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.
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.