US Army Mohawks peeking behind the Iron Curtain

Doug Gordon outlines the border surveillance missions undertaken by the US Army’s Mohawks in West Germany during the Cold War

The OV-1C was the first of the Mohawks to be fitted with the AN/AAS-14 infrared mapping sensor
US Army

In September 1955 the US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was called upon to adjudicate between the US Army and the US Air Force over the right of the former to operate jet aircraft. The Army had submitted a procurement request for the purchase of Cessna T-37 jet trainer aircraft, which the Air Force vigorously opposed on the grounds that it was a violation of its prerogatives. The dispute passed through the Secretary of Defense and the Chiefs of Staff before arriving before Dulles. The secretary’s judgement was a compromise. He cancelled the procurement order for the T-37s, but established the principle that the Army had the right to use aircraft powered by jets – or any other type of engine – in order to fulfil its designated functions.

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