Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation / EC-121
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Allen W Riggert, e-mail, 16.07.2020 15:22

With VW-3 and ACWBARRONPAC 1959-1962 as ACW-2nd Class.


RICHARD H. GRANT, e-mail, 21.05.2020 23:52

Richard "Dick" Grant

Dear Paul Gochnour: Your timing might be a little off. Stan Gillette and crew went down in the Atlantic between the Azores and Nfld. sometime before my departure from Argentia in June of 1959. Nothing was ever found of the wreckage, nor was any information made public, if available. I was in CIC, VW-15 from '56 to '59. Stan had an apartment in D.C. we used occasionally.
Perhaps you were involved.

D. Grant


Bill Heaphy, e-mail, 06.02.2018 06:33

What a grand old girl the Connie was. Flew on her as FE with Flying Tigers out of EWR in early 60's. Nothing lit up the night like a PRT oil seal failure at take off. Oil quantity dropping rapidly and a trail of flames from that oil hitting that red hot turbine. Made the tower operators talk fast and funny too. Hot days and most likely over MTOGW departures sometimes made the cockpit crew talk fast and funny also. It was a great learning experience with some first rate people. Served me well in the future.


Graham Brown, e-mail, 11.10.2017 01:14

I was a radar tech. At the 552 EM in Mcclellen from May, 56 to July 59. Logged over 2000 hours in this wonderful aircraft. Lost my 2k pin but I still have my 1000 hr. Pin. Great group of guys. I managed to travel to Mccllen about 10 years ago to a radar tech reunion . Saw many old friends.


Chuck Lavoie, e-mail, 16.08.2017 20:24

I was an FE on C-97, C-124 and EC121G&R. In 26 years of flying I must say the the Connie was the best aircraft of it's time.


Lemuel "Jack" E. Gatewood SSgt, e-mail, 29.06.2017 15:40

Proudly flew with the great VQ-1 crews out of Danang in 67 as the Korling. In 69 vol to fly the N. Korea mission after the Apr 69 shot down


nick traino, e-mail, 27.08.2016 01:48

I was responsible for maintaining all the electronic equipment from 1959-1962 as a atr-2


Jim, e-mail, 21.06.2016 06:18

I flew on the EC-121R(Crew 5) AKA The Lockheed Flying Speedbrake at Korat RTAFB with the 553 Recon. sq as a CIM(Combat Information Monitor)69-70. It beat packing parachutes in Kansas.


former Eastern S/O Jim Miller, e-mail, 12.06.2016 02:58

I went with Eastern Air Lines in 1967 and was fortunate enough to get sent to the Connies which were the stand-by aircraft on the Shuttle. I flew primarily L-1 which usually meant I got to work instead of set around a bridge game! I flew one charter out to Michigan and am probably one of the few engineers that never shifted blowers on the aircraft. We had basics, C's, and G's I only had one dreaded - DOUBLE SHORTED SECONDARY! The aircraft were pretty much gone by the end of 1967.


S,M. (Jack) Schrager, e-mail, 01.06.2016 18:56

Flew on these magnificent machines in the original VW13 '55 till decommissioning. Sent to VW-4 in '58 as an ACW. Believe or not, became a flight engineer in '60 while they were in PR. Xfr'd to PMR on the Connie Crew and ultimately sent to PMRF Hawaii to crew 141311. From there wound up crewing P3's. Retired 1984 after 30 years. Loved the connie best bird ever. Love to hear from other "3-tailed" enthusiasts.


William Morrow, Jr, e-mail, 15.04.2016 07:04

My dad (Bill Morrow) from North Carolina served with VW-11 in Argentia from 1956-1960. We would love to hear from anyone who served with him or knew him. Dad passed away this week.


William Morrow, Jr, e-mail, 15.04.2016 07:02

My dad (Bill Morrow) from North Carolina just passed away this week. He was stationed in Argentia, Newfoundland with VW-11 as an AT-2. He spoke highly of the great fishing up there. Thanks to the Lockheed team for designing a great aircraft to bring my dad and his mates home safely!


Earles L. McCaul, e-mail, 02.04.2016 02:27

Daniel Gray the e-mail link doesn't work for me, so here's my e-mail (elmccaul -at- q.com) for you to contact me.


Daniel Gray, e-mail, 24.03.2016 03:05

I am looking for any of the following who might have served in VW-13 with my father, Navigator Gary A. Gray during mid-sixties at Argentia. Please e-mail me. Ron Perrilloux, Don Gilliamsen, Doug Johnson ATW 2, George F. Handel, Earl Conro, Charles B. Williams, Fred Handy, Earles L. McCaul, Mel Hofer LCDR USNR (ret), John A. Peterson,


George Young, e-mail, 25.12.2015 03:39

Walter Polk - I, too, flew as an electronic engineer on the NC-121s at Wright-Patterson. Specifically, the 2 aircraft with microwave antenna above and below the fuselage, with testing done out of San Juan International in Nov and Dec 1965. Do you have any photos?


Jack "Toby" Tyler AT2, e-mail, 10.12.2015 22:40

USN '58-'62 Got orders to VW-2, Pax River out of ATN School. Went to code school and flew as Radioman, transferred to AEWTULANT also at Pax. Total of 1.200 hrs. flight time. Did barrier flights out of Argentia, NFL, Kef, Iceland and several Mercury shots as contingency search/recovery. The Connie was a very comfortable ride and got us safely home every time. KB5TXS


Bob White, e-mail, 20.04.2015 17:52

Jerry Eisenhaur was a little before my time. I also served with NADU, at So.Weymouth.Ma. We had four of the Willie Victors including the only WV2E to survive its way to the scrappers yard. I'm told the other two crashed. I was an AE2.


Ed Holleran, e-mail, 11.04.2015 05:56

Any Info on 551st OMS Otis A.F.B. 62-66 etc.???


Jerry Eisenhaur, e-mail, 25.03.2015 20:00

I served with NADU in 1953 - 1955 where we accepted two WV-2 Super Connies. These and other Naval aircraft were used in conjunction with MIT Lincoln Labs in the development of radio, radar, sonar systems.
We lost one when it crash landed in Willow Grove, PA. Fortunately no one was injured, although the aircraft was totaled.


Webb Armstrong AE3, e-mail, 10.03.2015 00:08

I served in VW-11 from late 1960 -1962,mostly as Ground pounder on many Keflivik Iceland deployments some flights as flight electrician,great plane to fly in and work on.


Walter H. Polk, e-mail, 24.01.2015 03:06

The JC and NC 121s assigned to Cargo Flight Test at Wright -Patterson in the 60s were a dream to fly especially for a flight engineer. Loved the air conditioned comfort !!!!!!!


Tom D, e-mail, 27.11.2014 23:55

Anyone know anything about the "Arctic Fox" Navy 121 Constellation that sometimes stopped off at Eielson AFB, Alaska?


glueck, e-mail, 05.11.2014 02:44

I have a friend that flew in VW 11 in 60-61 and I'm in the color scheme of the pickets during that time for modeling.


Jerry C. Waldroup, e-mail, 13.04.2014 17:01

I was Crew Chief/Plane Captain of Operation Birds Eye out of Arg Newfoundland A/C BuNo 141325 the artic Fox I love that plane.


Bernard SCHNIEDERS, e-mail, 23.02.2014 23:15

Assigned to 964 sq in 62 and retired @ mcc in 73. Was on 1st 121 to land in Saigon in Apr 65 for College Eye. Also was in Fiji for atomic testing in 62, I was a Nav and also worked as Weapons controller. Sometimes both on the same flight. Also landed in Venzuela during an excerise conducted in Panama.We refueled in Midway after Mercury 7 splash down in the Pacific.Many more war could be told.


gina, e-mail, 31.01.2014 13:46

What is the dimension of ec-121h?
Thank you


JEFFREY W CROWELL, e-mail, 23.01.2014 17:51

MSGT-USAF - Ret. Flew FE on EC-121 D & T models, R models and C-121G models at McClellan from 1970 - 75, when the 552nd closed down. Many missions to Korat, Kwangju, and Keflavik, and Florida when "Tricky Dick" Nixon was President. Loved the Connie and the sound of those 3350's still is in my mind. Aircraft 425 is on display at Peterson Field, CO and they have done a magnificent job of restoring and preserving the old girl.


