I was a Crew Chief, mechanic, TI and crew member with the 74th RAV all of 1968 at Phu Loi. I could put together a down Bird Dog with my eyes closed. Now I don't even remember how to change spark plugs in my car.
I was a crew member on a lot of motor watch missions over Siagon during the Tet Offensive, God that Beaver Aircraft was a real work horse. I feel honored to have worked along side the men of the 74th.
E-5, Jerry Cowart, 74th RAC, Pho Loi, Vietnam, 1968
Michael Graham, e-mail, 27.02.2013 02:37
I was an Army Infantry Lt. '68-69' assigned to the 23rd ARVN Division as an Advisor. Saw a lot of firefights in II Corps. I was most thankful for the many times the FAC in an O-1 helped us out of some real messy situations. I flew VRs out of Phan Rang AFB mainly in the Ninh Huan, Bien Huan and Tuyen Duc Provinces. Wish I could locate the AF Cpt. who piloted me out of Phan Rang. Thanks for the memories some of which I would like to forget.
Alex Chavarin, e-mail, 17.11.2012 22:14
I flew the BirdDogs in Vietnam in 1969-1970 out of Chu Lai and Marble Mountain AF DaNang. With the 21st RAC, my Call Sign was BlackAce 21 in Chu Lai, and BlackAce 12 in DaNang. That BirdDog was a great plane and we had some wild times, with great War Stories. I was lucky enough to room with my good friend Tom Kruzic, we went through Flight School together. Arrived together FNG's and left together Salty Dogs on that Big Bird out of DaNang. I'm still very proud of those days, and have some fond memories.
pat mastrincola, e-mail, 28.09.2012 20:20
I was an observer out of Phouc Vinh from the 101st that flew with the 184th .Great group of men and it was a great plane Got me home safe and sound every time
George Ganyon Airman second, e-mail, 16.09.2012 04:23
Worked flight line in 66-67 Bihn Thuy AB. someone wrecked my baby on landing. He sure got his butt chewed by the Boss. They were a lot better to work on than a C-124.
Gregg Rennacker, e-mail, 30.08.2012 00:08
I was just a wobbly one warrant officer 'slick driver' (Tomahawk 23)at Phu Loi '67-'68. I recall hearing the call sign 'Aloft". I managed to accumulate 1275 hours of flying time in 11 months flying out of the 'tee-pee' at Papa Lima. Just hearing 'Du Hoa' gives me the creeps. I have a good friend that restored(is restoring) an 0-1 and I was just wondering if anyone has an amusing or exciting tale of the pilot/plane capibilities that we all usually exceeded. One of you may even have called in fast movers or artillery through 'Hawk Control' for me. Thanx to all, gregg - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Mc Namee, e-mail, 06.08.2012 04:47
I was very fortunate to have flown almost all the Army's fixed wing aircraft, Caribou, U-8D&F, Beaver and the Bird dog, nothing quite fit like the Bird Dog. You almost wore the aircraft like it was an extension of your body. Everywhere that I flew from OFWAC 63-6 (the 100% goldhat class) at Ft Rucker, to Ft Monroe (primary A/C U8), to Ft Benning (primary A/C CV-2B) I always retained my currency in the O-1 and grabbed every opportunity to fly missions in it. I continued to fly it with the Mass ARNG along with U-6 and later, helicopters, but the O-1 is by far the most fun to fly aircraft I have ever flown and thanks to our crew chiefs and mechanics, the most reliable.
Skip Dent "Shotgun43", e-mail, 31.07.2012 03:29
I flew as a sector reconnaissance pilot in Bac Lieu Province. I can't really say how many combat missions. I flew every day with an occasional Sunday off. They were all combat missions. I was a member of the 221st Reconnaissance Airplane Company. "Shotguns". We covered most of IV CORPS. I and my room mate a USAF CAPT. put in air strikes, naval gunfire, arty strikes and supported ground forces with my eight rockets. Now and then my crew chief, Milton Broussard would get in my back seat with an M60 and 1500 rounds of 7.62 ammo. Thus my bird dog had a very lethal tail gunner. The littl Bird Dog was very solid and saved my life with it's solid structure more than once. On one occasion, iI returned from a prticularly hairy operation and Broussard greeted me with a bone white face and he could only point at the back of my seat. I had one of the few armored Bird Dog seats. There right where my heart was was a ricochet on the back of the seat. I would have been dead were it not for that armored seat.
I went home and flew as an O-1 IP for a couple of years until fixed wing initial entry training was cancelled. After thirty+ years I retired as a CW5.
