Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA)
Created and maintained by Dennis Buley
These pages look best when viewed with NETSCAPE and a screen resolution of 800 x 600.
These pages came on line on 26 Oct 1996 and were last modified on 15
These pages will be under periodic reconstruction, please come back
again. Each major page will note when it was last modified.
President Clinton recognizes SEMA Aircraft
Clinton is wearing an RC-7B CRAZY HAWK during a visit to Korea (click on photo for
(note that he is NOT wearing a U-2 hat)
Don't forget to visit the US Army Homepage
COL Sam Simerly, a former commander of the 138th Avn Co (RR) passed away on 1 April
1999. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetary on 16 April 1999.
As some of you may know, the USAF flew EC-47N/P/Q ARDF aircraft during
the Vietnam War. These missions were very similar to those flown by Army
RU-6A/RU-8D/RU-21D/JU-21A and RP-2E aircraft during that conflict. In fact, USAF
and US Army ARDF missions were all controlled by the ARDF Coordinating Committee
which was located within the 509th Radio Research Group HQ. James C. Wheeler,
former Flight Mechanic on the EC-47 has written a book on the EC-47 called
"The EC-47 Experience." Jim has a very extensive web site covering the EC-47. For details on purchasing this
book, click here.
This site illustrates the following SEMA Aircraft (clicking on these links will bring you to photographs of these aircraft; for descriptions of these systems follow the links to the Vietnam Era and Post Vietnam Era Systems pages:
A3D-2Q (EA-3B) FARM TEAM (SEA BRINE)
RP/AP-2E CEFLIEN LION (CRAZY CAT)
CV-2B SURE THING (GOFER DELTA)
U-1A SORE THUMB
RU-1A LAFFING OTTER (CAFE GIRL)
RU-6A SEVEN ROSES (CEFISH PERSON)
RU-8D CHECKMATE (WINEBOTTLE and CEFISH PERSON)
RU-8D DEDICATION PAGE
RU-21A, B and C CEFIRM LEADER
JU-21A LEFT JAB
RU-21D LAFFING EAGLE
RU-21E LEFT FOOT
RU-21G GUARDRAIL I
RU-21H GUARDRAIL V
RU-21J CEFLY LANCER
RC-12D IMPROVED GUARDRAIL V (IGRV)
RC-12H GUARDRAIL/COMMON SENSOR Sys 3 (GR/CS)
RC-12K GR/CS Sys 4
RC-12N GR/CS Sys 1
RC-12P GR/CS Sys 2
RC-12Q GR/CS Sys 2
CASA 212 GRISLY HUNTER
RC-7B CRAZY HAWK (ARL-M)
OV-1A, B, C and D
RV-1C/D QUICK LOOK
UH-1D LEFT BANK
EH-1H QUICK FIX 1A and 1B
EH-1X QUICK FIX 2A
EH-60A QUICK FIX 2B
EH-60L Advanced QUICK FIX
Contents Copyright 1996 by Dennis Buley. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form - printed or electronic.
For all you ex-ASA types out there, I urge all of you to join the
NATIONAL ASA ASSOCIATION
I am proud to be a charter member of that organization
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Since the early 1960's, the US Army has operated a extensive fleet of highly modified utility helicopters, utility aircraft, observation aircraft and cargo aircraft to perform highly classified TELINT, COMINT,ELINT as well as visual (PHOTINT), infrared (IR) and Radar Surveillance missions. In the mid-1970s, the term Special Electronic Mission Aircraft or SEMA began to be used to describe these aircraft. All of the aircraft described here, with the exception of the OV-1 and YO-3A and their associated sensors, were developed by a combination of the United States Army Security Agency, the Electronic Warfare Laboratory of the US Army Electronics Command and their successor organizations.
This web site will contain information and photographs of these seldom seen and very rare aircraft.
All information contained here is UNCLASSIFIED. Some of the information contained here is available in open sources such as the web site of the 304th MI Bn at Ft. Huachuca or other places on the Internet such as the Federation of American Scientists site. Most of the information contained here is either known to me personally because I was there and lived through it or has been related to me by individuals known to have first-hand knowledge of the events. These individuals are noted below.
This web site seeks to recognize and remember the contributions made by these aircraft and the organizations and people who developed them and is dedicated to those brave souls who died operating them.
