The electronic reconnaissance RB-47H was developed from the B-47E. The first RB-47H was produced in 1955. Boeing produced 32 newly built RB-47Hs and converted three B-47Es into ERB-47Hs.
The RB-47H first entered service in August 1955. Over the next decade, RB-47H crews of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (SRW) flew thousands of dangerous “ferret” missions. Flying in radio silence at night along--and sometimes over--the border of the Soviet Union and other communist nations, RB-47Hs collected essential intelligence about the size and capability of Soviet air defense radar networks. The need for this information and the relatively small number of RB-47Hs forced crews to spend much of their time deployed to places around the world, away from their homes at Forbes AFB, Kansas. The RB-47H continued in service until the more capable RC-135 replaced it in the mid-1960s. (NMUSAF)
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