Vic Hickok, e-mail, 19.07.2012 10:31
Went to Ft Rucker AL for Single-engine Fixed-wing observation/utility aircraft repairman (O-1/U-6) 1965. Upon graduating, was re-assigned to 219th Avn Co (Headhunters), Camp Holloway Pleiku, Vietnam (Jan 66-Jan 67) flew backseat observer/crew chief and was assigned as Aircraft refueler. Loved the aircraft, it was very forgiving!
Eugene Walsh, USA (Ret), e-mail, 26.06.2012 15:17
Was in the first Army L-19 Flight Class under civilian instructors at Spence, AFB in Moultrie, Georgia in 1956. After graduating spent 18 months in Korea flying throughout South Korea. Flew this aircraft for many years after in L-19A, L-19E, and TL19D accruing over 1500 Hours. Never had a forced landing. A most reliable bird.
Ike Jones, e-mail, 05.06.2012 08:45
I had the pleasure of flying the L-19 in Korea for 16 solid months (55-57). It was really a sweet bird to fly...I loved it! Always got me back home to A-11 (Kapyong) and, later, to K-46 (Wonju)...spellings?
buddy roberts, e-mail, 07.03.2012 18:04
FLEW BIRDDOGS OUT OF BIEN HOA, KONTUM, AND DAK TO 66'-67'. ATTACHED TO 173RD AIRBORNE BRIGADE. HOT TIMES AT DAK TO. GREAT BIRD, TOOK OFF, CRUISED, AND LANDED AT SAME SPEED !
Bob Cadman, e-mail, 17.02.2012 04:56
I flew Birddogs for 2 years in Vietnam. May 1968-July 1970 with the Hawkeyes and Pterodactyls.
David Stamat, e-mail, 15.01.2012 17:11
I flew the O-1 with the 203rd RAC out of Qui Nhon, Viet Nam. Most frequently in tail number 6919. My call sign was Hawkeye 19. Strong machine, great flying, and thank God still here to talk about it. Any other "old timers" out there drop me a line.
Scott Boyd, e-mail, 11.01.2012 00:31
The ones I flew had the castering main gear locked and flew just like any other tailwheel Cessna I have flown, 170, 180, 185.
Having started in a Champ I never had an problems and even after not flying a tail dragger for a long time hopping into one was never a problem either. What you have to know to fly a tailwheel airplane makes you a lot better flying with a nosewheel. In my opinion.
Jack Phillabaum, e-mail, 10.01.2012 22:03
Bob Anderson- I was in class 54-J. Last class to take advanced at Ft. Sill. Fun,fun. William Sauers. I was Operations Officer 118th Avn Co Bien Hoa summer 63. Watch such as you try to make your first landing on the PSP strip. several go arounds before you could get is slow enough to land. Bob Bailey. I was at Bien Hoa when you were, 118th. We had 2 l-19s which I flew a good bit. Loved the L-19. Someone here in Hendersonville, NC bought a restored L-19, he ground looped it right away with a good bit of damage. People always talk about the L-19 and ground loops. I never saw one! Those were the days. Now I cant afford one.
Victor Hickok, e-mail, 04.01.2012 00:45
I was at Ft Rucker AL for aircraft maint schools from Jul - Dec 1965, then was assigned to Viet Nam to serve 1 year with 219th Avn Co as Crew Chief. After 21 hours of Combat Assault rear seat time, and getting ill on every flight, I was assigned to the POL Section as Aircraft Refueler operating the M-49C Tanker Truck that refueled the 219th's Aircraft. I love the Bird Dog, and its performance.
Doc Clement, e-mail, 22.11.2011 21:12
I flew the Birddog with the 220th Catkillers in Vietnam in 1968 along the DMZ and one of the first to fly North Vietnam in the 0-1, also flew with the 219th Headhunters. You can read our book "A Hundred Feet Over Hell" by Jim Hooper.
Kenneth R. Kunz, e-mail, 03.11.2011 22:36
I flew Birddogs in Vietnam in 1968-1969 out of Marble Mountain AF DaNang. The 21st RAC (Blackaces). Flew 912 hours as a TACA for the 1st Mar Div AO's. Call sign Blackace 18. Great bird, always brought me home.
Bob Pettengill, e-mail, 26.08.2011 21:36
I loved this airplane. I was an army aviator with primary training in L 21's at Gary Airforce Base and transitioned to the L 19 at Ft Rucker, AL in 1956. It had fantastic short field take off and landing capability. We were taught to land it on unimproved fields, curved roads, up hill and down hill, you name it. It was a great airplane.
Bob Anderson, e-mail, 18.08.2011 02:32
The L-19 (O-1) has to be my favorite A/C of all my flight experience. Army Flt Class 54K. Short field landings and takeoffs over barriers were always the most fun. With 60 degree flaps and a bit of wind it could almost be hovered down. Even after going into helicopters it was a thrill to get back into a Bird Dog.
