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RAAF FAC OV-10A the back seater.

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I was keen to correspond with Graham’s back seater on the mission he flew in 1970 as they both played an important part in that particular sortie and I felt that it would be great to include him in this build. All of the Aussie FAC’s that I have come across so far have been really passionate about the role that they all played. With this build thread being emailed back and forward between a few of the guys it was pretty soon that I was able to touch base with Ken Semmler, himself a RAAF fighter pilot on exchange to the USAF. He was only too happy to forward me lots of great photos and stories. I promised that I would pay lots of attention to the rear cockpit in return. Here is a great pic of Ken enjoying a beer after a hard days work.




it was Ken that flew the Bronco back to Cu Chi after the combat mission and he had a great story about that flight. I have reproduced part of his correspondence to me here:


I might have mentioned that, in my ‘umble opinion, on the memorable 6 June 70, the return trip from Vung Tau to Cu Chi, was a more dangerous ( self inflicted!) venture than the fun and games near Trai Bi. Have a 1:100 map at hand and am retracing the trip from Vung Tau to ‘home’. We’d punched out of VT and when asked by air traffic as to whether we were VR , the answer was ‘affirmative’. Wot a lie! It was mongrel weather but, ’twas similar to the Pony Express in that ‘the mail must get through’ so off we went at LO level. However, was careful to keep on the RH side of roads (obeying road rules?!) such that the chances of meeting a chopper by accident were lessened. Also barrelled under the Ton Son Nhut flight path with lights on and low such that a pushbike wheel thrown into the air could have brought us down. But no, we safely returned to Cu Chi and my all too scarce diary records that we had a good evening meal? Ah, it’s all a matter of priorities.’


There is lots more to come from Ken!


Some more work.


Dry fitting the cockpit together whilst comparing it to photos revealed some missing detail which I felt needed to be added. As per one of my earlier posts, it it a bit vacant if left as an out of box build. The front seat armour plating and associated structure have been fitted here.




I decided to make a new armour plate and add the frame work that connects it to the canopy. 




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