The OV-10 is many things. One thing that is not mentioned much is its rear cargo bay. The cargo bay has many uses, including providing additional carrying space for munitions and fuel .
When not in combat, the Bronco would be used as a liasion, airdrop, or medevac aircraft. It has also been used in the past to carry special operations soldiers.
Indeed. In the early ’70’s, we’d fly out to San Clemente or San Nicolas, free dive in virtually virgin waters, loading up on abalone, lobster and an occasional halibut. We then proceeded to MCAS Santa Ana (Tustin), where we exchanged some of our booty for beer/booze, did the same at MCAS El Toro, then RTB’d back to Camp Pendleton with plenty of fixings for a real VMO-2 squadron party. Ah, those were the days!
Besides transporting troops, replacement engines, pack out kits, spare parts, a motor cycle, assorted booze, food, it also transported a hand carved set of end tables w/ coffee table that resides in my home.
Photos, Jack! Send us a photo of that set if it’s out in the open. We’d love to see it.
We are configuring the bay and would love to see some pictures of your table or ANYTHING YOU MAY HAVE!!!
Hey Jack! How are you doing? Hope things are well with you.
Gysgt Pete Cordera
Inspite of some rumors, I am still kicking and enjoying life. I have been lucky enough to have shared some time with the outstanding group of guys of “The OV-10 Squadron”,
seeing ship #1 come back to life. Seeing it go out to fly was a feeling like I had the morning I came to work and saw those paint jobs you did for “Desert Watch”. You did an awesome job under a heap of pressure. It has always been my pleasure to have shared “Bronco Time” with you.
We really did have some great times in VMO-2 and overseas in Okinawa. I learned a vast amount of knowledge from you rigging the Flight Controls and other systems on the A/C. We had many great talks in the white trailer outside the hangar in Oki. Semper Fi Jack! Hope to see you at Bronco Fest in October!
We hauled cases of San Miguel back from the PI in the back. Always great parties at Osan AB after a PI TDY!
Cal Fire installed a 125 gallon fuel cell in cargo bay and still hve room cargo. Installed cargo net and a metal box for oil, hyd fluid, canopy cleaner, cargo strap, fuel sample tester, rags, etc in the cargo bay door!
A reported interesting use of the cargo bay in Vietnam was when a machine gunner was used as a “stinger”(rear gunner). VMO retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Jeffries related to me years ago how he performed that task and how that worked out. It was not sanctioned by the Corps and had an abrupt halt. There was a report that VAL-4 had also done the same thing, again not sanctioned. There may be folks out there who could better elaborate the facts of these events, hope they respond.