L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog Challenge Coin
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.”
This challenge coin is minted in bronze with an antique finish. The circumference reads, appropriately, “Duty, Respect, Loyalty, Courage, Integrity, Honor, and Service.”