Jim Walker, e-mail, 13.12.2013 00:57

I was a flight engineer at Sacramento on WV 121. 1955/57
Im hoping to find a model kit of this ship. Would like an ex crew guy for pen pal. (562) 429-8962


Dean Marchione, e-mail, 09.12.2013 23:06

I was stationed with VW-4 (Hurricane Hunters),1955-1958. With AEWBARRONPAC, early sixties, then with VW-1 (Typhoon Trackers), 1963-1965. Reported to VW-1 on Guam in early '63 as a Flight Engineer, but was immediately fired by CDR Jim Braddon, so I went to Power Plants and worked for ADRC Albright. Was crew leader on number 2 engine working in the nose docks, later was assigned as the "Fly-away" engine change crew, traveling the Pacific to change our WV aircraft engines...Wake, Midway, Clark AFB, Sangley Point, Atsugi, Kadina. All those fun places to be changing engines, Was on aircraft "00" when we were headed for Tachakowa, when we diferted to NAS Atsugi and made a tail dragging landing with 94 Navy dependents on board. AEW and Willy Victors run in my veins. Would love to hear from AEW or Connie folks from any ERA. Retired as an ASCS in 1985 after 30 years of service.


Ron Perrilloux, e-mail, 15.11.2013 04:18

I was a radar tech in VW-13 in 1964 and 1965. I flew with crew 2 and crew 6 . Have many great memories of the squadron and flight crew members. I have been in touch with 1 other member, Doug Johnson, who has a number of comments on this forum. I would like to hear from anyone who was there during these times. I am retired, and live in the Baton Rouge, la. Area.


Floyd (Bob) Orsini, e-mail, 11.11.2013 16:59

Was assigned to the best squadron in the Navy, VW-1,Typhoon Trackers, based on Guam. Flew with crew 7, The Road Runner and was the flight mechanic for a year. It was the best duty, lots of flying and lots of work but we all worked together on our plane. The plane commander, LCDR Arnold always made sure his enlisted crew got the same treatment as the officers. He made sure the officers did their part cleaning the plane as the enlisted. Also I never had a major engine problem thanks to our flight engineers. After all these years I still can hear the sounds of a 3359.


Dale R. Cook, e-mail, 26.10.2013 22:22

To John Conwell, Your Dad was chief in VW13 and I deployed many times to The ROCK Seems like he was from Muncie Ind??I had over 2300 hrs as CIC and a Scope Dope. Whata great time to grow as a flight crew member on A WILLY VICTOR, as 19 year old sailor.


Dale R. Cook, e-mail, 26.10.2013 22:22

To John Conwell, Your Dad was chief in VW13 and I deployed many times to The ROCK Seems like he was from Muncie Ind??I had over 2300 hrs as CIC and a Scope Dope. Whata great time to grow as a flight crew member on A WILLY VICTOR, as 19 year old sailor.


Bo Watwood, e-mail, 25.06.2013 15:27

I was crewed (CIC) with VW13, Argentia, etc. I would appreciate contact with other VW13 members from 1956 thru 1958. This was a superb aircraft. CMD Otis Finlay was tops.


dai hodges, e-mail, 04.06.2013 03:46

The "Connie" in the photo is still flying regularly, as are many other aircraft, and are based at HARS (the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society) just south of Sydney NSW Australia.
.


Ronald W Lawrence, e-mail, 26.05.2013 06:34

I was lucky to be attached to the NRL support crew out of PAX River NATC 1959-1961. Some of the most memorable times flying first few flights through hurricanes, intentionally, for research purposes, of the Florida coast. Traded positions with crews from Operation Magnet. Looking for a crew member nick named, Tweety, one of 23 whom survived the crash while on approach to the strip in to Keflavick, Iceland ...Any one know the wear a bouts of he or Bob Guthman, also out of Pax River, love to hear of either.

Thanks


John Conwell, e-mail, 22.05.2013 02:37

Great site... My Dad was with Connies out of Pax River (VW-13) around 58 - 61, I believe and then at Glynco until about 64/65 time frame... His rating was AMC and he left there as an Chief, I believe.


Robert J. (Bob) Smith, e-mail, 04.03.2013 03:33

I was at otis from '56 to '61 in the 960th----left there with 6004 hrs time. I was a radar crew chief, mostly on crew A-5. Later at Mcellian afb, went to Udorn ,Thailand on College Eye.Let me hear from some of you ole connie troopers!!


douglas Johnson, e-mail, 03.02.2013 15:42

I have put up a FB account VW 13 Barrier Operations - about 25 pictures so far. We stationed at Argentia, Newfoundland at the time - deploying to Kef, Iceland every 14 - 16 days. Some maybe interested. I have picked up two folks so far. douglas


Jim Clark, e-mail, 02.12.2012 20:39

I flew 1049H as a navigator for Flying Tiger Line in 1962 mostly North-Pac, Mid-Pac and some Europe runs. Strong bird but we lost three in the drink that year alone. One of the AC lost in the Atlantic had some survivors. Met the stew who survived last year at the Flying Tiger reunion. Had some serious oil leaks but never had to shut one down.


Lauren Eastwood, e-mail, 01.12.2012 16:31

Was assigned to the 551st FMS at Otis AFB, Falmouth, Mass. right out of tech school (Chanute AFB) in early 1969. Went TDY with the "connie" to Kelfeick, Iceland (the land of many tree's (2) LOL) And agin at Korat RTAFB Thailand in 1971.


Don Martinez, e-mail, 04.10.2012 03:01

I was an ACW3 assigned to VW3, VW1 and AEWBARRONPAC from 11/59 to 2/62 in CIC in operations from Okinawa, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Guam, Midway, Alaska and Hawaii. After active duty joined VP 661 (Reserves) and flew radar on P2V-5's and 6's from Andrews AFB. Discharged in 1962.


Don Martinez, e-mail, 04.10.2012 03:00

I was an ACW3 assigned to VW3, VW1 and AEWBARRONPAC from 11/59 to 2/62 in CIC in operations from Okinawa, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Guam, Midway, Alaska and Hawaii. After active duty joined VP 661 (Reserves) and flew radar on P2V-5's and 6's from Andrews AFB. Discharged in 1962.


doug Johnson, e-mail, 27.09.2012 06:44

I just put up a FaceBook page for VW 13 AEW Barrier Operations this month September 2012 with pictures from 1964 and 65.


Leslie Kieltyka, e-mail, 31.07.2012 01:27

Help! I have been all over the internet trying to find info on my Dad. William A Staley Agana Guam 1967-1969. He was a flight engineer. He flew the Willyvictor's Super Connie's. He passed away at an early age 55. He would be 75 or around that. The only name I can remember is Dave Snyder, I think they worked with each other. Thank You!! Any info would be great. Leslie


Warren Collmer, e-mail, 15.07.2012 16:48

My first airplane ride was on a TWA Super G from Columbus to Dayton Ohio in the summer of 1961. I have loved this airplane ever since that life changing event, which initiated my 40+ year career in aviation.


Dan McCaffery, e-mail, 11.07.2012 21:37

I was an ATW-3 then AT-2 in AWEBARRONPAC from 1961 till late 1963 on CREW F-42 (later renumbered F-20)I was in the CIC crew and when I left was flying enlisted ACICO on that crew. I have many flights in 143221, Our #21, that is in the museum in Pensacola now. I got out of the Navy in 1968 and worked as Chief Pilot for an AirTaxi outfit in Delaware. I love the old Connie, it is the prettiest airplane ever.


