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VMO-1
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Navy:
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USN Command Structure Chart -
   IV Corps Area - Vietnam (VAL-4)

VAL-4 OV-10A Tech Reports
VAL-4 Press Release 4/69
US Civil:
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The U.S. Marine Corps was a large operator of the Bronco. The Marines, unlike the Air Force, deployed the OV-10 aggressively to the conflict in Vietnam soon after deliveries began in early 1968. The first Bronco to fly into combat, flying from Danang on July 6, 1968, was from Marine Observation Squadron Two (VMO-2, which carried a vertical white VMO over a red 2 in leu of normal tail code letters.) The Marines deployed VMO-6 to Quang Tri in November 1968. VMO-6, called the Tomcats and using the tail code WB, was based at MCAS Futenma, Japan until deactivation in 1976. Futenma was also home to Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 36 (H&MS-36), which used the tail code WX. VMO-1, based at MCAS New River, North Carolina, used the tail code ER but did not operate in Vietnam (contrary to what was reported here previously.) Around the same time, the Navy formed VAL-4 and started to use Broncos, borrowing aircraft from the Marines until VAL-4's deactivation in April 1972. These aircraft then returned to duty with the Marines.

The Marines used both the OV-10A and OV-10D, primarily in the Forward Air Controller (FAC) mission. During the war, the Marines used the OV-10 for a great variety of missions, from dropping paratroopers to dropping sensors, and of course it was used in the light attack / FAC role. Equipment varied from phosphorus marker rockets to seismic sensors to miniguns. After the war the Navy withdrew it from front-line service but used it for weapons testing and development. There were five Marine squadrons who flew the Bronco, VMO-1, VMO-2 and VMO-6 were regular service squadrons and VMO-4 (based at Dobbins AFB near Atlanta, Georgia and carrying tail code MU) and VMO-8 (based at NAS Los Alamitos, CA, with tail code QN) represented the Reserves. VMO-4 was the last unit to operate the Bronco, deactivating in July 1994.

The Marines were the impetus behind the development of the OV-10D model, eventually concluding the Bronco's combat career by sending it (both A and D models) into action in operation Desert Storm in January 1991 (See the Desert Storm 10th Anniversary page.) The Air Force kept their remaining Broncos at home. OV-10Ds were preferred due to their greater speed and capabilities while the OV-10As were restricted to operating mostly in daylight. Two OV-10As were shot down by heat-seeking ground-launched missiles during the war, with one crew member killed and three captured by Iraqis troops. After the war, Marine Corps Broncos from VMO-4 assisted in drug interdiction missions. This task foreshadowed the aggressive refurbishment program undertaken by the BATF, and later transferred to the U.S. Department of State, to convert the OV-10 to spray drug fields with herbicide using ex-Marine OV-10Ds pulled out of storage at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona.


Due to the large numbers of pictures, we have broken the USMC pages into different units for easier browsing. Pictures of aircraft for which the unit isn't currently known, or is of otherwise "general interest" will live on this page.

USMC Home Navy Home Squadron Info Bronco Home
VMO-1
VMO-2
VMO-5
HML-267

VMO-4
VMO-6
H&MS-36
VMO-8
H&MS-11
H&MS-24
H&MS-39
MALS-39

The Last Flight of Covey 87 - an Air Force OV-10 Driver who died to save his Marine Corps observer.

NOTE!! There are also some excellent pictures of ex-USMC Broncos in the NASA section, most in their original paint.


  Group: NOG020     Description: China Lake / NOGS pictures

 
YOV-10D NOGS
ID: 131 GROUP: NOG020 - 01
PIC 1 (No Description) W=425  H=334   158KB
  Pix/USMC/usmc_yov10d_nogs_spinnler_1.jpg
PIC 2 None
PIC 3 None
A/C 1 YOV-10D BuNo 155395 or 155396
A/C 2 N/A  
A/C 3 N/A  
A/C 4 N/A  
DATE Unknown LOCATION Unknown
SENT BY Chris Spinnler PHOTO BY FF9970 Unknown
WEB URL N/A
POSTED 1998
         
Chris Spinnler scanned in this picture of the prototype YOV-10D NOGS ship... the original source is unknown to me at this time.
Peter Rounseville writes: For what it is worth, your YOV-10D pictures are all from China Lake. We had a test and evaluation detachment there and then deployed to Can To, RVN with 155395 and 155396 in 1971. The aircraft were configured alike except for 396 (I believe) had a laser spot tracker and 395 did not.

