Cessna 0-2A-2E Skymaster
USAF serial no: 69-7639 (This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force)
The Cessna O-2A was flown by a number of RNZAF pilots seconded to the United States Air Force (USAF) in South Vietnam.
The O-2A was commissioned by the USAF in 1966 and developed as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft. It entered production in 1967 and went straight into operational service in the Vietnam War. With none of their own combat aircraft deployed to South Vietnam, the RNZAF sent 14 pilots to be attached to the USAF as forward air controllers between December 1968 and February 1972. FACs were responsible for carrying out visual reconnaissance, marking targets on the ground, and calling in and controlling attacks by strike aircraft.
Squadron Leader Ross Ewing, holding a rifle, standing beside his Forward Air Control Cessna O2a aircraft. South Vietnam.
This aircraft, 69-7639, served with various Tactical Air Support Groups of the USAF Reserve and Air National Guard between 1970 and 1986. It was loaned to the Air Force Museum of New Zealand by the National Museum of the USAF in 1990, and is displayed in a FAC configuration.