Curtiss O-1G 'Falcon'

  Base model:O-1
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1924-1942
  Basic role:Observation

Not Yet Available

Known serial numbers
31-472 / 31-501, 156678 / 156685

Examples of this type may be found at
United States Air Force MuseumWright-PattersonOhio

O-1G on display

United States Air Force Museum


Recent comments by our visitors
 F.G. \"Woody\" Hester
 Springfeld, IL
2nd Bn. 12th. Arty, 23rd Arty Grp. Phuloi. Assigned to 74th RAC as Air Observer from August 1969 to November 1969. 28 missions, mostly recon. & LRP support from Phu Loi North to Rang Rang. Mostly quiet with just a few close scrapes and bullet holes in our wings. All of my assigned pilots were great guys, warriors, and fun to work with. I remember nick names and first names but too dumb to record last names (if I even knew them). I was a 22 year old First Lieutenant (Arty) at the time. Nick name Woody. If anyone out there was one of the awesome pilots I was privileged to fly with, send me a note! fghester@yahoo.com
01/14/2014 @ 12:07 [ref: 68298]
 Jerry Lemons
 Dallas, TX
I flew the O-1 in II COrps with the 183rd RAC 70-71. Shot down once, engine hit once, window shot out once. Very durable a/c. Visit the 183rd RAC website to connect with hundreds of Bir Dod pilots & crewmwn.
03/07/2013 @ 04:36 [ref: 67647]
 John Jersey
 Las Vegas, NV
A bunch of us X LRRP's with the 173rd Airborne time frame 65-71 were trying to find the FAC pilots that saved our bacon more then once. Yes and thank you guys for giving us good locations no GPS just a great pilot flying low amd one pass only. Again thank you for your service and our lives quite often.
04/15/2010 @ 19:02 [ref: 26022]
 Art McRoberts
 Sanford, NC
My first trip to Nam was with the 173rd Abn Bdg as an Image Interp with the 172nd MI det. I flew backseat O1G the entire year in V. I flew (67-68) with the Prerodacty's when in Dac To, also with the Headhunters and ended up with the Hawkeyes in the south. What a trip! Three and a half hours in the morning, three and a half hours in the afternoon. 7 days aweek. Ended up with over 1200 hrs. I was a WO (W-2 then). I learned how to put a 155mm within 20ft of a hooch on the 3 round. Tell the LRRPs where they were. (Didnt have GPS then) Didnt get airsick in my 2nd flight. smile Knew where all the airfields were that had booze nearby. (The 173rd for the most part were always out in the middle of no where) During TET 68 we were used as gunships with 2.75mm rockets (4) at the Tuy how (sp) airfield. We would shoot and land, shoot and land. I always carried a sandbag of gernades and could drop them right on top the exploding 2.75. It was the only year that I thought I earned my military paycheck. I want to thank all those pilots for risking their lives to get the job done. Willing to fly at 50 ft to find the hard to finds. Most of all I want to thank them for getting me home safe. There were times I thought that wasnt going to happen. Art McRoberts CW4 ret
01/17/2009 @ 11:17 [ref: 23504]
 Pete Nickerson
 Tustin, CA
Greetings to Roger Bowers from Aloft 12.

I also flew with the 74th RAC. I was there in 71-72, as things were "winding down". Vividly remember flying mortar watch over Saigon more than a few times.

Flew a few times down into the Delta and had a few beers with the Aussies. Flew a lot of missions up around the Parot's Beak.

My first tour in RVN was in the infantry. My tour with the 74th RAC was a lot better than slogging through rice paddys and chopping through thick jungles. Could be just as deadly though. I count myself as lucky.
05/29/2008 @ 09:09 [ref: 21049]
 Roger Bowers
 Melbourne, FL
Ralph McRae taught me to shoot 2.75's when I arrived in Vinh Long in March '69, assigned to the 199th RAC. Thanks, Ralph. After my tour in the delta, I did a second tour with 74th RAC at Phu Loi. I was shot down twice in 24 hours. The Bird Dog got me down in down safe and I was able to get away clean both times. Both aircraft were later recovered and flew again. I served as 3rd Plt Leader 199th RAC at Cao Lanh and later as 4th Plt Ldr and SIP 74th RAC. Accumulated about 2000 hrs, and lots of holes. Flew FTB-337G for Rhodesian AF in '76-'77. Falcons with US Coast Guard '78-'94. C-337's for AirScan 94-07 in Angola, Malaysia, Colombia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Guinea, Sierra Leone. Still flying in Iraq since '03. National Air & Space Museum has my 0-1 "Mobile Miss" with original colors and nose art. Army now lacks a comparable aircraft. I guess that's why they've got 60-year-old grandpa's like me flying 0-2's here in Iraq.
08/26/2007 @ 08:53 [ref: 17763]
 John Michael DeMots
 Chicago/Oldsmar, FL
My callsign was Catkiller 42. I flew with the then Cpt Bordeaux during Lam Son 719 and before on the DMZ and the A Shau.

