Tuesday, April 14, 2009

USN EC121K shot down

40 years ago today off the coast of North Korea.

The commercial version, without the radomes was the Super Constellation and was known in the fleet as "Connie." The Navy designated it WV for Willy Victor and the Air Force called it the EC121. Sometimes in the early sixties the DOD standardized on EC121 but to many it remained the "Connie" and "Willy Victor."

Basically a flying radar and electronic counter measures platform it flew the barriers out of Iceland and Hawaii until it was shut down in '65 when it became more and more a spook type aircraft and a fore runner of AWACS.

I met a guy today who had some interesting theories about another aircraft going down. I won't go into them because he's writing a book and I wouldn't want to spoil it.

But it got me to thinking about aircraft being shot down and this one came to mind.

At 12:34 local time, roughly six hours into the mission, the Army Security Agency and radars in Korea detected the takeoff of two North Korean Air Force MiG-21s and tracked them, assuming that they were responding in some fashion to the mission of Deep Sea 129.[3] In the meantime the EC-121 filed a scheduled activity report by radio on time at 13:00 and did not indicate anything out of the ordinary. 22 minutes later the radars lost the picture of the MiGs and did not reacquire it until 13:37, closing with Deep Sea 129 for a probable intercept.[1]

The communications that this activity generated within the National Security network was monitored by the EC-121's parent unit, VQ-1, which at 13:44 sent Deep Sea 129 a "Condition 3" alert by radio, indicating it might be under attack. LCDR Overstreet acknowledged the warning and complied with procedures to abort the mission and return to base.[2] At 13:47 the radar tracks of the MiGs merged with that of Deep Sea 129, which disappeared from the radar picture two minutes later.[1]


I hope their families know that someone remembers.

U.N. spent U.S. funds on shoddy projects... USA Today headline

Gee, you think?