by Lydia Fletcher
Stephen Fletcher joined the Army because he knew that sooner or later he'd be drafted anyway, and so he figured he might as well get a jump on things. In August of 1967, Fletcher went to Vietnam as a reconnaissance observer in an OV-1 "Mohawk" aircraft. His duty was to fly reconnaissance missions, keeping track of enemy troop and supply movements.
The week that Ted Talbot came to Vietnam for his first tour of duty was the first time Fletch was shot down over the South China Sea. This in itself was not such a momentous occurrence - lots of pilots crashed in Vietnam. But Fletch's crash was particularly impressive to Talbot because Fletch had ejected from his Mohawk and lived to tell the tale when his partner had not. Since the survival rate for ejecting from Mohawks was eighteen percent, this meant that anyone who could eject and survive was pretty damned lucky in anyone's book. To Ted Talbot, Fletch's survival meant that he had found a flying partner.
By: John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Royal Canadian Air Force
The Mohawk Team
by Captain Malcom Gray, Jr.
The low-pitched hum and passing whine of twin turboprops is a familiar sound to the residents of the Vietnamese coastal town of Vung Tau. It continues through-out the night, greets them as they wake up in the morning, and is with them all day. The sound belongs to the Mohawks of the 73d Surveillance Airplane Company as they depart and return on their round-the-clock surveillance schedule in III Corps Tactical Zone.
Utilizing the OV-1 Mohawk, a high performance aircraft carrying sophisticated electronic sensors and cameras, the officers and men of the 73d work on a 24-hour basis to provide visual, photographic and electronic surveillance as required by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), allied forces, and US forces in the conduct of counterinsurgency operations. To accomplish its mission, the 73d has three flight platoons, - a Visual/Photographic platoon and two "exotic" platoons: Infrared (IR) and Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR).
Major Brownie D. West
by Major West 05/09
"Houston Center, Army 18923, Fl 400, starting descent. Request clearance to Robert Gray AAF." A portion of the report on how an Army tactical unit by its resolve established new world aviation records for climb, sustained flight, and maximum altitude.
EVER HEAR AN Army aircraft report 40,000 feet? CW2 Thomas G. Yoha reported FL 400 (flight level 40,000) to Houston Center during an international record setting flight in Army OV-1C #67-18923. The 293d Aviation Company (SA), 55th Aviation Battalion (Cbt), Ft. Hood, TX, conducted flights on 8 and 9 June 1971 which represented the first attempts ever made by an Army tactical unit to establish official world performance records. Previous records set in Army aircraft were limited to joint military/manufacturer attempts.