VQ-1 World Watchers (1974) EA-3B Model
Recreate your memories from the World Watchers of VQ-1 with this replica EA-3b model. Each model is carefully crafted from wood to give you a piece that will always be treasured.
- Length – 18 inches
- Made from Mahogany
- US Veteran Owned Business
Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1 (VQ-1) is an aviation unit of the United States Navy established on 1 June 1955. Its role is aerial reconnaissance and signals intelligence. The squadron is nicknamed the “World Watchers” and is based at NAS Whidbey Island, flying Lockheed EP-3E Aries II aircraft.
The lineage of VQ-1’s “World Watchers” can be traced back to two PBY-5A Catalina “Black Cats” modified for electronic reconnaissance during World War II. The unit formally established as the Special Electronic Search Project at NAS Sangley Point, in October 1951. By 13 May 1953, when it was redesignated Detachment Able of Airborne Early Warning Squadron One (VW-1), the unit operated four P4M-1Q Mercator.
When Detachment Able was reorganized into Electronic Countermeasures Squadron One (VQ-1) at Iwakuni, Japan on 1 June 1955, it was the first squadron dedicated to electronic warfare. The EA-3 Skywarrior served the squadron for the next three decades
In 1960, not only was VQ-1 moved to Atsugi, Japan, and redesignated Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE, but the last Mercator was retired and replaced by the first of many WV-2Q Super Constellations (also known as “Willie Victor”). They would remain the backbone of VQ-1’s long-range, land-based reconnaissance efforts through the Vietnam War.
The squadron’s involvement in the Vietnam War started characteristically, at the very beginning when a Skywarrior crew was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for their role in the Gulf of Tonkin incident of 2–5 August 1964. For the next nine years, VQ-1 would operate from Da Nang, NAS Cubi Point, Bangkok, and aircraft carriers on patrol in Yankee Station and other bases in Southeast Asia. VQ-1’s aircrews supported countless air strikes and are credited with assisting in the destruction of numerous MiG aircraft and Komar patrol boats.
15 April 1969, an EC-121M Warning Star of VQ-1 on a reconnaissance mission was shot down by North Korean MiG-21 aircraft over the Sea of Japan. All 31 Americans (30 sailors and 1 marine) on board were killed, which constitutes the largest single loss of U.S. aircrew during the Cold War era.
The first EP-3 Aries I joined the squadron in 1969, beginning the replacement program for the Super Constellations.
On 16 March 1970, a Super Constellation crashed while landing at Da Nang with the loss of the majority of the crew.
The next aircraft lost by VQ-1 was in Sept 1973 when an EA-3B, with five crewmen was on an overwater navigational training flight from Guam to the Philippines. Unable to locate land, the crew was forced to bailout at the fuel exhaustion point. The entire crew was picked up by a helicopter from the Japanese destroyer Haruna.
In 1971, the VQ-1 moved its homeport to NAS Agana. At that time it absorbed Heavy Photographic Squadron 61 (VAP-61) and its former parent unit, VW-1
At the end of U.S. combat operations in Vietnam in 1973 VQ-1 began a move back to providing open ocean tactical electronic support to Seventh Fleet carrier battle groups.