The fixed-wing systems had names such as FARM TEAM, PATHFINDER, SURE THING or GOFER DELTA, HOT PIPE, CEFLIEN LION (CRAZYCAT) , SEVEN ROSES, CHECKMATE, CEFISH PERSON (WINEBOTTLE), LAFFING OTTER or CAFE GIRL, LAFFING EAGLE, LEFT JAB, LEFT FOOT, CEFIRM LEADER (CRAZY DOG), CEFLY LANCER, QUICK LOOK, GUARDRAIL, CRAZY HORSE and CRAZY HAWK (Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL) ). The rotary-wing systems have been called LEFT BANK, MULTEWS, SOTAS and QUICK FIX.
Evolved versions of GUARDRAIL, QUICK LOOK and QUICK FIX exist today under the names GUARDRAIL/COMMON SENSOR and QUICK FIX 2B while SOTAS has evolved into the USAF/ARMYJoint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS or J-STARS) while Airborne Reconnaissance Low or CRAZY HAWK is a late 1980s/early 1990s development.
Photo, infrared and radar surveillance missions were accomplished by OV-1A, B, C
and D aircraft from the early 1960's until September 1996 when the last OV-1D was
retired. The YO-3A was used for visual and infrared reconnaissance missions during
the Vietnam war.
PROJECT NICKNAME ORIGINS
In the 1960's, the US Army Security Agency (USASA or ASA) was assigned the
letter strings "LEF", "LAF", "CEF" and "CAF"
to identify its projects. The word "QUICK" meant that the project
originated at HQDA while GUARDRAIL was originally a National Security
Agency (NSA) development. After the passing of the ASA, it seems that nicknames
have mostly been replaced with acronyms, although the ARL-L program has used the
term CRAZY HAWK.
This site is organized in the following sections:
ORGANIZATIONS AND PEOPLE
VIETNAM ERA UNITSNEW!
PRESENT DAY SEMA UNITS NEW!
VIETNAM ERA SYSTEMS
POST-VIETNAM ERA SYSTEMS
FATE OF THE U-21 SEMA FLEET
SEMA MEMORIAL PAGE
NATIONAL VIGILANCE PARK
SPECIAL THANKS TO JOHN SINKS AND ROCKY CHILSON FOR
SERVER SPACE TO HOST THE SEMA WEB SITE.
I cannot begin to thank JOHN HAIRELL for the help he has given me in helping these pages grow. John is responsible for digging out all of the LEFT BANK, EH-1H, EH-1X, YEH-60A/B and EH-60A serial numbers as well as most of theRU-8Dand OV-1 serial number information. In addition to his fine photographic talents, John is an avid and very able researcher. THANKS, JOHN!
I would like to express my thanks to Dave Noyes, Herman Redd, Roger A. Simerly, Elaine Stevens, Bill Freese, Gary Baasch, Mark B. Scott, Rick Peyton, Dean Haskins, Herb Hovey, Harold Jaffe, Gary Bode, Willie Castile, Dee Yates, Frank J. Malinski, Donald Lewis, Jim "Sakk" Frankenfield, Gil Bouffard, John Woodworth, John Akers, Larry Whitehead, Mike "Mad Dog" Doran, Vernon W. Gruenke, Henry Schroeder, Steve Weinstein, Dick Anderson, Loren Ashley, Larry North, Nevins Frankel, Arnold Mahlum, Skip Dent, "Swede" Swenson Robert Davis, Bill O'Neal, Keith Larson, John Chrzastek, Ralph Reinhart, Dave Ballman, James Gilbert, Harold Castle, Mike Bunty, Steve Pizzo, Al Lindley, Dick Jones, Dave Shively, Carlos Collat, Tom Kaminski, Andy Rodriguez, William Hoffman, Linda Alexander, Chuck Dubusky, Paul Spangler, Rob Mignard, Del Likens, Mike Conagham, Mark Bertram and Howard Ohlson all of whom either provided photos, information or helped me scan photos.
Special Thanks to John Hairell and Chris Miller who both provided me with many photos of unit and project patches and crests.
Gary Bode has provided me some great support in scanning photographs.
Stephen Harding's book "U.S. Army Aircraft since 1947, An Illustrated
Reference" has many excellent photographs of SEMA (as well as virtually every
aircraft ever operated by the US Army, including the A-3, A-4, T-37, Fiat
G-91 and Northrop N-156 (F-5 prototype) which were all jet aircraft) aircraft and
provided me with many pieces of useful information.
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