Cessna O-2A 67-21424
Cessna O-2A67-21424
War StoriesThis page is definitely still under construction. I would like to include stories about 424, other 23d TASS aircraft, and O-2 stories in general. If any visitor to the site has any story or photograph they would like share, please send to me, chris@o2cricket.com. I can offer some other sources for excellent wartime stories about what it was like for those flying the Skypigs in very unfriendly skies. Perhaps easiest to come by, although out of print, is Lt Col Walt Shiel’s, Cessna Warbirds (© 1995 by Walter P. Shiel, Jones Publishing, Inc, Iola WI). Available on disk is The Forward Air Controllers Association The FAC History Book (© 2004 by the Forward Air Controllers Association, Inc.) Although fiction, I strongly recommend Col. Jimmie Butler’s A Certain Brotherhood (© 2011 Jimmie H. Butler, Cricket Press Colorado Springs, CO). The story is drawn from Col. Butler’s experience flying with the 23d TASS. The sources of many of the adventures in this book can be found in The FAC Handbook already mentioned. I elsewhere mentioned and recommended mentioned the Rescue of Bat 21 by Darrel Whitcomb.

Firing the 2.75" FFAR

From Ned Helm (Nail 27 and Bronco 07)

I was an OV driver in SEA and when the war was "called"I volunteered to spend the rest of my 2 year tour at Osan. We flew 12 OVs from NKP to Saigon,Clark, CCK,Kadenia, Osan . When we got there it was my job with three other IPs to covert the 02 drivers to the OV. In the course of that I got about 50 hours in the "Duck" ( the O2 was usually called the Duck or the Oscar Duck.) When you fire a 2.75 rocket in the OV there was a very subdued Whoosh....when you fired one in the Duck (especially when you were in the right seat!) it was more of a KERBLAM!!!! The first time I got lifted right out of my seat when unannounced the guy in the Driver in the left seat pickled one off!

Trolling for AAA

From “Nail 13” who flew 424 with the 23d TASS in 1968-69. This is offered with his permission (and the promise of more to come.)“Here is a quick story that the pic of the radio rack brought back. Nail FACs had UHF, VHF, FM and even HF radios. We could pretty much talk to anyone. I remember talking to Arc-Lite B-52's although not controlling them. Story: I was the first FAC to get hosed by 85mm with radar...I reported the size of airburst to intel and they said 85. So we then had a new problem, much bigger gun and w/radar. The O-2 had no radar detection stuff, only some of the fighters did. We found out that by turning up the FM radio wih a lot of background squelch we could hear the 85 radar tracking us, nice trick (mostly just increased the fear). We still needed to see the ground muzzle flash to pin point the location to then call in a strike. By the way, you may not know this little tidbit....the FAC was the only AF mission that was flown all alone, single aircraft and solo.”
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© 2021, Christopher T. Mayer.