Operating Location UK (OL-UK) U2 operations moved from RAF Alconbury to RAF Fairford on the 15th March 1995

June 16 1995 – 80-1066 Of the 9th Wing, Beale AFB, California, seen returning from a mission

A U-2R 68-10338 piloted by Capt. David Hawkens experienced problems on take-off from RAF Fairford on 29 August 1995. Capt. Hawkins tried to return the U-2 to RAF Fairford, while making an emergency landing the left wingtip hit the ground, the plane then crashed and exploded into a fireball. Capt. Hawkens ejected from the aircraft at this point sustaining fatal injuries, he was taken to a local hospital, where he died later from his injuries. Capt. Hawkens appeared to stay with the aircraft so it would not impact any nearby homes and buildings
68-10338, Article 060, tenth of the initial twelve R-model order, first flown 2 October 1968, N818X allocated, delivered to the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 17 October 1968, to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 1976. First U-2 to reach 20,000 hours, in August 1994.

9th Reconnaissance Wing OL-UK Patch

January 4th 1996 U-2’s left OL-UK RAF Fairford for OL-FR Le Tube Air Base at Istres, Southern France. The move cut two hours off their round trip time and double the amount of time they spent gathering both electronic and photo intelligence data over Bosnia

Due to repair work on the main runway at Istres operations were temporarily transferred to Aviano Italy

In 1999 U-2’s moved from Istres to OL-IT Sigonella