The OV-10 Bronco, a rugged, maneuverable, twin-turboprop, multi-mission aircraft, served with the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. One Navy squadron, the "Black Ponies" of Light Attack Squadron (VAL) 4, flew them with much success in the latter stages of the Vietnam War. The OV-10 remained operational in the Marine Corps until the 1990s, flying combat missions in Operation Desert Storm.
The OV-10 Bronco was a multi-purpose observation and light attack aircraft developed under an Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps tri-service program. The first production aircraft made its maiden flight in August 1967.
In Naval Aviation, the aircraft proved ideally suited for service in the jungle landscape of Vietnam, equipping Marine Observation Squadrons (VMO) and the Navy's first Light Attack Squadron (VAL). Nicknamed the "Black Ponies," VAL-4 formed in January 1969, and operated in Vietnam until April 1972, providing interdiction of enemy logistics and fire-support for Marines, SEALs and river boats. It succeeded in this role, although seven OV-10s were lost during the Vietnam War to various causes. Other than OV-10 fleet replacement training in cooperation with Antisubmarine Squadron (VS) 41 at NAS North Island, California, VAL-4 was the only squadron in the U.S. Navy to ever employ the OV-10 and the squadron was disestablished following its Vietnam service, with remaining OV-10s transferred to the Marine Corps. Broncos flew in Marine squadrons into the 1990s, including combat missions in Operation Desert Storm.
The Museum's OV-10 was received on 21 October 2004. It was transferred from the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia. Bureau Number 155472 was originally an OV-10A which flew with VAL-4 during the Vietnam War, but was received as an OV-10D as it was upgraded in 1991. Bureau Number 155472 is currently painted in the scheme of VAL-4 with the names of Lieutenant Pete Russell and Lieutenant Junior Grade Johnson. On Sunday, 25 May 1969, Lieutenant Russell and Lieutenant Junior Grade Johnson were strafing a target when the aircraft was hit by enemy fire. Lieutenant Russell was killed by a single round that entered the cockpit. Lieutenant Junior Grade Johnson returned the aircraft to Binh Thuy. It is now on display in the Museum's Hangar Bay One.
|Manufacturer:||North American Rockwell|
|Crew:||Pilot and co-pilot|
|Powerplant:||Two Garrett T76-G-410/412 turboprops; 715 hp each|
Length: 41 ft. 7 in.
Empty: 6,893 lb.
Max Speed: 281 mph
Four 7.62mm M60C machine guns; 2.75/5.00-in. FFAR; AIM-9 Sidewinder; Mk4 Mod 0 gun pods; bombs