THE MEKONG MAULER

Flying low over the jungles of Vietnam, at constant risk from enemy fire, US Army forward air control pilots in Cessna O-1 Bird Dog observation aircraft were among the unsung heroes of the South-east Asia conflict. Tribute to one of them is paid by a superbly restored example

Beautifully restored O-1E Bird Dog 61-2987/I-BDOG in the hands of Andrea Rossetto.
LUIGINO CALIARO

When air traffic controller Andrea Rossetto was selecting a colour scheme for his freshly restored Cessna O-1E Bird Dog, the type’s history with the US Army in South-east Asia understandably came to mind. “I intended that this aircraft should serve as a tribute to those brave pilots who served as forward air controllers in Vietnam”, he says, “as I felt that their story has gone untold for too long.”

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