I was covering Cpt Richard J. Wright when he was hit up near the tri-borders with a 37MM AA. He was the first Catkiller to land at Khe Shan during the Laos invasion.

As "Lefty" was on short final to the runway a jeep with a camra man in the back pulled out onto the runway in front of him. The jeep drove down the runway while Rich was landing. Since then I've had a special spot in my heart for reporters.

The other most amazing thing was that I was never hit in the air. I can assure you that it was not from lack of trying. At the time I left I was the only one who had not been hit.

After 719 we went back to flying the DMZ. Rich Gates caught about 40 VC comming out of the hills to the West of A4. He got two Cobras and a C&C ship who layed waste to the bad guys. As Rich made a low pass for a body count a 51 cal opened up on him from a ridge line to the East. I turned toward the 51 cal flying straight and level trying to give the gunner a better target to shot at. He never saw me because he was shooting down at Cpt Gates. I had a back seater with me and I hollered at him to give me a smoke. He bounced the smoke off my helmet and it landed in my lap. I grabbed the gernade, pulled the pin and tossed it out the plane window. I remember watching the gernade fall and thinking that SOB Newton lied to us. With an amazing amount of dumb luck the smoke landed right in front of the 51 cal blocking his view. Needless to say the bad guys quit shooting. I keyed the mike and asked anyone to hit my smoke. As the smoke drifted over to the next ridge line someone finally shot. Not the right ridge line. Since then I've given up attacking 51 cals with smoke gernades.
06/06/2007 @ 15:46 [ref: 16765]
 MAJ HP Bordeaux USA SFSO (Abn/Avn)
 Piney Flates, TN
Graduated from US Army Avn Sch OFWAC67-9, Aug 1967, in rank/grade of CPT (O-3E).
Assigned, upon arrival in country (Aug 1967), to 2nd Flt Plt, 185th RAC (reconnaissance airplane company), Ban Me Thout Airfield, Central Highlands (II Corps War Zone Central); 223rd Avn Bn; 17th Avn Grp; 1st Avn Bde. Immediately, made responsible as Flt Sec Ldr of four Armed Reconnaissance O-1G Bird Dogs (with callsign "Pterodactyl 23"), dedicated to Cheo Reo [Hau Bon, its other name, the provincial capital of Phu Bon Province] and its airfield, in support of a MACV (military assistance command vietnam) Advisory Group co-located there with RVN (republic of vietnam) troop assets.
Awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross "For Heroism While Participating in Aerial Flight" on 11 Apr 68, in support of a heliborne tactical operation conceived by the Cheo Reo MACV Advisory Group, involving the 155th AHC (Stagecoachers, out of Ban Me Thout), Australian Air Force Canberra Bombers, and RVN assault helicopter troop assets.
Beginning Jun 68, a requirement for a Special Forces Qualified aviator to be the pilot OIC of a minimum of four Bird Dogs to be in dedicated support (OPCON/Attached) to CCC (command control central), MACVSOG (military assistance command vietnam studies and observation group), came down from MACV thru 1st Avn Bde chain of command that entailed my having to accept the mission as the Special Forces qualified pilot volunteer as well as three other volunteer pilots. This caused a restructuring of 2nd Flt Plt, generated by volunteer requirements, etc. I became the 2nd Flt Plt Cdr with four O-1Gs to be stationed at Cheo Reo Airfield as backups [these pilots also had volunteered, which could facilitate rotation] as well as the other four O-1Gs (with crew chiefs, etc.) to be stationed at Kontum Airfield. All of us were housed and assigned defensive perimeter positions at the CCC compound stronghold, MACVSOG, located nearby.
Awarded The Air Medal with seven Silver Oak Leaf Clusters and one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, representing 37 Air Medals "For Meritorious Achievement While Participating in Aerial Flight," consummating my first tour [9.6 months of actual flying].
