We received an interesting email from legendary Bronco historian Mike Verieramri with some findings. Thanks Mke!
“I note you have recently uncovered Cliff Acree’s name on ‘418 – attached a picture I have come across showing the original aircraft and names – thought it might be of interest. Given the context, it’s quite poignant.
Cliff is famous for VMO-2’s epic deployment to Desert Storm – not wishing to miss the war he flew the squadron right across the USA, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Middle East rather than wait for seaborne transport.
Apologies for the pause in comms. I’ve been deep in the intricacies of the German target tugs (fastest Broncos ever built) and trying to piece together the amazing story of the DoS aircraft fighting drug cartels in Columbia (reads like a Tom Clancy novel!). ‘418 was one of those aircraft if I understand it correctly? Looking at the picture on your site I hadn’t realized that they just painted over each layer. I don’t suppose anyone in your paint shop would have an FS595 reference for that blue? (apparently ‘Law Enforcement Blue’ is not an official description, just a name someone thought of).
Also, I’ve been talking to some Vietnam pilots and documenting the Combat Dragon II missions. Assembling the full Bronco story is proving fascinating but rather like trying to put together a jig-saw that has moving pictures and a lot of sky! This means that the rough lists etc I sent you already have much more information to add. My aim remains to produce a narrative that the whole Bronco community (over five decades worth) will recognize their part in and, hopefully, even if they know the aircraft well, find interesting….so no pressure then!”