Hank Koppelmaa, e-mail, 09.05.2011 20:58
I flew the O-1 with the 74th RAC out of Phu Loi and Duc Hoa in '66-67. Great aircraft. Call Sign "Aloft 22". When we switched from two to four rockets on each wing,(4 WP, 4 HE)we could really help out the ground pounders until the gun ships arrived.
Eldon Faast, e-mail, 29.03.2011 23:35
Flew O-1D/G with 219th Headhunters Camp Hollaway 69-70. Was the greatest 'seat of the pants' flying and most fun except for being shot at, I had done in 45 years of flying.
Scott Boyd, e-mail, 11.03.2011 06:06
I flew them on CAP searches from Gunnison Colorado back in the early 70's. My initial check-ride required a 60 degree flap no power landing. Later they locked the flaps at 45 degrees.
J.R. Smith, e-mail, 11.03.2011 01:47
The very first aircraft I crewed in the Army at Ft. Lewis Wa. after Av school at Ft. Rucker Al. 1962. Crewed for a Lt. Haddock. He was a bush pilot from Ogden Ut. He bet me he could get me sick....He did! And this Pvt. E-Nothing really lost the bet, not to mention the 3 hours it took me to clean up my ship. We used to fly up and down the rivers around Ft. Lewis and piss off the duck hunters. At least we never took any buckshot. Fun aircraft and my first experiance in Army Aviation. However....not fun landing in high winds....Greatest memories though. Later came the Otter at Ft. Jackson and then the Helio Courier/U-10 at Ft Benning.
William Sauers, e-mail, 03.03.2011 07:30
I finished sitting alert for THE CUBAN CRISIS IN MY F-100,Was sent to AGOS(AIR GROUND OPS SCHOOL)the USAF wanted qualified Fighter jocks to control air attacks and the air war. In1963 there were 14 of us sent to S.V.N. P.C.S. I had 30 hours in a prop plane T34 and all the rest was in jets,Had never flown a tail drager,and was used to formal schools with each aircraft.Whoooa, I had 2 or 3 flights in the L19 with another fighter pilot Major at Bien Hoa on a 10,000' runway 150' wide in a svn L-19. and off I went! We figured out to use a greese mark on the fwd windshield to aim the rockets for marking targets. You had to keep the ball centered to hit the targets. We had 2.75 rockets occasionaly with 3.75 W.P.warheads.You could destroy a target marking it with those. My U.S.Army buddies gave me a case of W.P. Grenades,and a case of the new frag grenades for skip bombing.We only had t28's, B26's, and a few A1H's to direct so you had to self help. The L19 was a pleasure to fly, low and slow, could strafe out the side with your AR-15. The Army had none at the time.I could have traded it for a tank. I worked setting up air ops , at Bien Hoa w Col.Kia and %th Divison Commander/later president Theiu. I had never seen,let alone landed on grass runway's,and 1,000' O.M.G. What a fast self taught learning curve.I workedTai Ninh, Baria/Cape saint Jac,always 3rd Corp. The most powerful job I ever had i a Plane we changed to "F-19". I returned to the Z.I. and trained in the F105 and right back to N.V.N. with something to hit back with.
George Mundis, e-mail, 09.02.2011 23:17
Many great memories of the old Birddog. I was a member of WOFWAC 63=1W the 1st WO candidate class to go thru fixed wing training in the L19 then on to Nam in the 73rd RAC 64/65 flying out of Danang later in 68/69 was O1 SIP in Germany S&S Det in Augsberg & Schwabisch Hall. Then to mother Rucker after charm school X 2 SIP at DSIT. And sadly, got to fly one to Tucson when the Army transferred many to the CAP.and ditto on Wayne Hutto's comments about instructing from the back seat especially at night, over the barrier OMG did I do that. My best to you Ancient Army Aviators and all other Birddogers too.
charles Finch, e-mail, 08.02.2011 19:53
LORI-The aircraft you mentioned in your blog, ship number 133811 belonged to VMO-2 and was taken out of service in Sept 1965 according to the book. I will email the author to see if he has any other details.
Charles Finch, e-mail, 08.02.2011 19:49
Flew this 1968-1969 with 220th RAC Catkillers. "100 Feet over Hell" is book by Jim Hooper about the unit. "The BIRD DOGS' TALE by Bobby Jack Wooley has a detailed of all tail numbers and their history. If Lloyd Morgan reads this, get in touch with me. Worked under Barry Mainardi teaching 0-1s for a year. Have 3400 hours in the aircraft.