My second tour began Mar 71 in I Corps War Zone North. I was assigned as the 4th Flt Plt Cdr of eight O-1G Bird Dogs with callsign "Cat Killer 46," 220th RAC, Hue-Phu Bai Airfield, Thua Thien Province; 212th Avn Bn; 11th Avn Grp; 1st Avn Bde. My 4th Flt Plt was committed to provide four dedicated O-1G Bird Dogs to support Lam Son 719, the RVN incursion into Laos, from our being OPCON and based on the Khe Sanh Airfield. We were tasked to discover where the incoming bombardment upon Khe Sanh Airfield was coming from. We found the incoming was from T-54/T-55 tanks dug into the mountains and well camouflaged that were firing at us from distances greater than artillery could range. The clue was derived from our own artillery personnel at Khe Sanh Airfield doing reverse engineering/calculations of the impacting rounds on site that were not characteristic of artillery ammunition. Being an artillery officer in my own right, this made a lot of sense to me.
Towards the end of Lam Son 719, I got myself involved with extremely well camouflaged T-55 enemy tanks that had NVA soldiers riding externally. We had been tasked to discern what had happened to a column of RVN vehicles that had failed to reach safety into Vietnam. We were flying very low in the gully adjacent to the column to ascertain what might have happened to this column that was about three kilometers long. I had slowed the O-1G with 19 degrees of flaps (maintaining right at 60 knots or so). As we continued our scrutiny, we observed a column of dust some distance away. I choose to continue our low level of flight to now see what this column approaching was about. Well, as we closed with the well camouflaged vehicles, it became apparent that they could not be our RVN allies. As I firewalled the throttle, leaving the flaps in place, I flipped the O-1G in a sharp right turn into the mountain side, the green tracers all went to our left side. They had assumed that I would go left to avoid crashing into the side of the high ground. I knew that I needed the flaps (19 degrees) to cause an air cushion at tree top level when I had flipped the Bird Dog back to the left, while avoiding craching into the trees. Pure flying instinct! This began a running battle, starting about 4:00 PM in the afternoon. I told my backseater that these were T-55 tanks laddened with troops. When we had initially seen the dust column, we speculated that that may be the RVN rear guard. We used fighter bombers and artillery to eradicate the situation. What we did not know was that they were going to attack the RVN rear guard that was conjested trying to create a way across a river back to safety some kilometers to our rear near the border, because all the bridges were knocked out. We landed at Dong Ha Airfield in fog and at night.
Impact awarded The Silver Star "For Gallantry in Action" in a ceremony the second day after the action (date of action was 22 Mar 71).
I was subsequently relegated to being the US Army O-1 Bird Dog Standardization Instructor Pilot in country and the S-5 Civil Affairs Officer in the 11th Avn Grp at Marble Mountain, Da Nang. I was medivaced back to the States after six months of this second tour.
I was awarded another nine Air Medals during this second tour, accumulating a total of 46 Air Medals [13 months of actual combat flying]. Credited with a total of 1,512 Combat Flight Hours.
I ended my military career as a Special Forces Special Operations (Abn/Avn) Instructor: Green Beret Master Parachutist (Jumpmaster) and Dual-rated Senior Aviator (Fixed-wing Standardization Instructor Pilot and Rotary-wing Scout, Assault, & Attack Air Cavalry Command Pilot).
BPA/MAS(-) Conceptual and Preliminary Aircraft Designer of the Peregrine-Shark Armed Reconnaissance Airplane

11/23/2006 @ 22:41 [ref: 14833]
 Dave Huzarewicz
 Severna Park,, MD
I also flew in this aircraft out of PhuBai in 1969-70 as part of our nightly "MortarWatch" program. Was with the 101st ABN as a Signal Officer operating out of DivArty at Camp Eagle. Glad to get the name of the 220th Recon Catkillers again-memory was clouded after all the years. Had long forgotten the name although I remember spending a lot of nights backseating it and flying the aircraft in a big figure 8 up towards Hue while my pilot wrote letters to home. I appreciate the glide characteristics of this aircraft and it saved my life. One night we took a stray large caliber round into the engine west of the airport and were able to dead stick it into the PhuBai runway due to the skills of the pilot. That's as close as I ever got to having to bail out of an aircraft.
11/17/2006 @ 10:44 [ref: 14763]
 mcmillen, gene w,
 dale, ok 74851, OK
catkiller 36 may 1968-1969 tel: 1-405-279-2616
06/18/2005 @ 22:27 [ref: 10514]


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