Steven Bernstein, e-mail, 19.06.2012 22:08

i flew out of Iceland in April 1968(USAF). it was the admirals aircraft.we flew from Iceland to Rhode island. on the return flight the #2 engine started leaking oil and within a few minutes fell off. we were between Greenland and Iceland. turn around to Thule AFB for an emergency landing. i need some help to verify that this happened,or that this was a common problem with the aircraft.
thanks for any help Ssgt Steven Bernstein


CTT2 Ed Smith, e-mail, 09.06.2012 16:42

I spent 2 1/2 great years assigned to VQ2 in Rota, Spain and spent a couple thousand hours in the WV/EC-121 Connie and another 500+ hours in the EA3B Skywarrior. Many of these hours along great people like Capt. Don East, Lt. Kelly, LCDR Hettinger and Oberholtzer etc. While flying in the WV I would usually put my order in for Pork Chops....they were the best. I served as an EWOP and Post Mission Analyst. They were great years!!! I was discharged in Spain, was married there and well.....I don't think I ever left. I maintain a retirement home there and have been back every year for the past 40+ years. I wish you all well. Ed Smith AKA Smitty
PS Now happily retired in Las Vegas playing Poker.


Mitch Upton, e-mail, 05.06.2012 05:10

I was a Radar Tech with 15 months flying status from 1967-1971.552 AEWC Wing McClemman AFB,Ca, one tour in SEA. Spent 4 more years with 79th AEW SQ in Homestead flying Presidential support missions. Flew on EC-121-D, E, & T. Flew on %%% that is in the Air Force Museum, Wright Pat. A lot of Air Force EC-121D on display at McClellan and Warner Robins are actually Navy 121's repainted with AF colors.


Jim Kordosky, e-mail, 05.06.2012 02:11

First VW12, then AEWBARR... Started flying early 1959, quit when discharged in late 1963. Received 4,000 hour pin in '62. Estimate I flew Willie Victors for over 6,500 hours. Loved almost every minute. Spent a lot of time at the Marigold in Waipahu while not flying.


Bob Carey, e-mail, 01.06.2012 04:33

I was assigned to Otis in Jan of 1955. The 960 AEW&C Squad was the original Radar outfit, then came the 961st (mine) and the 962nd. The RC121C were the first to arrive followed by the 121D model about a year later. As a 19yr old kid, I had the time of my life. Cape Cod was the place to be. Patti Page singing "Old Cape Cod" is still one of my favorite recordings. Loved the place.


Dpug Johnson ATW 2, e-mail, 10.05.2012 09:43

Arrived from Pax River into Argentia in January 1964 and stayed to the end of VW 13 July 1965. Flew Crew 2 Haliday while to deployment to Keflavik and worked in flight records when back at Arg. Ltjg Riker was CIC officer most of that time. Stayed in touch with only one sailor from that time James Holper. Jim lives in MN and Me in TN


Don Martinez, e-mail, 10.05.2012 06:34

I was an ACW and flew WV2/EC121 with VW3,crew 7; VW1, crew 5 from 11/59-2/61 from Guam, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Okinawa and Iwakuni, Atsugi and Yokota in Japan. Plus AEWBARRONPAC from 2/61-1/62, crew F36. After active duty was in Naval Air Reserves at Andrews AFB with VP 661 flying P2V5's where I was a radar operator. Discharged in 1964


Armand (Pug) Pugliese, e-mail, 24.04.2012 04:59

I did my basic training at Great Lakes IL , AT (A) School Memphis, Tennessee & CIC School at Glynco Naval Air station,Ga.
I was stationed at AEWTULANT Pax River, MD from 1962 to 1963, I'm trying to locate some of my old crew mates. I loved flying on the Willy Victor.


Gary Harrington, e-mail, 06.04.2012 04:53

I was first radioman, crew F-42, VW-14 later it became Airborne Early Warning Squadron Pacific (AEWBARRONPAC) 1958-61, stationed at Barbers Point, HI. We flew WV-2 "Willy Victors" out of Midway Island north to Adak, AK, 14 hr round trip as an extension of the DEW Line. Great airplane and great group of people to fly with. An EC-121 flew in to Yanks Air Museum, Chino Airport in Jan 2012. Interior configuration exact same as our WV-2s.


Ed Janes, e-mail, 19.03.2012 04:50

I was the 10th enlisted man assigned to VW-11 in Pax River, 1955. Did 2 tours in Argentia, 56 & 57. Was an ADR-3. We saw the first Willie Victors come in right from the factory. Great airplane and great crews. There are 9 of us from VW-11 living in Minnesota that still get together.


Bob White, e-mail, 02.03.2012 19:45

I was an Electrician's Mate 2nd class at NADU So.Wey.Ma. in 58& 59. I remember meeting Jim Lines of Lockheed at that time.Also I set up a mock-up of the PB10 autopilot,and later did one for the guys at Otis AFB on the cape. Previous post of Ron Susi brings to mind a friend of mine who was a connie pilot who went out of Otis and was never heard from again. His name was Bob Baird You must have known him.


Ron Susi, e-mail, 18.01.2012 02:30

Was an AC on the Connie at Otis AFB from 1967 till they announced the closure of the base in the fall of 1969. Arrived in the summer of 67 just as they grounded the Connie for several months after a number of accidents out at sea. Found out it was the aircraft heating unit located in the wing route that was causing the fires. Enjoyed the great people and times at Otis. The Connie was a pleasure to fly and could go through all kinds of weather. Had icing of station that some times the de-icing boots couldn't break so we had to drop down the lower altitudes to melt it off. Then fly back up into the weather. Had a lot of nasty weather flying in and out of Iceland. All in all got a lot of flying time, experience, and enjoyed Otis.


Melven Mortensen ATR 3, e-mail, 14.01.2012 09:36

ANYONE KNOW WHERE WV2 PM7 IS NOW I SAW IT DMAFB TUCSON AZ IN JUNE 2000 WITH A NEW PAINT
I would likew knowit is now.


Melven Mortensen ATR 3, e-mail, 14.01.2012 09:06

I flew on both wv-1 and wv-2 when stationed on Guam set 57 to may 59. I was assigned PM 7 as a radar operator and operated the folk with engine adapter changed a few engines pulled few sumps and striners the engines and removedand installed a few MAGIES .
I woiuld like to heard any else onm PM_&


Melven Mortensen ATR 3, e-mail, 14.01.2012 08:37

I flew onboth the


Ken Heuser, e-mail, 17.12.2011 21:33

Boy I could write a book. Jan 1953 to Aug. 1959. 552 PM Sq. McClellan AFB Sacramento Caif. I worked on our 'pregnet guppys' You name it I did it, on them. Best time of my life. Checked one out just last Sat. It was one that I had did the paint job on before going on display. Also checked out one of the 3350 exaust turbo compound engines that was on display. I remember the time that all 4 engines had to be changedall the same time, because of time. I remember the 18 hour missions going now here just boring holes in the sky.


Ronald A. Miller, e-mail, 13.11.2011 21:21

First Flight in the Connie VQ-2 was with Dennis Bourn as my 1st Radioman. Made a trip with him were we bought Honda 305 Motorcycles. Traveled the Med, Europe, and Scandinvia in that Good old Gal. Buno's 131390, 131391, and 135757 EC121M's gave me 2300 Hours in 2.5 years. Then to VXN8 Det WestPac for 250 hours in RN7V Blue Eagle Aircraft at DaNang and Siagon, Radio and TV Transmitters.
Ronald A. Miller CWO4/ATNAN-ATCS


Jack (Toby) Tyler, e-mail, 09.11.2011 23:47

Served 1958-1962, USN. Completed AT school Millington, TN to Pax River, MD,to VW-2 (decomissioned), to AEWTULANT. ATN 2, Radioman/Radio Repair. Flew lots of hours on 145941 (last Connie built.) Did DEW Line patrols, deployed to Sigonilla, Sicialy, NASA contingency search and recovery for Project Mercury flights and other related missions. Favorite "gedunk run" was to Seattle WA World Fair. Lots of good memories, lots of fun. Hello to any of my shipmates who might be reading. I stay in touch with several Willy Victor sailors via ham radio, Sunday 22:00Z on 40 meters, 7.244 mhz. Join us if you can.
Proud to have served during the Cold War, helping to defend our FREEDOM. Fly Navy!!!


