memorial services for the crew.

The book also traces airborne communications intelligence reconnaissance from WW II (nisei Japanese linguists on RB-24 missions in the Pacific in 1945) to Cold War airborne COMINT reconnaissance-initially aboard an RB-29 and RC-47s over Korea in 1952, and later in RB-50s and C-130s in Europe. Additionally, the book documents ten Cold War U.S.-Soviet air incidents in which 98 American died.

The authors-themselves former airborne intercept operators-describe in detail how American recon crews monitored enemy communications during the Cold War.

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