Introducing the Sandeman logo, the Don, as the new VQ-2 Squadron Patch and Aircraft Markings
During 1971, after years of operational deception by avoiding the use of any Squadron markings and even tailcodes, VQ-2 adopted, in an epic change, the Sandeman logo, “The Don” for its Squadron aircraft markings, replacing the Electric Bat. Sandeman is a brand of Port wines founded in 1790 and its well-known logo features a caped man named “The Don” dressed as a black cloaked Andalucian Don, over a red and yellow background. The word Don in Spanish used when addressing an opulent citizen/official. The red triangle signified the radar sweep and was replicated behind The Don on the aircraft tails. The yellow background and the red recalled the Flag of Spain (until 1975 under General Franco leadership). The Don became the official insignia of VQ-2 in December 1974. In 1975-78, the red radar sweep on the tail became orange, recalling the post-Franco Spanish flag colors. In 1980, The Don would be ordered off the tails by the CO, being replaced by the Electric Bat (Cosmic) Bat.
Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron TWO VQ-2 COSMIC BATS
In 1979, when CAPT Taylor came back after the previous C.O. was unceremoniously relieved of Command, he did not want the Sandeman on the tail and directed a draftsman in Special Projects to come up with something else.
With this rather unpopular decision, reportedly based on copyrights restrictions on the use of the Sandeman logo, VQ-2 reverted back to a modified version of the Electric Bat, now call Cosmic Bat, adopted as the official squadron patch and painted it on the vertical stabilizer of each aircraft. The callsign, however, remained Ranger.
Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron TWO Disestablished
In preparation for the Squadron disestablishment, which was to be effective on August 31, 2012, VQ-2 CO, CDR Stockfish organized a disestablishment ceremony at NAS Whidbey Island, on May 17, 2012. This ceremony marked the end of 57 years of proud professionalism, accomplishments and sacrifice. Several hundred personnel attended the ceremony, many of them were former VQ-2 men and women who had travelled long distances to say farewell to an entity they considered an old friend. Since 1955, VQ-2 called three continents home, operated five different aircraft types, and collected intelligence on countless areas and units of naval and international interest.
Source: From Bats to Rangers