Paul Plesnicher, e-mail, 06.11.2011 06:27

I was stationed at McClellan AFB ,Sacramento,Ca. From FEB 1962 to Jul 1967 & I was assigned 552nd OMS,and later was the crew chief on 0414.I was constantly gone TDY someplace.
The designation RC-121-D was what I started with and was later changed to EC-121D. This aircraft was sweet. I remember one time flying from Tianan AS, Tiawan to Tonsoneut Air Base, Siagon and we were flying into a weather front when we were struck by lightning,knocking out our galley,so we had to eat most of the food so not to loose it. My AC was Capt Figuro & Capt Smith. We had a lot fo good times.Anybody out there that was with the 552nd OMS from Feb-62 to Jul-67 contact me,I served with a bunch of good guys


roger fulton, e-mail, 23.10.2011 04:16

flew in wv2 vw 11 1956 to 1960 we had 5 crashes one at pax river two on the runway at argentia one short of the runway one lost north of the azores never found can someone else tell me more about any of these


John Azzolini ADR-3, e-mail, 02.10.2011 05:58

I only had 13 months left of my 4 year hitch,coming from Point Mugu.At Mugu I flew in C-54, C-45 and UH34 Helos. Mugu had EC-121,s, assigned to Pacific Missle Range.When I got to Guam, I worked in the Maintenance Shack for 6 months.I was assigned to Crew 6 for the duration. It was a blast.Sangley Point, Marie T's,Taipei,Atsugi,Chu Lai and Danang. I never flew any Barriers.They asked me to and I asked what would I do for 22 hours? Chief Eastman said I would cook. I promptly said "no thanks", I'll stay in Danang and keep the San Miguel cold.Great site,thanks 3/69-5/70


John Azzolini ADR-3, e-mail, 02.10.2011 05:53

I only had 13 months left of my 4 year hitch,coming from Point Mugu.At Mugu I flew in C-54, C-45 and UH34 Helos. Mugu had EC-121,s, assigned to Pacific Missle Range.When I got to Guam, I worked in the Maintenance Shack for 6 months.I was assigned to Crew 6 for the duration. It was a blast.Sangley Point, Marie T's,Taipei,Atsugi,Chu Lai and Danang. I never flew any Barriers.They asked me to and I asked what would I do for 22 hours? Chief Eastman said I would cook. I promptly said "no thanks", I'll stay in Danang and keep the San Miguel cold.Great site,thanks


Hank Smith, e-mail, 29.08.2011 17:12

I was a crew member on EC-121R model Connies, Crew #40 at Korat, Thailand, 553rd and then at Otis AFB in EC-121H model Connies. As my friend, Denny Phillips says.....great bird !!


Judith N Corbin, e-mail, 27.08.2011 01:34

I am looking for the Eastern Super Constellation that flew out of Havana on January 1, 1959. My mother-in-law as on that plane. My 6th graders are studying the Revolution and I just wanted more information. Thanks


Don Gilliamsen, e-mail, 25.08.2011 03:18

I had the very distinct privilege of piloting the greatest piston engine airplane ever. I a retired Naval Aviator and my romance with the "Willy Victor" began at NAS Johnsville followed by tours in VW-13, Junior PPC, VW-4, VXE-6 (C-121J) and NAS Glynco. I logged over 6000 pilot hours in this magnificent airplane. Retired in 1975 and I truly miss the old bird.


Doug Johnson ATW 2, e-mail, 20.08.2011 06:42

I see Earl Conro's name, as flight engineer. I was on Halladay's crew #2 in VW-13 from Jan 1964 thru July 1965. Remember a bunch of the crews since I worked in flight logs when back in Arg. Have only kept contact with Jimmy Holper. I got to go to Oslo, Prestwick, Gander and Penscola while there. Got quite a few color slides and imagine I will have Conro in some of them. Memory is not all that great. Riker and Kivula were the CICS officers in the back. Still have all my flight logs from those time. Went onto be a carrier jockey in VS 31 off CVS-18 home ported in Boston. A few lifetime ago.


Richard, e-mail, 21.07.2011 03:07

I don't have much flight experience with the RC121 or thw WV2 awacs Connies.My association with these aircraft was as follows. In the early 1950's,five of us were tranferred from the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation Radar Lab to Lockheed Aircraft Service for the main purpose of preparing the first units for delivery to the Air Force and Navy.. We spent considerable operating time with both the APS 20 and APS 45 Radar systems. Some one in the comments I have read, mentioned having to replace the APS 20 Magnetron. You had to use Beryilium tools the magnetic attraction was excessive for the steel tools,..Spent many hours on the ground and to few in the air...


todd@davistodd.com, 28.06.2011 18:16

Does anyone know about a possible Navy Connie crash near Kanton Island in the Phoenix Island group? It occurred on or around 4/26/1962. I have found no record of it yet a dear person I know said her dad died in this crash. It could have happened somewhere between Kanton Island and Fiji or right at the base that existed at the time,.


Dusty Rhoads, e-mail, 26.05.2011 04:31

i was in nAS Glynco 1961 / 1964 worked on the 6 constallations 143221 is now in the air muesun in pensacola fla. a little rust but still looks good.


CHARLES POVEROMO, e-mail, 09.05.2011 21:15

Was a crew chief at Charleston afb,sc.1956-1960. I believe we had about 30 ac almost new. great airplane and great crews.


Dennis Phillips, e-mail, 11.04.2011 20:24

Hey Lt. Flew with you many a time. Crew 35 in Korat and possibly out of Cape Cod also. 68-69. Check out the First Wave and other Batcat orgs. on the web. Next reunion is in Orlando Fl in Oct. And our 121's were quite a bird. Cheers, Denny


Paul Gochnour, e-mail, 07.04.2011 15:14

I was in VW-15 & VR-1 at Patuxent River from 1956 until July 1959. After I was transferred to VR-1 two of my buddies still in VW-15, Stanley Gillette and Willie Graham were on a flight from the Azores back to Newfoundland when their plane disappeared and I am wondering if anyone could give me any information concerning this?


Don Allsep, e-mail, 05.04.2011 14:50

As F/E AEWBARRONPAC we started out on barrier and lost #3 engine 1 hour 10 minutes out. Turned and started cross track to return to MDY and lost #2 engine. Lost alt very rapidly from 7M to 3M and then dumped fuel . Ole Connie got us back to dry land unharmed.


James Melvin, e-mail, 25.03.2011 06:59

I am writing to find any crew mates of my father LCDR. William "Buck" Melvin Jr. He passed away in 2008 and I would like information about his stint in AEWBARRONPAC. I think from years 1956 - 1962? Around that time. Thanks


allan pochop, e-mail, 20.03.2011 18:22

AEWBARRONPAC-MIDET, 10/62-10/63. ADR2, power plants. DMI's, got my fill of 1100 oil dripping R-3350-76's. Three days work, one day off pattern. Hated that rock. No place for a single sailor, should have been a brown-baggers duty station. Liberty was horrible.


Robert J. Dlouhy, e-mail, 07.03.2011 22:14

I was a flight radio operator with Navy Airtransron 8 (VR-8)from February 1953 til June 1955 based at Hickam AFB, Honolulu, Hawaii flying the MATS routes. We received our first R7V's sometime in August or Septempbe 1953. We flew both State side and Western Pacific staging at the islands in route to Clark AFB (Phillipines), Haneda AFB Tokyo), Saigon, Bangkok, etc. In my opinion, the R7V was a terrific aurcraft although we did have quite a bit of engine problems at first. In the first few months flying WestPAC, with staging at the islands you would fly at least four different aircraft and you would loose at least one engine during the round trip. However, the R7V flew pretty darn good on just three engines. But the engine problem was ultimately resolved. The electronics was great. I can not recall ever having any major problems with communications that caused us to not ultimately get our messages through.


