Massive Model of an Electric Goon

Norm Taylor sent this photo of a beautifully done radio control scale model of EC-47N S/N 43-15668 while it was assigned to the 361st TEWS at Phu Cat, 1970-1971. The model was scratch built by a guy in Charleston, SC, based on photos Norm took during his tour with Det. 1. Unfortunately, Norm doesn't remember the name of the builder, but it's obviously a first class job complete with retractable gear and other bells and whistles. 


For those who may not recognize the name, Norm is a retired USAFSS ditty bop, but his real claim to fame is as a world-class aircraft photographer. Over the past 60 years or so he's shot something on the order of a million (yep) photos of airplanes. His work has appeared in dozens of books and magazines and he has one of the largest collections of Gooney Bird photos on the planet. Several of his photos appear on this website—thanks Norm!


Way back in in the neolithic age, Norm "jeeped" co-honcho Tom Nurre. Joe Martin, the other half of the website duo, was on Able Flight with Norm at the 6981st Security Group at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, 1967-69. Joe and Norm also flew a couple of missions together at Phu Cat—possibly on this very aircraft—when Joe was TDY from Tan Son Nhut. (Joe's Form 5 shows 7.0 hour missions on 668 for 2 and 4 December, 1970, and a 1.5 hour jaunt, probably an FCF, of the 6th.)

The real airplane spent its early life in Europe before coming back Stateside to Andrews AFB in 1959. Years later, it was slected for conversion to EC-47, arriving in Vietnam on 19 October 1966. Like most of the N and P models, "Sick-sick-eight" bounced around the TEWS, being last reported at Da Nang before being handed over to the VNAF in February, 1973. Her carcuss may still be somewhere in Southeast Asia. RIP.

And another footnote . . . .

A recent inquiry asked about the "Form 5" reference above. After further review, the ruling on the field has been overturned. I'm pretty sure the correct form number was 781, but I'm not 100% certain. In any case, by the time I got to TSN (February 1970) the whole business was handled on a primative computer printout.

Any thoughts/comments, give us a holler.