Grumman OV-1 Mohawk

The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk is an armed military observation and attack aircraft that was designed for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities. It has a twin turboprop configuration, and carries two crew members in side-by-side seating. The Mohawk was intended to operate from short, unimproved runways in support of United States Army maneuver forces.

The U.S. Army flew the OV-1 operationally in the Vietnam War, with sixty-five lost to accidents, ground fire, and one shot down by a North Vietnamese fighter.[2]

In early 1968, while flying an OV-1 over South Vietnam, U.S. Army Captain Ken Lee shot down a MiG-17 “Fresco” fighter jet with his XM14 .50 in. (12.7 mm) caliber gun pods as well as two M159 unguided rocket pods, becoming the only Army Aviator to ever down a MiG. Due to the Key West Agreement, the Army tried to keep the shootdown a secret for fear that it would allow the USAF to transfer Mohawks to its inventory. Lee's kill was finally formally recognized by the Army in 2007.[3]

The Army also used the aircraft during Operation Desert Storm.

Starting in 1972, the Army National Guard (ARNG) began to receive the Mohawk, with the ARNG eventually operating thirteen OV-1Bs, twenty-four OV-1Cs, and sixteen OV-1Ds serving with three aviation units in Georgia and Oregon. The Oregon Army National Guard Unit operating the Mohawk was located at McNary Field in Oregon, initially as the 1042nd Military Intelligence Company (Aerial Surveillance), then reflagged as the 641st Military Intelligence Battalion (CEWI)(Aerial Exploitation).

U.S. Army OV-1s were retired from Europe in 1992, from Korea in September 1996, and finally in the United States in 1996, superseded by newer systems, newer aircraft, and the evolution of reconnaissance satellites. The OV-1 was primarily replaced by the EO-5C, a militarized version of the de Havilland Canada Dash 7 turboprop airliner equipped with a SLAR system, until the U.S. Air Force's Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) aircraft became fully operational.