During the Korean War and Vietnam War, if it needed to be observed from the air, the go-to airplane was the L-19/O-1 Bird Dog. A military version of a Cessna Model 305A, it was introduced during the Korean War as the L-19, but gained fame during the Vietnam War (then re-designated as the O-1) by filling the military’s need for a light observation and liaison aircraft and providing US Forces with critical reconnaissance on enemy artillery locations. Other roles for the L-19/O-1 Bird Dog included artillery spotting, frontline communications, medical evacuation, and training, often serving in supplementary and support roles alongside the UH-1 Huey.
The L-19/O-1 Bird Dog challenge coin features incredible detail, showing the aircraft mid-flight, with profiles of the airplane’s design in the background. Anyone who flew one of these for the US Army, US Air Force, or US Marine Corps – or even one of the hundred or so still in service today by Royal Canadian Air Cadets or civilian agencies and sightseeing companies – will want to carry or display it as a remembrance of their missions in support of freedom. The Bird Dog is also owned by hundreds of private pilots and serves as a popular “warbird.”
The circumference reads, appropriately, “Duty, Respect, Loyalty, Courage, Integrity, Honor, and Service.” The reverse is engravable, suitable for names, duty dates, or special remembrances.
Minted in deep relief using a special “splash minting” process, this coin is struck in a brass alloy and finished in antique bronze.
Each coin measures 1 3/4 inch (44mm) in diameter.
This is a surplus NWTMint item. Packaging may vary.