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Tracking the MiGs: EC-121 Airborne Early Warning

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed EC-121D Constellation at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed EC-121D Constellation at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

EC-121s played a key role by monitoring airborne North Vietnamese MiGs and guiding USAF fighters to intercept them. Orbiting securely outside the border, EC-121 crews used the aircraft's radar and enemy radio communications to detect and locate MiGs within North Vietnamese airspace. These operations began in the spring of 1965 under the code name BIG EYE (later named COLLEGE EYE and DISCO), and continued beyond the end of the war.

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