Robert J. (Bob) Carey, e-mail, 01.03.2011 00:19

I was part of the radar crew from 55-58. Flt crew 29 A/C Capt John Buck 961st AEW&C Sqdn. Rumor had it that Walt Disney drew our squadron shoulder patch for us. A bat over water with binocs and a telescope under his wings, lightening bolt in backround. Still have the original patch. Will send a pic if you want. Otis had just opened for the three squads & we slept in the old wooden POW barracks. Sorry guys, but 1955 was the best year ever. Summertime was Old Cape Cod / Patti Page and girls, girls, girls. Went back for the 50th reunion a few years ago. Shame No Connies After that 4yr stint went to UAL flight ops for the next 32yrs


Woody Weidemeyer, e-mail, 28.02.2011 18:05

While with VX 4 and VW 2 at PAX River, the Navy designatioins for our two baby connies was WV 1 and the designation for the super Connies was WV 2. VW 2 was attached to the Atlantic Fleet Air Arm and flew Eastern Air Defense and weather recon in the 1950s.


Tom Wood, e-mail, 27.02.2011 22:14

Came aboard VW-2 at PaxRiv in spring 1957 . AEAN - AEI-3.
Was told to volunteer for flight crew .. best advice EVER . Assigned CIC Crew 8 .. Buzz Ringe , Dave Stevenson , Johnnie Burke , Al Listen and originally Pat Waters .. Lt. Jerry Ryan , CICO , and a Mustang Ensign named Joe (?) ACICO , and others who have left my memory bank .
First trip to Iceland for "Operation Springboard" Sept '57 .. Weathered in at Scotland after our flight was finished .
2 tours at RNAS Halfar , Malta , with MEDFAM trips .. 1st plane to go to Munich ( Octoberfest) TDY to Souda Bay for Lebanon civil war -'58 .. 2 trips tp Gitmo , 1to Minneapolis , 1 to San Francisco .Like too many "kids" , did not realize just how good it was , and was discharged in October 1958 .
Have 2 crew pictures taken at Malta , 57-58 , gladly share for postage , or can e-mail , have them on my computer .
Made reunion in Pax in 09 .. I hope that I will be in San Diego in September .
Was a regular at " The Village Inn" Drove '57 white Ford Fairlane 500
Love to hear from shipmates . e-mail me .


George Fogg, e-mail, 27.02.2011 03:35

Flew 8 years out of 551st Quality Control Otis AFB. Liked the old bird. Understand that #417 will eventually be on display at Evergreen Museum, in McMinnville, Or.


Alan Lubbe, e-mail, 22.02.2011 03:57

I was a ADR3 with VW1 in Agana Guam from 1968 to 1970, Work in check crew for the duration, changed every part and many engines during that time. I only got on for 1 flight to DaNang to help with a engine change, it was a impressive ride watching the flames coming out of those PRT's.


George F. Handel, e-mail, 18.02.2011 19:20

In 1964 I was an Ensign, fresh out of VT-27 training in New Iberia, and was assigned to VW-13. I hated the whole idea of going to Argentia for two years. But ....after a few weeks there, I was delighted to be in that squadron. Sadly, VW-13 was decommissioned the following year, and I then went to VQ-2 in Rota, for 2 years. I spent 3 years total flying the Connie, including a few months in Danang, while TAD to VQ-1. Total Connie pilot time 2000 hours. I left the Navy as a Lt. in Oct 67, and went to work for Northwest Airlines. I spent 33 years there, and flew some great transport airplanes, including my last 5 years on the 747-400.
The 747-400 was truly magnificent, but the Connie was the airplane that I will always remember,.... and love!


Jim Barrick, AT2, e-mail, 18.02.2011 10:17

Radar Tech in VW-2, 1958-61, out of Pax River, one Med cruise flying Radar cover for the 6th Fleet, with stops in Barcelona, Naples, Pisa, Venice, Athens, over 2,000 hours with the pin to prove it. At the time I didn't realize how good a billet it was. Ive been to three Reunions at Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, IL in 2003; 05; 08 and one to Pax River in 2009.


c. frank inabinet, e-mail, 12.02.2011 19:11

I was a crew chief on a WV for two years with VW-3 at NAS Agana, Guam. Picked up A/C brand new at Lockheed, all 4 engines went max time. Made many 12-14 hr flights. A great A/C! Still have my "Sea Bean" (don't challenge)


Moon Mullen, e-mail, 26.01.2011 23:54

....and I carry my seabean every day of my life......don't challange me!


Moon Mullen, e-mail, 26.01.2011 23:51

Flew as an AG with VW-11 and 13 out of Arg...VXN8 & OASU out of Pax and VW-1 out of Guam in typhoons and N.Vietnam out of ChuLai and DaNang. Penetrated 42 different typhoons but Crew Numbah Ten never had a late fix or bust....4 engines were good but 3 was not unusual and always brought you home. Bird's-Eye and Proj.Magnet for 2yrs over Arctic and 3yrs out of Guam. Penetrated 2 typhoons at 1200ft with me doing the flying.....great entry in my logbook.


Lewis J. Lyon ATR3AC, e-mail, 20.01.2011 19:44

I flew on EC121K'S for 21/2 years out of barbers point. in AEWBARRONPAC.Put in 2500 hours. was a flight tech.
was in AEW from summer of 62 ,to dec. of 64.flew most of the time with bill mackinny and doug hudson. still have contact with carl griffith and errol shaw.after techs were asigned to flight crews, flew with ltcd Pollison' crew. the cic was ltjg duke Snyder.had a few close calls but did survive the time.if anybody ever opened up the gear and saw the coyote smoking ,that was my sign.


Jim Lines, e-mail, 15.01.2011 03:03

Lockheed Field Service Rep (Electronics) McCellan AFB RC-121C&D 1954-56.Initial delivery to Air Force. Couple weeks 1956 FAETUPAC North Island, Ca. WV-2 Initial delivery. Lots of VP-22 shipmates on shore duty. 18 months VW3 !956 1957. On board WV3 that ditched Sept.'56.Still trying to find other survivors or family of same. Lcdr Nabors, pilot, died 2004, Earl Sharfman, 1st radioman died 2010, 2nd radioman Henery did not survive WV-2 mid '5(?) crash off Ohau, Lt Pete Wanbaugh USNR Capt.Ret. 3rd pilot/navigator and I are preparing a documentary of the episode, That accounts for 5 of the 18 on board. Trying to find the other 13 survivors or their families. I made many flights to Sangley, P.I. - Atsugi, Japan. and lots of typhoon tracking flights Training and maintenance of radios, radars and display consoles. '57/59 WV2E,)Roto-dome prototype Phase 1 test/evaluation NADU So. Weymouth, Mass. 61/62 WV2E Phase 2 evaluation with NADU AEW/CIC group at Point Magu, Ca. Those were the best years of my 40 years with Lockheed. P.S. We didn't run out of gas that Sept night. Watch for the documentary for details of real cause. John Nabors was a hero.


Haul Carnes ACC USN ret., e-mail, 10.01.2011 18:04

First flew in WV-1 (1 of 2) at CIC(C) School Glynco,GA summer/fall 1956. Nov-56 off to VW-2 (and WV-2s) PAX River, MD. Jan-57 off to Port Lyautey, Morocco w/trips to Naples, Athens, Lisbon, Barcelona, Trevisio, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Wheelus AFB, Libya (no Ghadafi), Marseilles.
Quite a trip.
Found time to support 6th fleet with AEW radar coverage and "Bellhop". '57-'58 Iceland, Malta, Souda Bay, Gitmo, Eglin AFB for ECCM tests w/variable freq maggie. Fall '58 on stand-by for Lebanon war support but never called. 1-59 off to ACW(A) School for Instructor Duty as ACW-2. 5 yrs)...loved it. Total flight time app. 4000 hrs +/-
Would love pics of VW-2 '56,'57,'58. Will gladly pay for them. 256-831-2219 In Oxford, AL since 1990


Bob Wubbenhorst, e-mail, 31.12.2010 22:00

I was in the EM Squadron at Otis AFB from 1955 to 1958. Assigned as inflight tech for flying purposes to the 960th for most of that time. Logged over 150 missions with over 1500 hours. Comments brought back memories of long flights to, from and on, station; returning on three engines; many RONs in Bermuda; great Summers -- awful Winters on Cape Cod; and most of all -- a great airplane!