Bob Bailey, e-mail, 06.02.2011 06:49
Flew that magnificient machine out of Bien Hoa Sept. 63 to March 64 then from Vung Tau until Sept. 64. 73rd Aviation Company (Airplane Surv. Lt.)First Birddog unit in country. This airplane and the men that flew them have never been adequately recognized for contribution to war effort.
Lori McNamara, e-mail, 02.02.2011 00:52
My dad's plane (Jim Livengood - USMC) in Vietnam '65 was O-1B Bird dog #133811. Is it possible to track down an old military plane?
Mike Harwood, e-mail, 25.01.2011 23:18
I flew 903 in Vietnam from 69-70 out of Dalat in the Central Highlands.
Walt Drewes, e-mail, 09.01.2011 21:17
I would like to contact Paul Dodd, does he still have the L-19. Thank You
John B. Howard, e-mail, 12.12.2010 00:09
Corrected e-mail address
John B. Howard, e-mail, 12.12.2010 00:06
I flew the 0-1 with the First Air Cav, as a pilot for eBtry/82nd Arty at Phouc Vinh in 1969/70, callsign "Woodpecker 33", later changed to "Red Falcon" because some dumbass Div. commander didn't like hearing the controllers shorten our callsign to simply "pecker" on the radio. Great airplane, later instructed in the Birddog at Ft Stewart, Ga, and had the honor to instruct in the "last birddog class" in 1971. Would love to hear from any of the great pilots I served with in Nam.
Barry Mainardi, e-mail, 09.12.2010 04:40
I flew Birddogs in Kontum, Central Highlands, RVN 1969.My call sign was "Headhunter 26" as Platoon Leader, 2nd Platoon, 219th Avn Co. There are great memories of flying through Dak Mek Valley, Tri-Border (Cambodia/Laos/RVN) … both sides on the border … guess we got lost!!! That aircraft could perform mountain maneuvers that even surprised me while I was performing them. Any mountain flyers out there remember “rudder turns” using those 60 degree flaps? Any flyers remember landing on those “A-Team” camps when the Density Altitude was so high, you could only take off in the morning or early evening? Really fun with rockets also!!!! Few believe that there were times when we flew with 4 rockets on each wing. Thank God I have pictures … thank God I can write about it LOL. I flew around 1,500 hrs supporting Command Control Central and MAC-V. When I returned, I served as a Flight Instructor/Commander for the “D-2” Section of the Army Aviation School at Ft. Rucker until the Birddog was “retired”. My call sign at the School was "Trojan". Don't ask!!!! God bless all you guys!!!!
Wayne Hutto, e-mail, 29.11.2010 02:59
I flew it in flight school and then spent two tours at the US Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama teaching in the O-1 (one in the Department of Tactics and a second in the intial entry program). It was the first airplane I ever flew and I will never forget the fun times that I spent in it - especailly instructing from the back seat (in the summertime I had the windows open with elbows hanging out both sides) teaching things such as night landings and power approaches over the banners with no forward visitility.
J. S. "Wolf" Wygal (Sgt), e-mail, 27.11.2010 05:24
Was a Crew Chief in the 2nd PLT, 219th RAC Headhunters based in Kontum, RVN. We were an "outlying platoon" as the Co HQ was at Camp Holloway, Pleiku with 4 other flight and one maint platoon. I flew many rear seat hours and thanks to some very smart pilots learned to fly the plane through all phases with stick and rudder, throttle and mixture, and NO instruments...all by seat of the pants.. even learned to crab for "blind" landings (no forward visibility). We carried eight 2.75 rockets, a case of grenades (WP and HE); we even mounted an AM-60 MG on one shackle and a box of 4/1 tracer on the other (under the rt wing and triggered by electric servo). THAT was fun, but alas impractical. The O-1 was the best...simple, rugged, stable, forgiving.
Earle F. Lasseter, e-mail, 09.11.2010 21:15
I was in 58-11(Brown Hats) January 1958 Gary AAF. Love that Birddog. When I was stationed at Ft. McClellan,Al in 1977 there was a small pvt. field that had an L-19 but it was not for sale.
Carl Stevenson, USA Retired, e-mail, 08.11.2010 06:06
Entered US Army fixed wing primary flight training in January 1959 at Gary AAF, San Marcos,TX. The flight trainer was the L-19 Bird Dog. The instructors were civilian contractors, and the check pilots were Army Aviators. After tactical training in the L-19 at Ft Rucker, I was fortunate enough to fly the Bird Dog for the next five years, two at Ft Lee, VA and three in Augsburg, GR, 24th Division Aviation Company. While in the latter assignment, I accumulated many hours of AI in the TL-19D and became an instrument instructor. I remember spending four hour flights in radio relay missions for the Division in the field. This was challenging without a relief tube. But, we jerry-rigged our own. It was humorous to watch autobahn traffic with faster ground speed when flying westward. The Bird Dog could take a lot of punishment and still complete the mission. It would be great to fly one again.
