27 June, 2020

Profile 143 UPDATE: Hughes OH-6A Cayuse as flown by "Bruce" Huffman, Troop C, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry

Update.  Done.

And this was an especially fun project as the egg-shaped fuselage created fascinating challenges in perspective.  I'll admit it now, this one turned out a bit better than I hoped but it's still not perfect...unless you have a ruler and the ability to warp your eyes like a chameleon, you'll never know the difference.

But, back to the topic, this illustration is of a particular Hughes OH-6A "Loach" circa October 25, 1968.  Why that date?  Because I don't want to draw all the bullet holes that ripped its skin two days later.

A little background is in order.

Poor helo.  Headed for depot, 1968.

The pilot, Bruce Huffman, was an "Aero Scout" with the 1st Squadron of the 9th Calvary.  The 'Scout's' mission was simple enough — buzz around at very low level, find the enemy, evaluate the situation and make The Call on whether/how to engage.  Put another way, it would be as if a pest control business had a position where someone were to test if wasp nests were valid by giving them a 12" stick.

 found this goofy clipart on the web somewhere. Whoever created it may have been an OH-6 driver.
Or not.  Doesn't matter.  The principle remains true enough.

Normally, this is where I'd explain more about the story and the pilot, but in this post, I'd like to try something new.  

The COVID-19 crisis has totally discombobulated our "Old Guys and Their Airplanes" series of filmed interviews.  However, adversity creates opportunity.  In so doing, we leveraged the rage of video-conferencing technology to bring our interviews into a new dimension — live and interactive!

On May 30, 2020, Bruce allowed us to interview him in front of a large (international) audience, taking questions from the audience, too.  On one hand, it was a risky thing to do, taking a chance against technology, a (potentially) disruptive audience and even my ability to handle HIS narrative.   But on the other, Bruce was/is wholly comfortable with the idea of "risk."  Undoubtedly, his combat service has served him well, teaching him that opportunity (almost always) demands (confidently) sticking one's neck out.

So, instead of writing (Bruce is going into my upcoming book, btw), get yourself a cup of whatever and get ready to hear the man's story in the best way possible - his own words.

OGTA - DeBrief #2