The Oregon National Guard officially dedicated Mohawk #926 during a ceremony held at the Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF), Salem, Oregon, Nov. 2, honoring the legacy of the OV-1 Mohawk’s service to the Oregon National Guard from 1972 to 1992. The restored Mohawk will be part of a permanent legacy display near the entrance at AASF and features several historical interpretative panels.
The OV-1 display also pays tribute to the service of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Robert G. Nopp, and Staff Sgt. Marshall F. Kipina who were lost aboard an OV-1 aircraft during the Vietnam war, and to Oregon National Guard Sergeant 1st Class (Ret.) Kimberly D. (Robinson) Jark, the first female U.S. Army OV-1 Technical Observer (T.O).
The dedication of Mohawk #926 culminates a three-year effort by retired Oregon National Guard Mohawk pilots, maintenance technicians and other volunteers who helped purchase, transport and restore the aircraft that was assigned from Sept. 1973 to July 1989, to the 1042nd Military Intelligence (M.I.) Company, later reorganized as the 641st M.I. Battalion. The aircraft supported a number of various missions that included border surveillance for the U.S. Border Patrol, photographic mapping for Federal and State agencies, and most notably for monitoring Mt. St. Helens before and after the May 18, 1980 eruption.
Addressing those in attendance, Brig. Gen. William J. Prendergast, Land Component commander, Oregon National Guard, recognized the importance of the Mohawk #926 Aircraft display and what it means to the Oregon National Guard at the Debiert Flight Facility.
“Projects such as this tie the past, present and future into one rich story, and the distinctive triple-tail and big-eyed cockpit, will draw attention to the aircraft and will create questions about the airframe,” he said. “It ties us to the future, as what is old is new again as the military looks to create a new light attack aircraft in support of current operations.”
Among other official dignitaries in attendance during the event included; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Charles Rosenfeld and Capt. (Ret.) Gary Clark, Co-Chairmen of the #926 Project, Larry Diebert, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Emeritus; Patti Nopp, wife of Lt. Col. Nopp; Christopher Witherspoon, son of Sergeant 1st Class Jark; Richard Wolfe, Col. (Ret.), Representing the 641st M.I. Battalion and the 1042nd M.I. Company that operated OV-1s at Salem from 1972 to 1992.