The Crazy Cats: The Mission
(This is for all the Pilots of that unit)
From 1967 to 1972 the Crazy Cats fought upon the electronic battlefields of Vietnam. Their efforts would ultimately affect the outcome of battles on the ground and, perhaps, the outcome of the war itself.
Designated the 1st Army Security Agency (ASA) Company, like other ASA units in Vietnam, it operated under a 'Radio Research' cover designation. The men of the 1st Radio Research Company, however, adopted a more colorful nom de guerre: "The CRAZY CATS."
Their Top Secret missions operated from the Naval Air Facility at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. Their crew of 12 to 15 flew aging Navy P-2E Neptune aircraft over the Ho Chi Minh Trail and other areas to intercept, decipher, translate, analyze and disseminate enemy radio communications intelligence (COMINT).
In this role, the Crazy Cats became the Army's most prolific airborne COMINT collector in the Vietnam War.
Army Aviation Museum, Crazy Cat AP-2E
The AP-2E Neptune was utilized by the U.S. Army's 1st Radio Research Company (Aviation), call sign 'Crazy Cat,' located at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam. Crazy Cat/Burbank Boomerang", SN 426-5366, BuNo 131485
The Lockheed P-2 Neptune (P2V until September 1962) was a Maritime patrol and ASW aircraft. It was developed for the United States Navy by Lockheed to replace the PV-1 Ventura and PV-2 Harpoon, and being replaced in turn with the P-3 Orion. Designed as a land-based aircraft, the Neptune never made a carrier landing, although a small number of aircraft were converted for carrier use and successfully launched. The type was successful in export, seeing service with several armed forces.
The 1st Radio Research Company (Aviation) was an Army Security Agency airborne signals intelligence unit deployed to the Naval Air Station at Cam Ranh Bay in June 1967. There was a good reason why an Army aviation unit was "on station" with the Navy. They were flying a total of six converted P-2 Neptune aircraft - largely retired by the Navy after operation since 1945 - and only an NAS could provide the spare parts necessary to support operations. The ASA configuration was designated RP-2E and was the largest aircraft in the Army fleet at the time. Ground and air crews were trained at various NAS locations across the US, with SIGINT specialists obtained from the primary ASA training facility at Ft Devens, MA.
Originally promoted by Gen Westmoreland for electronic countermeasure (jamming) missions, the primary use was for HF and VHF COMINT collection. Missions were flown all over Vietnam, with particular emphasis over the Ho Chi Minh trail. Crazy Cat (later designated CEFLIEN LION) became ASA's most prolific airborne collector in Vietnam.
When the Crazy Cat company was stood down in 1972, it had accumulated 40,000 hours of accident free flying (although on Easter Sunday, 14 April 1969, enemy 37mm antiaircraft gunners scored a hit on an RP-2E, causing extensive damage to the aircraft). By war's end, a total of 900 officers and men had worn the Crazy Cat patch.
"The Craazy Cats"
2 replies to this topic
Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:34 PM
Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:06 PM
★Fan of Felix Baumgartner★
Go east, go west , WoWp is the best.
Command Chief Master Sergeant.
Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:59 AM
These guys are probably the fathers of the Vq-1 and Vq-2 squadrons of EP3s, And Neptunes are sweet airplanes.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum.