On July 1, 1971, The Navy’s Typhoon Trackers (VW-1) were disbanded. In the wake of the United States’ withdrawal from Vietnam, serious cutbacks to defense spending (the so-called “Peace Dividend”) led the armed services to scale down non-combat activities, such as weather reconnaissance. The Air Force still maintained their “Typhoon Chaser” squadrons, so the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Guam could still monitor west Pacific typhoons closely.
VW-1 was formed in 1952 as an Early Warning Squadron based in Hawaii. In 1961, after being deployed to Guam, typhoon reconnaissance was added to its duties. But the unit also continued to monitor military threats and offered weather monitoring support to NASA’s Apollo missions. Its typhoon tracking activities led the squadron to receive the Navy’s Meritorious Unit Commendation in 1967. During this time, the Squadron used the WC-121 Super Connie airframes.
The unit’s sister squadron, VW-4 “Hurricane Hunters”, were also disbanded in 1974, ending the Navy’s involvement in aerial weather reconnaissance.