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OV-10: North American Rockwell Bronco

The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco was the first aircraft designed to meet the requirements for counter-insurgency operations for the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army and was a Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (LARA).   Contracts were awarded in 1966, and the first aircraft for service were delivered in early 1968.   The aircraft had a crew of two. 

During the Vietnam War, Bronco aircraft served with the U.S. Navy's Light Attack Squadron Four (VAL-4), "The Black Ponies," from January 1969 until April 1972.  The aircraft was utilized to provide interdiction of enemy logistics and fire-support for U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy SEALS, and river boats.   Seven Broncos were lost in the war due to various causes. 

Following the war, the U.S. Navy squadron was disestablished.  Remaining in service with the U.S. Marine Corps, Broncos flew combat missions during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and was retired from service in 1995. 

Image:  USN 1139900:  North American Rockwell, OV-10, of Navy Light Attack Squadron Four (VAL-4) fires a Zuni 5-inch rocket, June 1969.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.