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That time an SR-71 Blackbird crew used the Morse code to say “F**k” off to North Korean regime (They were preparing to shoot SAMs in neutral airspace)

By Linda Sheffield Miller
Nov 27 2022
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The very next day they attempted to shoot down the SR-71 Blackbird flown Murray Rosenberg and Ed McKim with an SA-2.

SR-71 T-Shirts
CLICK HERE to buy unique SR-71 Blackbird merchandise for your HABU collection.

The SR-71, unofficially known as the “Blackbird,” was a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft. The first flight of an SR-71 took place on Dec. 22, 1964, and the first SR-71 to enter service was delivered to the 4200th (later 9th) Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., in January 1966.

Its incredible speed enabled it to gather intelligence in a matter of a few seconds while streaking across unfriendly skies. From 80,000 feet, it could survey 100,000 square miles of Earth’s surface per hour.

During its career, the SR-71 gathered intelligence in some of the world’s most hostile environments.

No Blackbird has ever been lost or damaged due to hostile action: in fact, even though over 4,000 missiles have been fired at the SR-71 during its service life, none of them hit.

As told by Paul Crickmore in his book SR-71 Blackbird Combat Legend, in 1981 U-2 and SR-71 sorties began collecting ELINT and other data on a suspected SA-2 surface-to-air missile (SAM) site which was under construction on the island of Choc Tarrie in an estuary near the western end of Korea’s DMZ.

The North Koreans we’re preparing to shoot missiles in the airspace of an area that had been declared by both sides NEUTRAL.

SR-71 print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. SR-71A Blackbird 61-7972 “Skunkworks”

Nevin Cunningham and Gino Quist, US Air Force (USAF) SR-71 crew, wanted to give their own personal response.

Flying the SR-71 #967 on a two Loop sortie of the DMZ on Aug. 25, 1981 Nevin flicked on fuel dump switch during a final pass and in quick Morse code spelled out the four-letter expletive:

“F**k” off to the North Korean regime.

North Korean ground trackers who were ATTEMPTING to follow the SR-71 visually were watching. This message they were sending sure did provide lots of laughs back at the Habu’s bar at Kadena Air Base.

The very next day they attempted to shoot down the SR-71 Blackbird flown Murray Rosenberg and Ed McKim with an SA-2.

Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Be sure to check out Linda Sheffield Miller (Col Richard (Butch) Sheffield’s daughter, Col. Sheffield was an SR-71 Reconnaissance Systems Officer) Facebook Pages Habubrats and Born into the Wilde Blue Yonder for awesome Blackbird’s photos and stories.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin and U.S. Air Force

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird model
This model is available in multiple sizes from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

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Linda Sheffield Miller

Linda Sheffield Miller

Grew up at Beale Air Force Base, California. I am a Habubrat. Graduated from North Dakota State University. Former Public School Substitute Teacher, (all subjects all grades). Member of the DAR (Daughters of the Revolutionary War). I am interested in History, especially the history of SR-71. Married, Mother of three wonderful daughters and four extremely handsome grandsons. I live near Washington, DC.

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