Gary Cinnamon, e-mail, 29.12.2010 18:27

EC-121 was my first assignment out of UPT in 1968 at Otis AFB. After year in Vietnam in O-2, more Connie time at McClellan AFB. TDY at Keflavik and Korat, Thailand. Really enjoyed flying the Connie. Surprisingly easy to land for a big beast.


Dennis Bourn, e-mail, 29.12.2010 03:52

AT-1 Dennis Bourn, Flight Radio Operator
VQ-2 (Rota, Spain), OASU, VX-8, VXN-8, NRL (Patuxent River, Md.)
Feel in love with the Super Connie at my first duty station in Rota, Spain and that continued through my last duty station in Patuxent River, Md.
Smoothest most comfortable riding aircraft I've ever been on.
Would have loved to make a "World" trip on 925 out of Pax River, but that was not to be.
If any "Old Salts" from OASU, VX-8, VXN-8 are still around, I would love to hear from you and your experiences on the Blue Eagles in Vietnam.


Red Batson, e-mail, 29.12.2010 01:53

ADR-1 Red Batson, Connie Flight Engineer.
AEWTULANT, NAS Keflavik 131635, OASU/VXN-8, VW-1, VQ-1, NAS Agana 131659, NRL Pax.

I've changed engines at every port in WesPac, and most places on the East Coast. One time in Cubi, just me and AT-C Sid Renfro removed all four engines on 659 for corrosion inspection, and then just he and I re-installed all four engines. Needless to say, we ran out of money, but our credit was good in Olongapo.


John Walters, e-mail, 25.12.2010 18:10

As CICO (Crew 4), Flew WV-2 (EC-121K) out of VW-1 in Agana, Guam in 1963-64. Got almost 1000 hours in the Connie. Of all my flying years, I don't think there was another aircraft that I enjoyed more.


Victor Bell, e-mail, 21.12.2010 03:52

I was a pilot right out of flight training to VW-15 in 1960, when decommissioned, went on to VW-13 till 62. Then out of Argentia and Iceland. Super aircraft, it was tall and you had to really feel for the roadway when landing. Tookout many times after the runways were cleared of snow.


Jerry Grout, e-mail, 20.12.2010 16:47

I flew in the WV's from 1963-1965 with AEWBARRONPAC Flight Crew 26 at Barbers Point, Hawaii. Was a scope dope and became the squadron's only enlisted qualified overwater navigator. Deployed to Midway for 2 wks than back to Oahu for 2 wks. 15+ hour flights on the barrier to the Aleutians and back. Poopy suits, the galley, Aps20, gooney birds, the honey bucket. Anyone know Fish, Ben, Stoughton, LT Gick, WJC Dawson?


Wilma J. Dickey, e-mail, 01.12.2010 18:09

My birth name was Connstance Caldwell. My biological father was Herbert Caldwell, who during the 1950s and 60s was president of Lockheed California. He is deceased, but the family legend is that he named the Constellation "Connie" after me. I wish I knew for sure!


Dan Manhart, e-mail, 28.11.2010 02:28

From 1970 through 1972 I flew 2000+ hours in EC-121K/Ms, WC-121Ns and C-121Js while attached to VW-1 and VQ-1 on Guam. My NATOPS manual says the maximum takeoff weight was 145,000 lbs. The zero fuel weight (with tip tanks on) was 100,000 lbs. Maximum speed for the EC-121 was 295 knots (339 MPH). The correct name for the EC-121 is "Warning Star" not Constellation.


Roger Van Parys, e-mail, 26.11.2010 18:37

I went to war in the C121 R.. The Air Force had run out of C 130s for our type of mission. We flew missions over N and S Vietnam with the 553rd Recon Wing. 12 to 15 hr missions and many on three engines.. The old girl could go for hours and the greatest feeling was when they cut the engines and your world quit vibrating...Just don't slip in the oil dripping from the engines...


wayne mcrae, e-mail, 06.11.2010 02:15

From NAVY SEABEE reserves as CA to AA after boot camp.
Then to CONNIES at AEWTULANT,to weekend warrior on p2vs at weymouth,chasing (fishing trawlers)and subs. On a weekend duty at Brunswick, I parked a black AEWTULANT CONNIE, she had my old commander aboard. from then TWA in 1965 again with CONNIES,and 727s,707s then a stint as Air Guard TSG.on 707s.Retired from military with 28 years Best part time job in the world and best times of my life.Retired TWA with 34 Years


John C. Dyer, e-mail, 05.11.2010 22:09

I was a navigator (later included OIC 18 man radar crew) at 960th Wing, Otis AFB from 1955-57 with about 2000 hours on RC-121-B thru H's, later became EC-121. AEW&C missions were about 18 hrs: 3 en route, 12 on station and 3 back with 2 full crews. Often got severe weather that made us fly our 100 mile legs back and forth through sme storm for hours. I recall sitting in mess area waching oranges bounce off galley onto floor and all the way back to radar crew. Had a trip to McClennan AFB at 180 knots that took 18 hours fighting headwinds, had to refuel en route. Later went for IRAN at Riverside, CA and returned with replacement A/C. Sometime in the next two decades two A/C from Otis were involved in fatal crashes with 50 flyers killed. Otis wing relocated to Tinker AFB, OK sometime around 1990(+/-).


Dale Cook (Cookie), e-mail, 31.10.2010 23:21

Was in Vw13 July59 to Sept62.In VW11 summer of 61 when VW13 moved to the Rock.Had over 2000+ as a scope dope and ECM. Worke in Para-loft when not flying. What a great time as an AIRDALE. You grow up in a hurry on some barrier flights.Flew into NAS Pax in a blinding snow storm in 60


Bill Carter, CWO3/CTI1(NAC) (R, e-mail, 25.10.2010 19:37

As a spook stationed at NAS Key West I flew with Commanders Dave Laney, Tom Hampton and several other skippers and crews from VQ-2 from 1/1972-7/1977. I liked the old, slow sweaty "Connie". We always made it home, albeit sometimes on 3 engines and once on 2; but they still always made it back! I still have fond memories of them and the guys I flew with!


Allan Hope, e-mail, 25.10.2010 03:45

I was a radar tech stationed at McClellan AFB from Jul 57 to May 64. I was on flying status for three years 58-61 and like many of us on fjying status, logged nearly 3000 hrs in the ole birds. Two thousand of which are confirmed with pin and paper. I now wear the pin on my "conny hat" which I got at the Wright Pat Air Museum. I also had many hours in triple nickle. Somewhere along the line the FCC did not like us using "triple nickle" as a callsign while using civil radio frequencies and we were to refere to the bird as AirForce 555. I don't remember how long that lasted. I did not know Jim Boetcher. At the time he was at McClellan I was an ET in the radar simulator and we seldom saw the guys from the squadron.

Jim, were you a Ham in those years? If so, we probably met at the MARS warehouse or at a meeting. In those days I was WA6JXW and very active on RTTY. Today I am WB2BDI. Your last name sure sounds familiar the more I run it over in my head.

The picture of the 1649 at the top of this page looks like the "SAC" "Save A Connie". That plane has an interesting history.


Norman Parker, e-mail, 15.10.2010 18:59

Was crewmember on EC121K in VW-3 1959-60, AEWBARRONPAC 1960-62, and VW-11 1962 until decommissioning in 1963. Served as an ACW. Will never forget the crosswind landings in Keflavik. ACW rating was combined with the AC rating in 1964. I retired in 1984 after 26 yrs of service. Loved it.


