Of triple tails and bugeyes

Here we see the sole type of only fixed-wing aircraft ever built specifically for the U.S. Army since the Air Force was carved away to form a separate service in 1947– the humble Grumman OV-1 Mohawk, a dedicated observation, intelligence and tactical surveillance aircraft that could double in light attack roles in a pinch, replacing the old WWII-era Cessna O-1 Bird Dog “Grasshoppers” used to correct fire for field artillery units and scout just over the front line.

First flying in 1959, they were used in Vietnam and by the 1970s increasingly saw service in Army National Guard units, continuing to put in solid work right into Desert Storm.

This 70s Photo of Oregon’s Army National Guard OV-1s from the 1042nd Aviation Company in Salem flying past Mt. Hood.

Mohawk #926 flown by Curt Degner “SCAN 23” (top) leading a formation of Mohawks. The 2nd (middle) OV-1 is flown by Stephen Hammons “SCAN 21” and the 3rd (lower) OV-1 is flown by George Burns “SCAN 09” as they pass by Mt. Hood. You can just barely make out “926” on the tail of the lead Mohawk.

From a 1996 piece at Air & Space:

“It’s an unsung hero,” says Russ Wygal, a pilot with the Army’s 224th Military Intelligence Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia, the last stateside unit to fly the Mohawk. Wygal says that when he tells people he flew an OV-1, they often confuse it with the North American OV-10 Bronco, a twin turboprop developed specifically for counter-insurgency campaigns like the Vietnam war. “Then I have to describe what it looks like,” he says. “It’s not like an F-14 Tomcat, where everybody goes, ‘Ooo, aah, Top Gun.’”

As for Mohawk #926 in the above photo, there is a group of guys in Oregon trying to restore her.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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