11/30/2010. To provide the Navy with an airborne early-warning aircraft capable of operating from aircraft carriers, Grumman began development of a new version of the Tracker in 1954. On March 1, 1957, the first of two aerodynamic prototypes (BuNo. 133043,133044) was first flown carrying the massive dish-type radome above the fuselage. The other major external change consisted of a new tail unit with twin fins and rudders and a central fin. These prototypes were designated WF-1 Tracer.
Delivery of 88 production model WF-2 (BuNo. 145957-145961, 146303, 147208-147256, 148123-148146, 148900-148923) began in February 1958, to equip VAW-11 and VAW-12. The type was redesignated E-1B in 1962, more often being known as 'Willy Fudd' to its pilots. These aircraft were replaced by E-2s in 1965-1966. View also photo 1854.