also known as Intermountain Aviation and Intermountain Airways was a CIA
airline front company
. Intermountain performed covert operations
for the CIA in Southeast Asia
and elsewhere during the Vietnam War
Intermountain's main base of operations was Marana Army Air Field near Tucson, Arizona. In 1975 it was bought by Evergreen International Aviation, a company also believed by many to be connected with the CIA. Other CIA "proprietary" airlines such as Air America and Air Asia also operated out of Marana during the Vietnam War years.
Intermountain's best known operation was "Operation Coldfeet" in which intelligence operatives were dropped in the Arctic to reconnoiter an abandoned Soviet drift station and then recovered by using a Fulton Skyhook recovery system mounted on an Intermountain B-17 Flying Fortress. The modified B-17G, N809Z, can be seen at the end of the film Thunderball, and had previously operated out of Clark Air Base, the Philippines, in an all-black scheme for the CIA for agent insertions and other unspecified covert operations in Southeast Asia.
Intermountain is also believed to have been involved in the delivery of a number of A-26 Invader bombers to be flown by Cuban exile pilots supporting the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
During its years in operation Intermountain used several types of aircraft, including the Curtiss C-46 Commando, the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter and the B-17 Flying Fortress.
- James Bamford, "Body of Secrets : Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency", Anchor Books(2002), ISBN 0-385-49908-6
- Brendan January, "The CIA", Franklin Watts (2003), ISBN 0-531-16600-7
- Scott A. Thompson, "Final Cut - The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress: The Survivors", Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana, Revised Edition, August 2000, ISBN 1-57510-077-0