All of the pilots selected to fly the A-12 were US Air Force Fighter Pilots. The first pilots to join OXCART came in 1962. All were qualified in Supersonic Fighter Aircraft (a requirement). To fulfill their contract with the CIA, they had to resign their Air Force Commission and become a civilian employee of the CIA.
Mele Vojvodich Jr.: A mostly Tactical Air Command pilot with combat experience in Korea during the 50's. Mostly flying RF-86's North of the Border into Manchuria.
Ken Collins: Wide experience in Photo Recon Fighters, RF-80, RF-84, RF-101. Solid Recce background. TAC Recce guy
Walt Ray: Same sort of background as Collins, same squadrons. TAC Recce guy too
Bill Skliar: Test Pilot School Grad, flew mostly Supersonic day fighters. Came from the Test Squadron at Eglin AFB, FL
Jack Weeks: TAC background, mostly F-100. Came from Nellis to the program.
Dennis Sullivan: Primary ADC background, lot of F-106 experience, solid Mach 2 experience.
Jack Layton: Wide experience in supersonic airplanes, F-101 Voodoo, mostly with ADC before joining the program. Tactical Nuclear equipped fighters.
Dave Young: Did the training, came from the Test Pilot School at Edwards. Left the program early.
Russ Scott: Another Edwards Test Pilot guy. Did the training, and left the program!!
Lon Walter: Fighter background, not fond of the airplane. Left the program early.
Frank Murray: Murray was already on the support staff of the 1129th SAS flying chase in the F-101 when selected to fly the A-12 to replace pilots lost through various attrition.
By the time the OXCART was declared operational, the pilot force was down to six guys. They were, Vojvodich, Collins, Layton, Sullivan, Weeks and Murray. These six were enough to man the one Detachment we had on Okinawa. It kept the guys busy moving to the Det for six weeks, then home for a while, and back.