Gerry Unger, e-mail, 02.11.2010 20:20
Hi All, Trying to help a Nam Vet who was in 18th Aviation Co. QUI NHON, (U.S. Army). He was in Cessena -O-1 Tail No.81703 when it crashed back in Qui Nhon, when it landed back in 68 or 69. The VA is denying the plane ever existed, even though we have pictures of it. Anyone out there recall the incident, the Sgt's name is Giusti? Please get in contact with me so we can help this Vet finally get comp insated for his injuries. Thanks. Semper Fi, Gerry Semper Fi
Doran S Platt III, e-mail, 02.11.2010 15:59
I was fortunate to have been able to, briefly, fly the O-1E when CAP got some in the late 60's and early 70's. We had to retrofit some of the old-style ARC avionics but the airframes and engines were in A+ condition. A fine airplane, in all respects but one has to really know the aircraft to do it safely!
Chuck Galbach, e-mail, 30.10.2010 14:55
I flew the O-1 (and O-2) at Danang, 67-68, as a FAC and 20th TASS test pilot. I thought the O-1 was just great for FAC'ing (actually better than the O-2) and fun to fly. Very maneuverable, good visibility, reliable, good angle of climb for getting out of a tight spot and not as noisy as the O-2, so you could usually hear ground fire. The E's and G's had a fixed prop that you could hang on during climbout, giving a steep climb angle for getting out of little dirt strips. The F's had a variable pitch prop and though a couple knots faster, didn't allow you to hang on the prop quite like the fixed pitch ones. Had to deadstick one into Danang on a test hop - very fine sand at Hue Phu Bai getting thru the oil soaked type air intake filter had killed the engine with only 150 hrs on it. But otherwise, just a great airplane.
Paul Dodd, e-mail, 21.10.2010 12:55
I am the proud owner of a Birddog that I recovered from Vietnam in 1980 and since rebuilding this aircraft back to it's original specs I have flown over a 1,000 hours in it. The original US Army number is 116903 and would like to hear from anyone that may have flown her during her time in Vietnam.
I agree with the above comment she is noisy and reliable and just the best aeroplane to fly.
Ken Orton, e-mail, 20.10.2010 02:07
Flew this aircraft for four months in VN over the delta as a Jade Fac and in other areas that "we didn't go". It was the ideal aircraft for the job. In another of the VN disasters we turned this A/C over to the VNAF. The ones I trained in Vung Tau would rarely fly due to clouds, etc. so they basically sat and rotted. I was hoping for an ungrade to the OV-10 but got stuck with the O-2.
Glen Gibson, e-mail, 17.10.2010 23:21
Took basic flight training in the L-19 at Gary AFB Tx -class 55L. Flew L-19s three years in Germany(56-59) and returnred to Ft Rucker to be a B phase instructor in the Birddog. Flew into every short strip,road and some hillsides in the Wiregrass coumntry. The bird never missed a beat for me or my many students. Great little airplane! I flew in one here at the Estralla Wardirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA last year.(2009) It was a 1950 model and flew well. Wish I owned one today.
Steve Laurance, e-mail, 14.10.2010 19:39
I flew the Bird Dog in VN 1968-1969 in the Central Highlands. Ideal for a FAC airplane. I'd trim it up & use the rudders. Needed both hands free for using 3 radios & writing on the windscreen. The old bird brought me back safely everytime.
James Greer, e-mail, 13.10.2010 03:26
Many hrs in the old girl. 74th RAC VN in 67.
Bob Moravek, e-mail, 11.10.2010 20:27
Flew the L19 starting Jan 58 Class 58-10. Fun Airplane. 60 degrees of flaps, could land it anywhere.
Frank Vranicar, e-mail, 07.10.2010 03:20
I own a TL-19A, bureau number 17384 which saw most of it's active career at Ft. Rucker, Germany and back to Rucker. It surplused to the California CAP and was sold at auction about 1983 for $13.000. I am the second owner since then. Take a look at the International Bird Dog Association web site at IBDAweb.
Russ Vaughn, e-mail, 23.09.2010 03:19
I went to flight school in the L-19 (later the O-1) in 1958, flew the "dog" in Germany from 1960-1963, at Ft Sill and was the CO of the 184th RAC in PhuLoi RVN in 1968. One of the toughest and best airctaft I have ever had the pleasure to fly. I retired with over 10,000 hours and about 3,000 in the bird dog.
