The VNAF received these O-2A Skymasters in the early-70’s.
The 118th Observation Squadron out of Pleiku carrying the name of Bắc Đẩu which means the Great Bear Constellation aka the North Star.
This squadron was the only squadron to receive the O-2A.
These O-2A FAC’s were often found with their flying partners, the A-1H Thái Dương (Jupiter) of the VNAF 530th Fighter Squadron also based out of
images below to see larger images
I have made some small modifications to the kit by replacing all exhaust pipes with brass tubes. The antenna was made from a small paint
bristle painted in black. I have also drilled out the observation windows on the lower starboard and the cabin roof … without looking at the decal sheet first (what a mistake).
I should have applied the decals onto the fuselage itself and use that as guides to cut through it (oh, well). Testors provides the glazing for these windows on the clear
sprue, which are nice.
All Vietnamese national insignia and serial numbers were home-made. The kit is relatively easy to put together and with some tender loving care, it can come out half way decent (consider it is a Testors kit).
Last but not least, I would like to dedicate this O-2A to all the VNAF pilots of the 118th Observation Squadron - Bắc Đẩu and all the USAF O-2A pilots who flew them in Vietnam. In my mind, you are all heroes!
Pictures of these VNAF O-2A Skymasters are extremely rare, so if you happen to have them, could you please email them to me? It would be greatly appreciated.