Oregon Army National Guard Honors Legacy of OV-1 Mohawk

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.

A flatbed truck moves Mohawk #926, a restored OV-1 airplane to the front of the Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem, Ore., Oct. 23, 2019. The Mohawk #926 Project was a three years restoration project by volunteers and other Oregon National Guard retirees who worked and flew the OV-1 Mohawk airframe from 1972 to 1992. (National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

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).

Brig. Gen. William J. Prendergast, Land Component Commander Oregon National Guard, recognizes the importance of the Mohawk #926 Aircraft display and what it means to the Oregon National Guard during the dedication ceremony at the Debiert Flight Facility, Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem, Ore., Nov. 2, 2019. The display was installed on Oct. 23. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Anita Stratton, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard)

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.

Charles L. Rosenfeld, Maj. Gen, (Ret.) former Adjutant General, Oregon National Guard and Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, dons his hat, for audience members who may not recognize him without it, during the dedication ceremony of the Mohawk #926 Aircraft at the Debiert Flight Facility, Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem, Ore., Nov. 2, 2019. The display was installed on Oct. 23. Rosenfeld relayed the history of the Mohawk aircraft and its relationship with the Oregon National Guard. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Anita Stratton, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard)

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.”

Maj. Gen, (Ret.) Charles L. Rosenfeld, former Adjutant General, Oregon National Guard and Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (left), and Maj. Gen. Charles L. Diebert, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Emeritus (right), greet each other during the dedication ceremony of the Mohawk #926 Aircraft at the Debiert Flight Facility, Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem, Ore., Nov. 2, 2019. The display was installed on Oct. 23. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Anita Stratton, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard)

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.

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