Ralph McRae, e-mail, 22.09.2010 22:08
I flew the O-1 over 1,300 hrs in the 199th RAC and it never let me down. I was disappointed not to get the OV-1 or U-21 but by the end of my tour I would not have traded the O-1 for any other aircraft in VN.
Bob Kaplan, e-mail, 21.09.2010 19:14
My first experience with the L-19 was as a crew chief at Zahns Airport,NY , New York Army National Guard AMP1. I got to fly it with some pilot buddies, Ed Armstrong, Harry Seavey, John Reardon. Next towing gliders for the Doyle brothers in Salem, NH when my son soloed in gliders at 15. It would pull anything you could hook onto it.
Bill Burns, e-mail, 20.09.2010 22:21
I flew in this aircraft as a backseater in the Second Infantry Division Aviation Company (Prov) in 1953. We flew out of the Hunt-Murphy Airstrip on the Central front (I forget the military designation). Strip was named after two members of the 7th Infantry Division killed on a mission. This aircraft was perfect for recon and FO missions. Would love to find a desktop model but haven't had any luck..Any help with that?
Jerry Reed, e-mail, 13.09.2010 00:20
What great memories of the little ole birddog. Flew 395 combat missions in II Corps in 1967-68. Bao Loc was home base but occasionly flew into Ban Me Thout, Dalat, Gia Nia, Pleiku and Nha Trang. Walt 70 was the call sign. Great memories of January-February 1968.
Ward P Britt, e-mail, 25.08.2010 04:44
Trail 64 in Quang Tri 1967-8 Great bird and very dependable. Wish I owned one now.
richard yettner, e-mail, 16.08.2010 23:54
Crew Chief on O-1s for Trail 60-68 FACs at LaVang, Quang Tri RVN, 68-69. Easy to maintain. Loved em.
Harold F Smith, LtCol, USAFRET, e-mail, 20.07.2010 19:15
I'm looking for information on the K-46 Hycon camera unit that attached to the L-19 and was used for recon in Korea?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Harold Smith LtCol, USAF RET
Walter Duke, e-mail, 09.07.2010 18:12
I flew the L-19 at Fort Sill OK. in 1953 which was the Army Aviation School at that time. Graduated in Jan 1954. Flew it in Alaska 1954-1956 Floats and Ski's, Fort Knox, KY 56-60, Germany 60-63, Fort Benning 63-65.
Tom Cartier, e-mail, 10.05.2010 04:15
Floyd get ahold of me if you want. I would love to chat about our times at the Fort Bliss flying club. Tom Cartier, Sacramento CA.
tedbohne, e-mail, 28.03.2010 22:11
I have 100 or so hours in Army 52-12104 that used to be at the Fort Bliss Flying Club, N201FM. Learned to fly tail draggers in this Aircraft. Floyd Tiemann instructor!!
LLOYD MORGAN, e-mail, 17.02.2010 04:15
Great a/c. Primary flt.tng in the Army 1960,flew for the 220th RAC in RVN 1967 till wounded, flew the 305A for the North Carolina Forest Service from 1982 to 2008. Have well over 4,000 hours in this wonderful bird. Also flew it on floats while stationed in Alaska. Wish I had my own Birddog.
B. WATTS, e-mail, 10.02.2010 08:23
ARMY TOLD ME I WAS AN AIRCRAFT MECHANIC AFTER COMPLETING MECHANIC SCHOOL AT GARY AIRFORCE BASE IN EARLY 1954. WE NEW THE L-19 FROM SAFTY WIRE ON THE PROP TO GREASING THE TAIL WHEEL. WOUND UP AT FT. HUACHUCA, 90TH TART, FIRST AIRPLANE THAT I WORKED ON WAS A L-20. BIG DIFFRENCE. L-19 DIDN'T REQUIRE MUCH MAINT. CLEAN OR CHANGE THE SPARK PLUGS, GET RID OF THE MAG DROP, PICK CACTUS OUT OF THE LEADING EDGE OF THE WINGS...GET RABIT HAIR OFF THE LANDING GEAR AND SUCH. DIDN'T TEACH US MUCH ABOUT THAT TIPE OF COMBAT..WE MOUNTED ALL SORTS OF COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT, BOMB SHAKLES FOR DROPING FLARES, AND SOME OTHER SPOOKY STUFF. THE SIGNAL CORE SURE KNEW HOW TO KEEP US BUSY. EVER TRY TO TAXI ONE ON P.S.P.? TAIL WHEEL JUST FITS IN THE HOLES. MAKES FOR A BUMPY RIDE. GOOD AIRPLANE.
