12 November, 2023

Profile 170: Bell AH-1G "Cobra" as flown by Michael O'Neil, F Troop 1/9 Cav




Behold — the work-in-progress of a Bell AH-1G "Cobra" attack helicopter, c. May 1970.  I'm responding to a fairly crucial Commission; this bird's pilot, Michael O'Neil, is the knowing recipient but not "the commissioner."

Most times, there's a bit of 'surprise factor' in these kinds of projects.  In this case, Michael knows all about it and is playing an important role in provenance, 'story,' and of course, the positive energy necessary to complete projects like this. 

"Projects like this..."

Yeah.  Projects that have virtually ZERO photographic reference.  Except the one below.  Gads, can you help?!?

Michael O'Neil c. 1970, South Vietnam.
He didn't get his DFC there, though.  THAT happened in Cambodia.

I'm totally serious.  If you have any photos of an F-troop 1/9 Cav Cobra, holler.  I can draw pentagons and 'letter Fs' all day long... and even get them in the right spot.  But I know full well that Vietnam War Cobras were dolled up in livery variations of all sorts.  The picture above is not terribly helpful for what the tail, nose would/should look like.

So, though the shape of the Cobra is unmistakable, the markings are (yet) somewhat of a mystery.  

But Michael's 'story' isn't a mystery and he's happy to share it.  

And I'm honored to be here in the middle.

Watch this space.  I need to be done by Christmas.