Earl Conro, e-mail, 15.10.2010 00:51

I was an AMH in VW-11 from 57 to 60, a Flight Engineer in VW-13 in 63 to 65, then a Flight Engineer again in OASU Project Jenny. Had a total of almost 3,000 hours flight time and loved every minute of it. Definately the best duty I had in my 24 years of naval Service!!


Art Kleinhesselink, e-mail, 15.09.2010 00:46

Did two tours in Argentia. 58/59 and 63/64. Flew radar tech and changed a few magnatrons in the air while fllying the barriers between the "rock" and Azores and out of Iceland. Put a few in the bone yard from Arg and flew a couple of the same birds when I got transferred to VW1 on Guam when they took them back out of mothballs. Made many deployments to Nam with that old bird and flew into many Typhoons. It was a tough old bird. That APS-20 radar was great for its time.


Art Kleinhesselink, e-mail, 15.09.2010 00:46

Did two tours in Argentia. 58/59 and 63/64. Flew radar tech and changed a few magnatrons in the air while fllying the barriers between the "rock" and Azores and out of Iceland. Put a few in the bone yard from Arg and flew a couple of the same birds when I got transferred to VW1 on Guam when they took them back out of mothballs. Made many deployments to Nam with that old bird and flew into many Typhoons. It was a tough old bird. That APS-20 radar was great for its time.


Charles B. Williams, e-mail, 30.08.2010 02:02

I was an aircraft maintenance officer with VW-13 stationed in Argentia in 1963-1964. Deployed to Keflavik 30 days at a time. Enjoyed the cold weather and comradship with fellow Navy men. No more cold now though!! lol Does anyone know the where abouts of my close friend Paul Vetter..please let me know if you do. Thanks.


pat fitz, e-mail, 20.08.2010 00:08

i WAS WITH VR1 OUT OF PATUXENT RIVER,AND WAS ROOKIE AIR CREW IN 1953 THEN TRANSFERED TO AIR CREW ON R5 AND R6,BUT I ABSOLUTLY LOVE SUPER CONNIE,,ALTHOUGH WE DID HAVE ENGINE PROBLEMS WITH THE PRATT&WHITNEY R3350 W/POWER RECOVERY,,,SEEMED TO HAVE PROBS WITH THE VANES IN THE PRT


Lcdr. Don Shultz, USN, e-mail, 15.08.2010 20:28

AEWBARRONPAC from 1961 1964. Eighteen days on Midway [flights 15 to 17.2hrs. long] then home [Barbers Pt.] to family [this each month], C121J model was nice plane, handled well & comfortable. EC121K model was comfortable, good in lousy weather, but handled like a tub of xxx. Would like to contact members of crew 52 of that time frame.


Fred Handy, e-mail, 07.08.2010 15:02

Aircraft electrician VW-13 1963-64. Connie's, an electricians nightmare but you grew to love that airplane. A few headaches along the way; prop switches, governors, autopilot, oil tank heater blanket, generators, inverters, tail position light (corroded from piss-tube). A few thrills; fueling in Kefaivik during the winter and getting blown off the wing, my first engine run at night when the big bird comes up on the step and all I saw was props coming at me against the flash of the anti-collision light, dumped the honey bucket on a trawler, liberty in Reykjavik. Great shipmates, great squadron.


Dave McLaughlin AT2, e-mail, 05.07.2010 21:06

I was crewman in VW-13 based in Pax River, MD, 1958-1959. We deployed to Argentia to fly our 12 hour flights for a few weeks then back to Pax. Was attached to VW-11 based in Argentia 1960-1961...loved Argentia and the locals...nice people...and great fishing.


Clint Poss, e-mail, 21.05.2010 10:46

I flew a C-121J BuNo 131659 assigned to NAS Agana Guam and sadly escorted it to the boneyard around August 1974. Loved it because it took me to Japan, Singapore, the Phillipines and a number of WestPac islands. Never had an engine fail but always seemed to find a "grounding" gripe while in the Phillipines.

Most interesting was operating from coral runways. Braking action on the coral gravel was marginal and reversing the props below a certain speed would pull the coral into the prop tips.


LUKE FLANNERY, e-mail, 08.05.2010 20:16

I flew as a Navy aircrewman (ACW) in Willie Victors from 1959 thru 1962. I served in VW-11, VW-15, VW-13, and AEWTULANT. Flew in approx 250 barrier patrols, a nd in the latter squadron Wallops Island rocket shoots, search and rescue, and was on the recovery team for Col. Glenn's Friendship 7 orbit (boy am I getting old). A great aircraft and great comrades. FLY NAVY


John Hancocks, e-mail, 02.05.2010 09:25

Had a most memorable trip in one of these, starting in Freetown with the launch trip across to the airport there to catch an Air France DC3 to Conakry, Guinea. At Conakry embarked upon a Super Connie, next stop Dakar in Senegal, then the long haul to Paris - except we never got there. Some time that night the port inboard engine caught fire, it was soon extinguished and with prop feathered we turned and headed back to Dakar. Then a magical 24 hours in a luxury hotel by the beach courtesy of Air France..."sigh". Eventually reached Paris there to transfer to London...


John Hancocks, e-mail, 02.05.2010 09:25

Had a most memorable trip in one of these, starting in Freetown with the launch trip across to the airport there to catch an Air France DC3 to Conakry, Guinea. At Conakry embarked upon a Super Connie, next stop Dakar in Senegal, then the long haul to Paris - except we never got there. Some time that night the port inboard engine caught fire, it was soon extinguished and with prop feathered we turned and headed back to Dakar. Then a magical 24 hours in a luxury hotel by the beach courtesy of Air France..."sigh". Eventually reached Paris there to transfer to London...


Doug and Fitzpatrick, e-mail, 30.04.2010 03:52

My first posting in the early "70s as a Canadian Air Force pilot was on the CF100 (not to be confused with the F100). The "Clunk" worked the Electronic Warfare role and we spent a couple of weeks on the west coast of Canada working "towlines" against the Voodoos based in Comox (CYQQ).
One of our exercises was controlled by AWACs which turned out to be the Super Connie. After that day's work we formed up on his left wing before he left for home. I'm pretty sure the radome on top was the full circular disc. Would anyone know the model we worked with and where she may have been based???


Bill Berends, e-mail, 18.04.2010 23:22

Just an observation. I think the weights section may be in error.
WEIGHTS
Take-off weight 4ő3400 kg 9 lb
Empty weight 33119 kg 73015 lb
I am fairly certain that the take off weight was more than 9 pounds.


Earles L. McCaul, e-mail, 09.04.2010 03:46

Fflew as ATW/AT1 aircrewman in VW-13 and VW-11 (Argentia, NFLD), VW-1 (Guam, P.I. & Viet Nam) and PMR (Pt.Mugu, CA). Was always associated with guitar playing. Unfortunately, all the old VW-bases are ALL gone now (Glynco, Argentia, Guam, Barbers Point, Midway, PMR, etc.).


Jim Boetcher, e-mail, 23.03.2010 06:24

I served 3 years at McClellan from 1962-1965 as a radar technician on the EC-121-D, and logged 1,250 flight hours. I recall flying on triple nickel occasionally, and was there when she made a belly landing at McClellan. Never thought she’d fly again, but she did. A fellow technician and I recently visited the AF Museum at Dayton, Ohio, and as we looked at this same bird we had both flown on, a lot of memories came to the surface.
I recall many 24-hour-long flights off the West Coast, and occasionally we would have to fly higher (with shorter flight time) due to “radar inversions.” When I think of looking at the APS-95 thyratron to adjust the capsule voltage, and sticking a probe in the APS-45 waveguide, later upgraded to the APS-103, while the radar was firing… I shudder a bit, and think of our good friend Joe Town.