Hector Casanova, e-mail, 02.02.2010 02:21
The Bird dog is one of the most underated "warbirs" of the RVN war. When I was a proud member of the 74th RAC in 1970, most missions were flown in Cambodia without an observer. I fired very few rockets from our birds; howver I became very profficient in marking targets with smoke granades and calling in artillery. During my tour, I was told that our unit inflicted more casualties to the NVA that any other unit in the Brigade, which was mostly composed of helicopter units. The O-1 was an ecellent platform for directing fire and could stay aloft for over 4 hours. That old O-470 was as noisy as it was reliable!
Fred Edwards, e-mail, 31.01.2010 15:46
My Dad flew the L19 in the 50s and early 60s. He went to flight school in ’56. My earliest memories of the airplane and him were when he flew it in the early 60s w/ a USAR unit before they (the acft) were shipped off to VN. He used to get it during drill weekends, buzz the house (too cool), then land at a local airport and sneak me and my brother on board (backseat, side-by-side under the lap belt) and take us up for rides. I was about 7 at the time and loved it!! I too became an Army Aviator (RW), serving in the 80s and 90s. To me, the L19 had a unique smell about it – must’ve been the combination of cigarette smoke, AVGAS, canvas, and metal. Would occasionally get that same smell in a helicopter and immediately have “flashbacks” of the old L19 and being 7 again! To all you that read this and flew the Birddog thank you for your loyal service.
Richard Davis, e-mail, 29.01.2010 01:53
I too jo[ned the 221St in May 67 in Soc Trang. Went to 4th platoon in Bac Lieu for experience then to Camau as Shotgun 45. Loved the Bird Dog and it got me back everytime, except once. Saved my bird but damaged a wing. Then a cable broke as it was being hauled back to Soc Trang-- destoyed. Later commanded the Red Knights in Vinh Long.
Frank Allen, e-mail, 28.01.2010 17:48
I was an instructor in the O-1 and the U-6 at Fort Rucker in 1964-66 then flew the O-1 in the 221st RAC in Viet Nam from March 66-March 67, then to Germany where I flew it from May 67 to Aug 68 totaling over three thousand hours in the aircraft. To me the beauty of the O-1 was that you could, with the aid of a good headwind and the 60 degree flaps, put it down in less than 200 feet. I have done it many times. It is a great aircraft and I am very glad to see so many of them still flying. Now days computers fly most aircraft, but the birddog-you flew it!
Donald Smith, CW3, US Army (Re, e-mail, 28.01.2010 06:41
Spent 5 years as a crew chief on the L-19 and TL-19 then went on to become an aviator and maint. officer and instructor. Served with the Bird Dogs in the 221st Avn Co based in Soc Trang during '65 - '66 had an interesting time flying tail number 2980, an aircraft that I crewed in Germany with the 24th Avn Bn. Would like to know what happened to that one and to 55-4707 another of my babies.
Bob Gee LTC USA (Ret), e-mail, 28.01.2010 01:20
I logged over 1,000 hours in an O-1 over the Delta in RVN in 1966. We had a few AF facs who supported the Provencial VN effort and they did a great job. Most the bird dogs in country were Army. We supported Special Forces, US and Viet Namese ground forces and Navy riverine operations with combat air, including USAF, Navy, and Army Gunships; Naval gunfire, artillary, and visual reconnaisance.
Ned Moore, e-mail, 28.01.2010 00:34
My Flight Class was OFWAC 66-2-Green Hats-aka-"Green Dragons". In RVN, with the 221st RAC '66-'67 from Tra Vinh. Our Co HQ was based at Soc Trang and we were scattered all over the Delta, Flying L-19D/O-1Ds. I flew 57-2839. If anyone has info on her whereabouts, I would appreciate the info. She is not listed as Destroyed in Minard Thompson: "The Lovable One-Niner". She carried her two seven-shot rocket pods with grace, style and accuracy (as much as the rockets would allow) - requiting herself in every scrap we happened "to find". Thanks, Shotgun 15
Frank Caldwell, e-mail, 25.01.2010 22:19
I flew the O-1 in 1967 Fixed Wing Flight School, and again in 1971 with the 74th Reconnaissance Airplane Company (RAC), which I think was the last active Bird Dog Company in the Army. I also became an O-1 instructor at Ft. Rucker, AL. It was a great observation aircraft, and once you learned it's habits, you could perform amazing feats of airmanship.
Chuck Nesejt, e-mail, 23.01.2010 01:05
I flew the O-1 Bird Dog as a FAC in Vietnam's Quang Tri providence in 68 and 69. Logged about 1000 hours and many missions. It was a great platform for the mission I was conducting which was support for the 1st ARVN Division in Quang Tri. I finished my tour in 4 Corps at Vinh Long. If I had to go back, I would pick the )-1 again.
