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Association of Old Crows (AOC) Documentary Videos for Engineers
Crows are very intelligent birds. According to researchers, they are capable of recognizing individual humans and can tell which ones have posed a threat in the past and which have not. Crows are known to fashion simple tools from wire and sticks to probe for food, and to make a variety of sounds for communicating with other crows. Their eyesight is quite keen, almost eagle-like. Crow brains are about the same in size relative to their bodies as the great apes, so a higher level of intelligence is not surprising. They are of the genus Corvus, renowned in literature for being wily and alert. But, that is not the kind of crow this article is about. This kind of crow is a U.S. Navy radioman that engages in electronic warfare.
According to the Association of Old Crows (AOC) website, "During World War II, Allied ECM officers, tasked to disrupt enemy communications and radars, were given the code name of 'Raven' to provide a degree of security to their existence. After WWII, a group of Raven operators were directed to establish a SAC flying course in ECM operations at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. From all accounts from those present at the time, the students changed the name to 'Crows' and those engaged in the profession became known as Old Crows." This video, although a bit corny (OK, 'cause crows like corn), gives a quick recounting of the AOC's history. You might not think a lot about electronic warfare in the WWII era, but EW is more than jamming radar signals. Operation Overlord (the D-Day landing) owed part of its success to radiomen jamming German radio signals. It appears that the crow is the perfect metaphor.