Pap Samuels ATN3, e-mail, 14.03.2010 04:29

I was part of AEWRON-13 from 1959 till 1964 Electronic Tech. I was radioman for "Wild Bill" Elliott's crew on duty flying the Atlantic DEW line. Wild Bill ordered us into "survival gear" two hrs after t/o from Azores Island. A Russian Bear bomber had it's gun control radar sweeping our butt for 3hrs. We found out AFTER a safe landing @ Argentia 20 minutes was max to live if ditched in the ocean. We did S&R's for many P2V's which hit icebergs & vanished. Five grtgrnd children now. Thank you all for serving. Pap


Bud Smith ADCS USN (ret), e-mail, 08.03.2010 20:39

Completed Flight Engineer's School with AEWBARRONPAC in 1964 @ Barber's Point HI. Flew both the transport and the AEW "Willie Victors" as a student engineer. Long hours in a comfortable A/C (as long as you were in the bunk) Was looking forward to many "two week honeymoons" between Barber's Point and Midway, but the Barrier was decommisioned and I was transferred to VP-4 on the other side of the Hanger.


1st Lt. Rod Mims, e-mail, 07.03.2010 01:32

I piloted the first Connies at Otis AFB in 1955. Logged over 3000hrs. Great weather platform. Icing over the winter North Atlantic like you've never seen. Both pitot heads iced up...no airspeed indicators. Flew Climb power with 4.5 degree deck angle until on top at 11,000 ft. altitude.Ice luckily broke off. Works good...lasts a long time!


Mel Hofer LCDR USNR (ret), e-mail, 04.03.2010 05:48

I was in VW-13 from October 1962 till July 1964 flying the EC121-K on the Icelantic Barrier. I was copilot for Tom Moxley and Dick Knapton and eventually as Aircraft Commander.
I flew about 2300 hours in the Connie during this period and enjoyed every flight.
We were stationed at the Naval Station at Argentia, Newfoundland and we would fly to Iceland and fly 7 12 hour patrols and back to Argentia in 16 days. 26 days later we would repeat our Icelandic "vacation".
One time we flew the 12 hours (13 hours of fuel) and arrived back in Iceland and the weather was below landing minimums and Prestwick, Scotland was our alternate airport (4 1/2 hours away). When we got to Prestwick the weather was below landing minimums and we made 2 GCA aproaches and the 3rd time around we told the GCA unit to put us on the runway as we were almost out of fuel (18 1/2 hrs in fligh.) Real exciting.
What a beutiful airplans.


J. T. Smith, e-mail, 17.02.2010 00:10

I flew the RC-121D for the 963rd AEW&C Wing at McClellan '61 to '63. Perhaps they dropped it back later, but our Max Takeoff Gross Weight in those days was 152,500. We too had a lot of engine failures for the R3350-99W. This was probably because they were being stressed beyond their original design to get the 3500+ horsepower they produced. Never happened to me, but we did have a few come back with two engines out. I do recall that if we were painting unknowns or running intercepts, we remained on station if all we had out was one engine.

The airframe that was the first to be deployed to SEA came from McClellan, and I flew it many times. Old "Triple Nickel" is now on display at the AF Museum at Wright-Patterson. 555 was a real "Hanger Queen" at McClellan; so, it was no surprise that she was chosen by the Chief of Maintenance to fill that levy.


Cdr C J Waylan (ret), e-mail, 03.02.2010 00:25

I spent a year in VW-11, Argentia Newfoundland ('60-'61)and was a young airman fixing radars (APS-20 and APS-45) as well as ECM gear on these WV-2 Navy aircraft. Tough aircraft!


Capt. Don C. East, USN (Ret.), e-mail, 23.01.2010 06:37

I flew a couple of thousand hours in the EC-121K that was modified for ELINT training while I was an instructor at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Glynco, Ga 1966-67. Then to VQ-2 in Rota Spain where I flew another couple of thousand hours in the EC-121M (Some with Dave Laney, see above), while also flying in the EA-3B SKYWARRIOR 1967-1970. We often referred to the EC-121 as either the "Shuddering Shithouse" or "250,000 spare parts flying in close formation." Nevertheless, I still have a soft spot in the heart for the old gal, because like Dave said above, it always got us home (Many times with one engine at parade rest).


David Laney, e-mail, 23.01.2010 02:44

I flew the EC121M, R7V, and other variations of The Super Connie for about 10,000 hours in four different Navy squadrons, VW-3 & VW-1 on Guam, VQ-1 at Nas Atsugi,Japan and Danang AFB, S. Viet Nam and VQ-2 in Nas Rota, Spain.I had a few tense moments but I had total confidence that "Connie" would always bring me home!


Jim Blake, e-mail, 18.01.2010 00:55

I was in the 960th AEW&C squadron at Otis AFB from 1955 to 1958. I have over 3000 hours in the RC-121 (mostly the D model but some time in the C model), and I'd be willing to bet that at least 1000 of those hours was on 3 engines. We made a lot of RON landings at Kindley AFB in Bermuda due to fog at Otis.


Vincent A. Krasniewicz, e-mail, 07.01.2010 00:40

After Navy flight training in 1959 my first assignment was VW-11 in Argentia New Foundland. If anyone remembers the "Rock" they will know the weather conditions there.We flew the WV-2 1049H model on the Dew Line extension between New Foundland and the Azore Islands. We flew at 5000' eastbound and 6000'westbound.Probably in the worst weather possible.But the Connie performed superbly a great flying machine. Sometime in the summer of 61 we changed the patrol to Iceland another jewel of a place, and flew between Greenland and Iceland up to the Artic circle and between the Farro Islands and Iceland, again at those low altitudes in the ice all the time. So if anyone remembers the "Barrier" drop me a line.


john a peterson, e-mail, 04.01.2010 19:35

served with VW-13 64 to 65 worked in the airframe shop lot of memories of this greatb old airplane !


Dale Mosher, e-mail, 26.08.2009 00:19

I flew more times than I wanted on this big vibrator. First landing in Iceland all I could see was us skidding down a slick runway in December (Keflavik). I filled in as ground crew to run up engines, crew chief engaged prop pitch and I almost got sliced and diced. I remember lots of fire and smoke at startup. Not really fond of the old birds!


AHM FAN, e-mail, 20.04.2009 04:55

The Air Line History Museum has a L-1049G See their web site http://www.airlinehistorymuseum.com for more information. Its a great museum located in Kansas City, Missouri [USA]


Michael Kelly, e-mail, 25.06.2008 00:47

Spent most of my 4 yr. tour in the USAF working the instrument systems on the EC-121. McClellan, Korat Thailand, Iceland, and back to McClellan. Had the dubious honor of getting wiped out by one of her massive props in Thailand (1970). Lots of fond memories though.


Fred Snyder, CMSgt (ret) AST, e-mail, 10.06.2008 23:42

The RC-121(later EC)came into the US Air Force in 1954. Two Wings, at McClellan AFB, CA and Otis AFB, MA, one Sqdn at McCoy AFB,FL. 14 plus hour surveillance missions were normal. Many TDY's, mostly in SEA and Iceland. US Navy version was the WV-2. Replaced by the E-3A AWACS in 1976. Visit www.aewa.org for more information.


Jerry Van Boxtel, e-mail, 29.05.2008 21:55

I was a flight engineer on the EC-121 connie in the nam war. We were flying recon missions, mostly in Laos. Pretty safe job as we were able to fly at 5000 feet due to the fact that we were using electrontc sensors to find the bad guys. Our biggest danger was flying in weather. We lost two crews due to this problem. We were constantly fighting iceing conditions as there were so many rain clouds at this altitude.The only other problem was the engine failure rate. We averaged 50 hours on and engine before it failed. So we were flying on 3 engines a lot of times.The reason for the low time to failure is these aircraft were taken out of mothballs and the engines didn't get a lot of attention before shipping.


Lt/Col Lester Stilwell, USAF R, 29.04.2008 20:13

I have over 3,500 Hrs in the RC-121. Max Take Off Gross was 142,000 Lbs. I think the 1049 max Gross was 130,000 Lbs




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