Jump to content
ARC Discussion Forums

C-130A Blind Bat flare ships

Recommended Posts

Some photos for people who want to make a black bottom one that's not a gunship.

Blind Bat was the project name for 347 TAw C-130As that carried out flare missions over Viet Nam and the Ho Chi Mihn Trail. They were involved in restricting movement of supplies to SVN.

For a good view of the program. Look at Sam's C-130 page. It is difficult to read but very illuminating. Hats off to all of those brave men.

Some were modified with similar electronics as the early AC-130As, with RHAW antennas on the nose, rear fuselage and tail. There was also a belly radome and a large blade antenna in front of and to the right of that radome. There was also what appears to be an channel strips to smooth the air flow under the open cargo ramp. It was attached to the bump on the lower ramp door. Tail codes and acft sns were red.

Some Blind Bats had whte tail codes and early aircraft had just the undersurface white replaced with black. Later aircraft had the black extend further up the fuselage.

These are some tail numbers that I have collected. The list is not definitive, nor do I have photos of all of them. I would write down the tail number of Blind Bats that I saw, whether in some one's photo collection or in a magazine article. Unfortunately, I neglected to list where I saw them. Sorry. So errors most certainly have creeped in.

YD 21 TAS Tail code and sn color

55-0005 red

55-0007 red

55-0023 white

55-0046 red

56-0483 red

55-0005 red

56-0508 red

56-0517 white

56-0533 no code?


55-0044 white

55-0048 red


57-0469 white


56-0471 red

56-0495 white

56-0500 white

56-0512 red

YP 817 TAS

55-0006? ?


56-0483, by K. Takaka, 1970.8.14 The black object on the rear fuselage is probably a blanking cone to prevent the top ACM light from being seen from the ground. But it was visible to higher aircraft. Necessary over the crowded skies above the trail.


56-0483. By K. Tanaka. 1970.8.14.


Via T. Matsuzaki. Location and date unknown. Probably Yokota AB. 69/70


By N. Suzuki. Tachikawa AB


Bat outline in red over tail code.

Plain Janes Blind Bats


55-0048. Via Matsuzaki. Probably Yokota AB, 1970. 12.20


55-0048 By K. Tanaka. 70.12.20

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a color one of 508


and one of 469.


Will provide information later.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

great posting GMAT!

here is a picture of my BB C-130A in the ARC gallery.

My dad flew Blind Bat missions and the "A" model performed this role perfectly. You will see in my gallery, the flare rack I scratch built based on information gathered by the BB guys including Sam Mcgowan.

BTW, I am getting close to releasing the C-130A conversion set in 1/48 and 1/72. I am having a difficult time with the 1/72 propellers since they are real thin. The real blades are about 2" thick or .030" thick in 1/72 scale. All the other parts are coming along fine.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Thanks your your comments. Your C-130 looks very nice. Perhaps you could post pictures and information of the flare rack to share with others. I have some more color pictures that I have to rescan when I have the chance.

Sam's C-130 page is quite interesting. He comes across as a pretty fair minded guy.

Perhaps etched parts might be better for the A model blades? The problem would be in getting the twist right.

After you come out with your props, perhaps you could post information about the A model blades that you have gotten? Photos, dimensions and a drawing?

Best wishes,


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a picture compliments the Blind Bat guys. The picture shows the flare chute for which I made my master from. I finally found my picture stash and and many are real low resolution.


Edited by drhornii

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

More pictures

Flare Chute with door in normal operating position. I believe they closed the cargo door on top of the flare rack.


Loader with cases of flares on board.


Blind Bat crew


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Thank you very much. Was that the uniform of the day in the middle picture? The first picture seems like a stateside photo. It looks like a grey scheme and the water tower in the background says mainland US. I don't think that Naha would have had anything like that. Perhaps Wright Patt or Eglin? Kirtland might be a possibility. Don't know about the bike, though. Maybe a Honda?

Best wishes,


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a picture of 56-0533. I was the Crew Chief on her in 1968. The first picture was taken at Ubon, Thailand. The second picture was taken in March 1968 at Tachi. She was being outfitted with ECM  gear. As you can see the tail code was in in white, YD (21st TAS)



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now