OH-6 Cayuse Challenge Coin
The OH-6 Cayuse entered service in 1966, two years after the US army transitioned exclusively to rotor-wing aircraft. Its primary purpose was to provide artillery observation and reconnaissance. The pilots nicknamed the OH-6 as the “Loach,” borrowing from the acronym of the program responsible for its creation; LOH, or light observation helicopter.
Having a very low acoustic signature, the OH-6 Cayuse was ideal choice to carry out important secret missions during the Vietnam War. In 1972, the CIA would use a pair of heavily modified OH-6As for a covert wire-tapping mission. On the night of December 5 – 6 1972 near Vinh Vietnam, the OH-6 deployed a wiretap which would provide critical information to the United States during the Linebacker II campaigns and the Paris Peace Talks.
Matching its namesake, the OH-6 Cayuse coin is valiant and unforgettable, capturing the OH-6 as a stealthy light observation helicopter that played a critical role in obtaining information for the United States during the Vietnam War. It pays tribute to all courageous service personnel who carried out these daring missions to gather intelligence on the enemy.
Minted in bronze, this coin was struck using special "splash" dies which give the OH-6 exceptional quality and detail. The obverse of this challenge coin features profiles of the front, side, and top of the OH-6 in the background, while an OH-6 in flight occupies the foreground. The reverse of this coin features the emblem of the United States Army.