John Coleman, e-mail, 22.01.2010 19:34
The Bird Dog was still the Army Primary Flight Trainer in 1965 when I went through the program with the Red Hats...then flew it in Aschaffenburg, Germany between Vietnem tours (U-6A and then U-21)...great aircraft!
Scott Boyd, e-mail, 21.01.2010 19:58
I flew Bird Dogs for a couple of years with the CAP in Colorado in the early 70's. It was a good mountain plane with the seaplane propeller.
Harry Brodock, e-mail, 18.01.2010 17:58
Flew A and E-Models in SEA in 1970. Worked all 4 Corps, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. Was a Trail, Barky, Raven, Quail, Bird Dog, and others for over 100 missions. Started off in Bien Hoa, Tan Son Nhut, Cam Ranh, Phu Cat, Di Ahn, Lai Khe, Takhli, Song Be, Hue, Ban Me Thout, and a couple of dirt strips East of Vientanne. Nice to have a bird that had anti-ground-loop built into the landing gear. Because of the way the pitot system was designed, could get the bird down to zero indicated airspeed, make turns and still stay level at 2000 ft AGL. Went from there to the O-2, and had 202 missions before going back to the KC-135. Harry Brodock
charlie tedder, e-mail, 08.01.2010 18:03
i was a 68g20 at phu loi vietnam. 74th recon. patched a million bullet holes on these little darlings. i always enjoyed flying siagon mortor watch with w/o gene spivey. i think he was a texas boy. hope you are doing ok mr. spivey where ever you are.
charlie tedder, e-mail, 08.01.2010 18:02
i was a 68g20 at phu loi vietnam. 74th recon. patched a million bullet holes on these little darlings. i always enjoyed flying siagon mortor watch with w/o gene spivey. i think he was a texas boy. hope you are doing ok mr. spivey where ever you are.
C. Bruce Cornett, e-mail, 02.01.2010 18:13
I had 737 hours in 337 missions as a USAF Forward Air Controller in Pleiku Province, Viet Nam in 1967-68 and had only one air abort due to mechanics. The yellow chip detector warning light came on when flying on the Cambodian border. I made it back to base, following the roads for an emergency landing if needed, so it ended up as no big deal.
Otherwise, while carrying eight 6.25 inch white phosphorous rockets I had no mechanical problems in that year or in the six months when I got back to the States flying as an IP for pilots headed to Nam.
The grunts always liked to have us above their action, because they knew we could bring in a lot of firepower from fighters, artillery or choppers.
Kip Taylor, e-mail, 01.01.2010 21:44
I flew the O-1E as a Jade FAC in Vietnam in 1967. About 180 missions. Great airplane!
Tony Chapa, e-mail, 09.12.2009 03:15
I learned to fly in a U.S. Army L-19 in 1961. Tough learning to fly in a tail dragger but once you mastered it - great airplane. I have been flying since 1961 and have always contended that if you can fly the birddog, you can fly anything that flies.
Jock Williams, e-mail, 16.04.2009 17:26
When the Canadian Army in Germany gave up its L19s they gave them to the Baden Flying Club -and I was lucky enough to instruct on them.
The L19 was never supposed to be an ab initio trainer -and it was a little daunting for beginning students -but its performance was exceptional (due to the power of the engine installed) and it quickly taught a student the desired taildragger techniques.
Flying from the backseat meant no instruments except tachometer and airspeed -but really -what more do you need?
For takeoffs and landing there was little to no forward vision -but if you just keep the same distance from both sides of the runway -and you can see THEM easily -Bob's your Uncle!
Many great memories of the L19 -and I have a good friend who flew them in combat in Vietnam and loved them too!
Jock Williams Yogi 13
G. Ford, e-mail, 01.02.2009 16:48
I am interested in the L-19 Birddog, as I survived a crash in one in 1956. What is the difference in the Birddog and Grasshopper??
JOE RUBINO, e-mail, 27.05.2008 03:17
1953-4 at HOLLOMAN AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER THE ARMY HAD APPROX.10 L-19'S 1 L-20 AND 2 H-13 COPTERS FOR OBSERVATION TO SPOT TARGET DRONES DOWNED BY MISSLES FIRED FROM FORT BLISS.I WAS CREW/SPOTTER ON AN L-19 SOME OF THEM HAD TANDEM LANDING GEAR FOR FREQUENT DESERT LANDINGS
Robert L. Osborn, e-mail, 13.05.2008 03:31
I write a column for the Volunteer newsletter of the Evergreen Air & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon...This, as you might remember, is the,now, home of the Spruce Goose .... In my June issue i'm writing a 450 word piece on the Grasshoppers that flew in Korea. Anything you have that would add to the piece would be greatly appreciated...I will give credit to the source if you'd like....Robert L. Osborn, Docent.
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