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Apr 9, 2005
Colorado, USA
In the 1950s many Anti-Submarine Warefare aircraft were being fitted with the AN/AQA-3 "Jezebel" acoustic search (passive sonar) and "Julie" echo-ranging (active sonar) gear, Commonly known as Julie-Jezebel, and its operators were known as "Julie-Jez" operators.

No one really knows where the name "Julie-Jezebel" came from, but I heard on two occasions that the people who developed the system would frequent a local "Strip Club." Dancing at this club was a young lady whose stage name was Julie Jezebel. If anyone else ever heard this story, please let us know!


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In the mid-50's, the Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville, PA, was involved in the development of an explosive echo-ranging technique employing practice depth charges (PDC's) -- later known as Signals, Underwater Sound (SUS) -- and passive-listening sonobuoys to detect quiet submarines.

One evening, between days of one of the program's technical reviews by visiting NAVAIR sponsors, some of the visitors took in the entertainment at The Wedge, a burlesque theater in nearby Philadelphia. A performer that evening was Julie Gibson, doing her "Dance of the Bashful Bride". The visitors were duly impressed:shock: , deciding that Julie "made passive boys (think: buoys!) go active." OK, it may be kind of a lame play on words:rolleyes: , but that is how they arrived at naming the program Project JULIE.

Julie Gibson was subsequently apprised of the honor bestowed on her. More about Julie G. can be found at Java's Bachelor Pad: Julie Gibson .

JULIE was introduced into the Fleet in 1956, employing SUS and the AN/SSQ-2B sonobuoy, which was replaced in 1957 by the AN/SSQ-23.

JEZEBEL, the acoustic detection method using passive-listening sonobuoys, likely had its name -- somewhat oddly -- inspired by Biblical reference. In Kings 1, Jezebel, a queen of ancient Israel, was nothing but bad:evil: . She was (among other things) "a Betrayer", and it was likely that idea of betraying the presence of an enemy submarine through passive acoustic detection that gave this technique -- also in development at NADC -- its name.

NADC/Johnsville (later NADC/Warminster) was "realigned" as part of the new Naval Air Warfare Center (Aircraft Division) in 1992, and the Warminster facility closed in 1996, its remaining functions transferred to NAWC/AD's main location at NAS Patuxent River, MD. Historical info about NADC can be found at: NAWC Warminster Historical Information
Hey gents. Thought you guys might find this interesting. It's one of her promotion posters that she autographed. Cheers.

Hey gents. Thought you guys might find this interesting. It's one of her promotion posters that she autographed. Cheers.


My experience with "Julie and Jezebel" began at Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit Atlantic, NAS Norfolk where in January 1966 as an ASW aircrew trainee I attended the ASW Equipment Operator course. This course was the first step following aviation electronic technician (AT) or ASW technician (AX) "A" school) in the P-2 and P-3 aircrew pipeline. The students were 19-20 year old males under training by fleet experienced petty officers supervised by a senior chief sonarman. With great ceremony each student was given his classified course materials in a heavy duty binder. At the direction of the senior chief. we were told to open the binder where we found glossy photos of the striippers Julie and Jezebel. I believe one of the photos was the Julie Gibson photo shown above. The senior chief then explained the history of Julie and Jezebel and how the ASW systems got named for the strippers. As a 19 year old E-3, I was very impressed.
Thanks. I know some ex-P2V people and I think they will be pleased to learn this.
Great story. I flew P-2's back in the '60's and used the Julie/Jezebel systems but had never heard this story. Thanks, I'm forwarding this information to all my ASW buddies who I'm sure have never heard this as well.
I have never heard the great story of Julie...I am vaguely familiar with the system as it was in the early rating manuals for AW. I heard of the biblical references to Jezebel and we were still referring to passive system as Jez.
Thanks for bringing back old memories..

Pete Gilley AWC (ret) VP-23, VP-5, AW School
Julie was developed as an operational system largely by the Test,Development and Evaluation flight (TD&E) of 404 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force based at Greenwood, Nova Scotia with support by the Operational Research scientist from the Canadian Defence Research Board. My log book shows evaluation trials conducted off Bermuda in January of 1956.

My log book shows that we demonstrated the potential of this system on 27 November 1956 to a USN Admiral, Admiral Shea, if my memory serves me correctly. As I recall he got quite excited saying drop another one (a Practice Depth bomb containing aboout 2 pounds of explosive). This demo flight probably supported the adoption of this system by the USN.

In April of 1956 I wrote the "Julie Manual", developed the training program and was the chief instructor.

In February of 1957 we trained RCAF crews from 404 and 405 Squadrons in GITMO. The following year this training was repeated at GITMO with crews frrom The RCN who flew Tracker aircraft and USN P2V7 crews. My log book shows that on 13 and 14 February I was a"screen" instructor on flights of Lt. Gregg, USN who flew P2V7 No. 175 and on 15 February of Lt Cdr Hubbard USN who flew P2V7 No. 172. Don't remenber what USN squadrons they came from. GITMO was an ideal training area because of the deep offshore water.

As for Jezebel, our TD&E flight, using the prototype equipment from Bell Labs, proved out the capability of this system which helped in this system becoming operational
question everyone, we are doing a documentary on the legendary Bayou Nightclub in Washington DC where julie Performed in the early 60's does anyone know if she is still alive and where she is ??? if so, please email me at [email protected]

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