We called them “Willy Victor,” short for WV2/EC121. Here’s a nice article written by Lockheed that has some history of them.
The Connie was a sweet ride and could handle the weather and all the other problems presented by flying around the Arctic Circle and the North Pole.
But the article barely mentions the early warning flights flown out of Keflavik by VW-11 and VW-13. The two squadrons were based in Argentia, NFLDand deployed to ;Keflavik, Iceland for flights to the east and west looking for Soviet aircraft and missiles. The Air Force had other barriers and the Navy had barriers in the west out of Midway. There were land based radar sites in Alaska, Canada and Greenland.
Yes, boys and girls, once upon time there was a “Cold War” and it was as serious as it gets. Well, as you know, we didn’t catch any ICBM’s heading for the US but did report a few Russian “Bear” bombers who seemed to run a regular route down to Cuba who had, a few years before, helped the Soviet’s try and install missiles that could hit any target within the US before we could launch a retaliatory strike. That was kind of important because there was this thing called Mutually Assured Destruction – MAD. The plan was that if each side could destroy the other, and being rational people, then neither side would launch a first strike. But just in case, we watched. If I remember right if we caught them launching we could give early warning which would let us launch back… The needed warning time was around 15 minutes…and there would be no second chances.
Notice the “being rational people.” That doesn’t work with radical Islam. One of the things I would do is tell the Muslim countries that if the shit keeps up we will take out Mecca or Medina…..or maybe both. Then torch off a couple of nukes in the deserts and maybe one off the coasts of Indonesia just to be sure everyone got the message. Hopefully that would rationalize the Muslim world and they would deal with radical Islam.
But enough current events. Here’s a short amateur film showing some grainy shots of “Willy Victors” flying in and around Newfoundland. If you look close enough you can see where my wife and I lived for a while with our two girls.
Lord I’d like to go back and do it again.
"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them." - Karl Popper