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Contact: Sherry Justus, 830-868-7128 ext. 245
Visitors to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park's LBJ Ranch will have the opportunity to see a unique exhibit of Vietnam-era aircraft and meet with the pilots who flew them on Saturday, September 6 when the International Bird Dog Association (IBDA) teams up with the Johnson family and the National Park Service to coordinate an invitational fly in and viewing.
The aircraft, after landing on the private LBJ Ranch airstrip, will be on display from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Joining the L-19 Bird Dogs, the IBDA and the national historical park expect to host a Douglas A-1 Skyraider, Bell HU-1C Huey, North American T-6 Texan, T-28 Trojan, and a Cessna O-2, all prime examples of aircraft used during the Vietnam conflict.
The Bird Dog, a Cessna light plane originally designated the 305/L19, served as observation, reconnaissance and forward air control aircraft with the U.S. Army, the Air Force and the Marines from Korea to Vietnam, as the O-1/OE-1. Pilots flew thousands of missions "low and slow," looking for enemy positions, calling in artillery and air support, or reporting to ground troops. The military retired the Bird Dog in 1971 from its primary mission, but it continued in other military roles around the world. Units with the IBDA keep the Bird Dog legend alive with gatherings every year, and the display at the LBJ Ranch provides a rare opportunity to see a number of these special aircraft close up.
The event coincides with the opening of the historic LBJ Ranch to auto traffic during September. Admission is by permit only. Permits are available at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site Visitor Center, located one mile east of Stonewall or fourteen miles west of Johnson City on U.S. Highway 290. The LBJ Ranch opens at 9:00 a.m. every day.
In addition to the aviation event, visitors may tour President Johnson's restored office in the Texas White House, view his automobile collection and other exhibits inside the airplane hangar, and walk the grounds of the Texas White House. A food vendor will be on scene so that visitors may extend their time and enjoy all the LBJ Ranch has to offer. For further information, please visit www.nps.gov/lyjo, or call (830) 868-7128, extension 244 or 231.