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O-1 Bird Dog Profile

Cessna O-1 Bird Dog no 11969 as flown by MAJ George Constable when he was shot down in South Vietnam. Note the US Army markings on the fuselage, the two kangaroos and the twin-pod rocket launchers


Cessna O-1 Bird Dog named 'Bunny II' by its gang of creators: RAEME engineers of 161 Recce Flight in South Vietnam.


Detail from O-1 Bird Dog (Bunny II) showing tail plane with highlights, shadows and insignia
































O-1 Bird Dog Profile
Giclee print on archival paper
Size as requested by customer


"The story of the O-1 Bird Dog is quite remarkable. 161 Recce flight, the Australian Army Aviation Corps' contribution to the war in Vietnam, consisted of Sioux observation helicopters and Cessna 180 fixed wing aircraft. Due to the flying rate experienced, the fixed wing aircraft were stretched to the limit and scheduled maintenance meant that a number of aircraft would fall due for servicing within a short period of time. This meant that the flight would not be able to provide aircraft for the Task Force. So some local ingenuity was called upon.

The commander of the flight managed to make a deal with the US Army; some smaller Cessnas - L19s - which were designated O-1s but known as 'Bird Dogs', were being used by American units. Major Constable made a deal with the US Army to borrow one or two airframes to supplement the Cessna 180s... and so 'Bird Dogs' were used by the flight to conduct low level reconnaissance and artillery and air strike spotting. Unfortunately, Major Constable was shot down in a Bird Dog whilst conducting a convoy overwatch for armoured elements returning to the Task Force base after the Battle of Coral. This aircraft is featured at left.

The other aircraft depicted - Bunny II - was constructed from wrecked parts by members of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and sent back to Australia where it resides in the Museum of Australian Army Flying at Army Airfield Oakey.



Standard print (bottom)

A3 size 297 x 420mm - $60.00

Custom made print to order with different features as requested by the purchaser (examples below left - see Commissions Page for more details).

A3 size 297 x 420mm - $80.00,
A2 size 420 x 594mm - $100.00

- Aircraft and Weapon Profile Prints -

Chinook,   Iroquois,   Kiowa,   ARH Tiger,   Squirrel,   CT4-A, and B
Centurion Tank,  ASLAV-25,   L5 Pack Howitzer


Another shot of the image under construction (above). Some of the weathering has been included including the discolouration of the panels around the engine cowlings, chipped paint and the red mud of Vietnam smeared over the step from the boots of RAEME and AAAvn personnel step up onto the step to refuel, service or pre-flight the aircraft. (below) Next step is the prop and then more rivet lines and chipped paint and some detail from the cockpit.

Rivet lines put in and some more detail such as paint chips. The prop is also included.



The Finished Product with dedication to Major George Constable. Renegraphics


HomeAviation ServicesWar ArtistGalleryCommissionsInteresting StuffAbout/Contact

Independent Productions and Aviation Services is the website of Conway Bown, Australian Army Official War Artist and Aviation Consultant. Services include portrait painting and other portraiture, aviation services such as CRM - Crew Resource Management - and Helicopter Underwater Escape Training - HUET - which may include Emergency Breathing Systems - EBS - training using Helicopter Aircrew Breathing Devices - HABD - or Helicopter Emergency Egress Device - HEEDs.

During 2006, Conway Bown deployed to the Middle East as the Australian Army's Official War Artist, what the US Armed Forces call Combat Artist. This website features the artwork created during this project as part of the Australian Army's Official Art Scheme.

For more information on War Art, Combat Artists, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS) or Crew Resource Management (CRM), please visit the relevant webpages:

HUET - RHO Aviation

CRM - RHO Aviation

EBS - RHO Aviation

Official War Artist - IPAS.