YOV-10D NOGS
ID: 133 GROUP: NOG020 - 02
PIC 1 (No Description) W=707  H=551   30KB
  Pix/USMC/usmc_yov10d_nogs_prototype_china_lake_thumbnail.jpg
PIC 2 None
PIC 3 None
A/C 1 YOV-10D BuNo 155395 or 155396
A/C 2 N/A  
A/C 3 N/A  
A/C 4 N/A  
DATE Unknown LOCATION China Lake Weapons Test Facility
SENT BY Mike Whaley PHOTO BY FF9970 Unknown
WEB URL http://www.nawcwpns.navy.mil/~bronkhor/clmf/nog.html
POSTED June 20, 1998
         
This picture of the YOV-10D was found at http://www.nawcwpns.navy.mil/~bronkhor/clmf/nog.html which reads:
CHINA LAKE WEAPONS DIGEST
Development via systems integration: OV-10 Night Observation Gunship (NOGS), a USMC OV-10A modified to include a turreted FLIR sensor and turreted M-197 20-mm gun slaved to the FLIR aimpoint; successful in combat in Vietnam, NOGS evolved into the NOS OV-10D, which included a laser designator.
The main China Lake Weapons Development page is at http://www.nawcwpns.navy.mil/~bronkhor/clmf/weapdig.html

YOV-10D NOGS
ID: 132 GROUP: NOG020 - 03
PIC 1 (No Description) W=524  H=277   51KB
  Pix/USMC/usmc_yov10d_nogs_prototype_clark_1.jpg
PIC 2 None
PIC 3 None
A/C 1 YOV-10D BuNo 155395
A/C 2 N/A  
A/C 3 N/A  
A/C 4 N/A  
DATE Unknown LOCATION Unknown
SENT BY Jeff Clark PHOTO BY FF9970 Unknown
WEB URL N/A
POSTED June 20, 1998
         
Jeff Clark scanned this picture of the YOV-10D NOGS prototype in from "Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes", edited by Bill Gunston. Apparently there aren't many color pictures of the YOV-10D. Another picture of this aircraft can be found on page 18 of the "OV-10 Bronco In Action" book from Squadron-Signal.

 
OV-10D
ID: 134 GROUP: None
PIC 1 (No Description) W=544  H=280   170KB
  Pix/USMC/usmc_ov10d_spinnler_1.jpg
PIC 2 None
PIC 3 None
A/C 1 OV-10D Unknown
A/C 2 N/A  
A/C 3 N/A  
A/C 4 N/A  
DATE Unknown LOCATION Unknown
SENT BY Chris Spinnler PHOTO BY FF9970 Unknown
WEB URL N/A
POSTED 1998
         
Chris Spinnler also sent this picture of an OV-10D, originally printed in Jane's All the World's Aircraft

OV-10s in the Boneyard
ID: 136 GROUP: None
PIC 1 (No Description) W=588  H=396   153KB
  Pix/USMC/usmc_ov10d_amarc_boneyard_burin_155483-1.jpg
PIC 2 None
PIC 3 None
A/C 1 OV-10D BuNo 155483
A/C 2 N/A  
A/C 3 N/A  
A/C 4 N/A  
DATE November 1994 LOCATION AMARC boneyard, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
SENT BY Chuck Burin PHOTO BY FF9970 Chuck Burin
WEB URL N/A
POSTED May 1998
         
This is what happened to most Broncos after they were retired from active duty. This is OV-10D 155483 (IVO41) and two other unidentified Broncos, photographed at the AMARC boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB by Chuck Burin in November 1994. Notice that a protective coating has been applied to the hinges and other areas, to ensure that the aircraft is well-preserved for future flyability if desired. Let's hope so!

OV-10D
ID: 138 GROUP: None
PIC 1 (No Description) W=200  H=97   10KB
  Pix/USMC/usmc_ov10d_mid_america_1.gif
PIC 2 None
PIC 3 None
A/C 1 OV-10D Unknown
A/C 2 N/A  
A/C 3 N/A  
A/C 4 N/A  
DATE Unknown LOCATION Unknown, probably Mid America Air Museum
SENT BY Unknown PHOTO BY FF9970 Unknown
WEB URL http://airplane.ozsome.com/page21.html
POSTED Oct. 5, 1998
         
This Bronco resides in the collection of the Mid America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas. Notice that this D model has had the sponsons removed.

ID: 139 GROUP: None
PIC 1 Small W=400  H=299   24KB
  pix/usmc/usmc_ov10d_over_ocean_sapero._small.jpg
PIC 2 Large W=1029  H=768   446KB
  pix/usmc/usmc_ov10d_over_ocean_sapero_big.jpg
PIC 3 None
A/C 1 OV-10D Unknown
A/C 2 N/A  
A/C 3 N/A  
A/C 4 N/A  
DATE Unknown LOCATION Unknown, but obviously near water :)
SENT BY Vincent Sapero PHOTO BY FF9970 Unknown
WEB URL N/A
POSTED Oct. 5, 1998
         
This shot shows some good details of the upper surfaces of a Bronco with the flaps down. Vince didn't take this particular photo himself, but he worked on Broncos for 12 years in the Marine Corps and then actually moved to a different state to be closer to an OV-10 project. I can't decide if those are some type of dolphins or whales, or just underwater vegetation underneath the plane... this could be a question of the week.

 

 
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