October 25th, 2023

Navy EA6B ‘Prowler’

Most who have lived in this area for any length of time are familiar with the EA6B “Prowler,” now retired after more than 40 years of storied military service. The jet flew out of NAS Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor. “In 1960, as part of the development of the A-6 Intruder all-weather attack aircraft, Grumman engineers began evaluating an electronic countermeasures (ECM) version of the airplane. The result was the EA-6A Intruder, which entered service in Marine Corps squadrons in December 1965, coinciding with the intensification of the air war over North Vietnam. Concurrently, Grumman developed a Tactical Jamming System and defined the requirements for the airplane to serve as a platform for it. The result was the EA-6B Prowler, which built upon the success of the EA-6A, but differed in some respects including size to incorporate a four-man crew consisting of one pilot and three electronic counter-measures officers (ECMO). Over the course of its service life, the Prowler underwent modifications to accommodate improved equipment that enhanced its warfighting capabilities. This included provisions for launching High-speed Anti-radiation Missiles (HARM).” Source: museumofflight.org

Steve Berentson

About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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