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Photo Galleries

Mig-17 Fresco, MiG-17 Fresco A:

 

DEFECTION FROM CUBA

On October 5, 1969, Lieutenant Eduardo Jimenez of the Cuban Air Force defected to the United States in a MiG-17 Fresco A.  He landed at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, and parked his aircraft right next to Air Force One.  President Nixon was at his home on Key Biscayne at the time, and the fact that a Cuban Air Force Fighter could fly through the air defenses of the Air Base and land next to the president’s aircraft caused considerable alarm and consternation.  Permanent new procedures and safe passage corridors were put into effect, and detachments from the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Langley Air Force Base were rotated on assignment to Homestead to increase the defenses.  Flying F-106 Delta Dart all-weather interceptors, they replaced the 319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron with their F-104A Starfighters, which had provided air defense for Homestead AFB at the time of the defection.  Further, the Army’s 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, consisting of two Hawk and one Nike Hercules battalions, enhanced procedures to improve the defense of South Florida.  Following this incident, whenever President Nixon was at Key Biscayne, the alert status was increased in what was known as Operation Family Man.  Family Man would remain in effect until Nixon left office.

When the MiG-17 arrived at Homestead, it was immediately moved into a hangar and photographed and studied in great detail by military and civilian intelligence personnel. Detail & Scale was fortunate to obtain copies of photographs taken during the few days the aircraft was in Homestead.  They were taken by Joe Nevers and provided through Bob Hanes.  These photographs were originally published by Detail & Scale in The MiG-17 Fresco in Detail & Scale by Bill Slatton in 1979.  Since that book is very rare, they are included again here in this photo set.

One of the interesting points about these photographs is that upon seeing them, some other writers stated that the Cuban insignia on the fuselage did not have the usual red surround around the blue triangle and white star.  While it may appear that this is the case when looking at the photographs, it is not true.  The red surround was present, but because it had almost the exact same reproductive value in black and white as the metallic color of the fuselage, it is almost invisible.  Depending on the angle at which the rudder is viewed, the red stripes on it are also difficult to see in some photographs.

Detail & Scale thanks Joe Nevers and Bob Hanes for providing these rare photographs to us.

Click on the thumbnails at the left (below) to view a larger image.


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Details of the instrument panel are shown in this high view taken from above the open canopy.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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The control column, the lower part of the instrument panel, and the throttle are all visible in this view taken from the right side of the cockpit.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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The top of the ejection seat is revealed in this photograph as is some of the plumbing and wiring on the aft left side of the cockpit.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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U. S. Air Force personnel check out details of the aircraft shortly after its arrival.  The MiG-17’s cannons were loaded with ammunition, but no missiles were carried on the launch rails.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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Extensive photography of the Fresco A began almost immediately.  The examination of the aircraft did not reveal anything not known previously about the MiG-17 at that time.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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A left front view shows the two 23-mm cannons with their access cover open for examination.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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Cuban national markings included the insignia on both sides of the aft fuselage and under each wing.  The Cuban flag was painted on the rudder.  The red surround on the national insignia and the red stripes on the rudder are almost impossible to see in this view, however they were present.  It should be noted that the Cuban national insignia was not painted on top of either wing.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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In this left rear view, the red stripes on the rudder are clearly visible, but again the red surround on the national insignia does not really show up.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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Being a Fresco A, this aircraft had the earlier style speed brakes and no afterburner nozzle extending aft of the fuselage.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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The trim tab at the base of the rudder is visible here as is the fairing containing the Syrena 2 tail warning antenna just above the lower section of the rudder.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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Although not of particularly high quality, several in-flight photos were taken of the MiG-17 as it was escorted back to Cuba.  The aircraft was equipped with external fuel tanks under each wing, and outboard of those tanks were missile launch rails.  Note that this aircraft was fitted with a radio antenna wire.  (Copyright photo from Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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Some details of the right side of the nose are shown in this in-flight view.  The black line above the 3 is a small pitot probe found on some MiG-17s.  It is also visible in the fifth photo in this set.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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A high view shows the MiG-17 being escorted back to Cuba by an F-104A Starfighter of the 319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.  For the escort mission, the F-104A was armed with its internal Vulcan cannon and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.  (Copyright photo by Joe Nevers via Bob Hanes)

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