Hobbymaster 1/200 scale HL9018: Lockheed EC-121R Constellation 67-21498 “Batcat” of 553rd RS/553rd RW, USAF, Korat RTAFB, Thailand, Dec 1970.
In 1967 former USN WV-2 and WV-3 Constellations were converted for USAF purposes and sent to Korat, Thailand as a component of “Operation Igloo White”. These aircraft wore the standard 3-tone SEA camouflage schemes but the crew of EC-121R 67-21498 c/n 4496, former USN 143222, with the 553rd RS/553rd RW “Batcat” got creative and added a shark mouth nose art. The EC-121R operated in the Vietnam War from October 1967 until December 1970 when they were replaced by aircraft that were faster and smaller targets.
In 1954 the Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star was introduced and operated until 1978. These aircraft were used as airborne early warning radar surveillance to work in conjunction with the DEW Line (Distant Early Warning) Line. The USAF used these aircraft in Vietnam as electronic sensor monitors and to detect enemy aircraft activity as well as a few other operations. These aircraft were the forerunners to today’s E-3 Sentry AWACS. The USAF aircrews used the nickname “Connies”, a play on the word Constellation.