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1st Lt. Bryce Poe II

DAYTON, Ohio -- 1st Lt. Bryce Poe II exhibit in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- 1st Lt. Bryce Poe II exhibit in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Flight jacket worn by the donor, 1st Lt. Bryce Poe II, when he flew the first U.S. Air Force jet reconnaissance mission of the Korean War. The insignia on the jacket represents the 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. The jacket is on display in the Korean War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Flight jacket worn by the donor, 1st Lt. Bryce Poe II, when he flew the first U.S. Air Force jet reconnaissance mission of the Korean War. The insignia on the jacket represents the 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. The jacket is on display in the Korean War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Before the outbreak of hostilities in Korea in June 1950, 1st Lt. Bryce Poe II flew the first Cold War reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union. In May 1949 he overflew the Kurile Islands in a specially-equipped RF-80A, and in March 1950 he flew over Vladivostock. Poe briefed the results of his flight directly to Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the USAF theater commander, Lt. Gen. George Stratemeyer.

On June 28, 1950, Poe flew the first jet reconnaissance mission of the Korean War. In addition to his 90 combat flights over North Korea, he flew a total of 19 top secret reconnaissance missions near or over communist China and the Soviet Union. In January 1951 Poe returned to the United States for assignment to a Strategic Air Command fighter escort squadron at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.

After 35 years of service, General Poe retired from his last post as commander of the Air Force Logistics Command in 1981.

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