Bronco 474 – White Lightning
1968- A war rages in Vietnam and the Navy needs a solution for long endurance heavy hitting escorts for Patrol Boat River (PBR), Swift Boats, and Navy SEALs. The answer was delivered by Rockwell with the OV-10 Bronco. A multi-mission counter insurgency aircraft which has had a near 50 year service life.
Bronco 155474 fought hard against the NVA from 68-73. Her nation called her again in 1991, flying an epic 10,000 mile ferry flight to Kuwait where she attacked Iraqi armor and called in the 16 inch gunfire from the USS Wisconsin. Then in 1999, pulled from retirement and refitted for a new war, the War on Drugs. 474 was a Cocaine Crop Duster carrying a 400 gallon herbicide tank and utilized her armor plating and heavy airframe to battle small arms fire while performing low level aerial application in the jungles of Colombia.
2018- Fifty years later she is tired. Her bushings worn, wires cut, bullet holes hastily patched, corrosion setting in. As her paint fades we set out on a journey this year to bring her back into service. As our Vietnam Veterans age too, they deserve to share the story of the close air support on the Mekong Delta. Patrols around The Parrots Beak, assaults on the Plain of Reeds, the heavy hitting punches of 5″ Zuni Rockets clearing the way for Navy SEALs who are surrounded.
The Bronco in Vietnam was there for downed airmen. Troubled Infantry, reassured by the rapid response Black Ponies. Out gunned river boats. Helicopter Escorts, and spotting targets for the heavy bombers and fast moving jets.
Your contribution is in memory of those who served.
Your contribution is to tell their story for the next generations.
Your contribution is essential to have Bronco 474 flying by Memorial day and be there for our Veterans on this 50th Anniversary year.
SN 155474 (MSN 305-85) VAL-4 bird
- New at the factory – November 20, 1968
- VS-41 at NAS North Island, California on November 21, 1968
- To VAL-4 when the squadron was commissioned on January 3, 1969
- Flown to NAS Cubi Point when the squadron decommissioned – April 5, 1972
- At Cubi Point on April 22, 1972 awaiting shipment
- Joe Baugher’s Notes: Converted to an OV-10D+ in 1972 and went on to serve with VMO-2 in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. 155474 was acquired by an aviation technical school in Burlington, Vermont. Converted to OV-10D. To Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center as 1V0044 Par 22, 1993, to PA0010 Apr 22, 1993.
Igor’s notes – 162M85 (162nd Bronco built, 85th one built for the Marine Corps)
- North American photo via Scott Youmans out of North Island before deployment.
- Photo over Point Loma, San Diego taken 2/19/69.
- VA(L)-4(UM-9) NAS North Island, 1/3/69 and Binh Thuy, RVN.
- Photo Mutza/AAHS/P. H. C. Bremmer 2/20/69 (photo stares VS-41 but should be VA(L)-4.
- Photo w/gray paint(UM-116) in S/S-154, page 35.
- Transferred to VMO-2 Camp Pendleton, CA via NAS North Island 11/11/72 (VMO-2 CmdCron).
- Photo with other a/c in Cleared Hot, by Bob Stoffey.
- “A” to “D+”.
- VMO-2(UU-05), MCAS Camp Pendleton, CA.
- Desert Storm. May have on slide, from Jim Mesko, showing plane on deck of LPD probably taken after Desert Storm.
- VMO-2 DET (UU-75?), 6/4/91.
- To AMARC, Davis-Monathan AFB, AZ (1V044), 4/22/93.
- Transferred to BATF per 8/94 message.
- Total flight hours – 8,754.
- Video and photos 11/14/94.
- Transferred to Department of State 10/1/96.
- Moved to Patrick AFB, FL 10/97. Converted to spray configuration. Photos and video at Patrick AFB 2/25/97.
- Left for Colombia 4/11/97. Assigned FAA registration N16854, 4/11/97.
- April 2009 in storage Hagerstown, MD.
- Acquired by a Burlington Vermont Aviation Technical School.
Bronco 474 – White Lightning Timeline
Now that we've got everything clean and neat, repaired and painted, we're ready to put some things together.
Flight controls are getting a fresh coat of paint. These all get painted and balanced before re-installing on the aircraft.
Hangar Talk: "474 had a confirmed Owl kill in Colombia, and had two tree strikes! So you may find repairs/rework someplace that resembles this. 474 also had a nose gear collapse and prop strike in Saigon, it is in a video being hauled home by a Skycrane helicopter....
Pilot Mike Manclark takes Squadron of Legendary Warbirds on Historic Road Trip to California for Major Restoration Effort Six OV-10 Broncos being shipped from National Vietnam War Museum for new life as flying memorials JAN 10, 2018. MINERAL WELLS, TX –...