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Contact: Sherry Justus, (830) 868-7128, ext. 245
The skies over the LBJ Ranch will be filled with unique warplanes on May 5, 2007 and visitors to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park will have the opportunity to meet with pilots who flew these aircraft in Korea and Vietnam, when the International Bird Dog Association (IBDA) joins the Johnson family and the National Park Service to provide this unique event.
Members of the IBDA will fly in to the LBJ Ranch and display their aircraft from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. near the historic hangar and taxiway. National Park Service bus tours on May 5 include a stop there for chatting with the pilots and viewing twenty aircraft. Bus tours will depart from the LBJ State Park and Historic Site near Stonewall, Texas starting at 10:00 a.m. Bus tour fees are $3.00 for ages 62 and older; $3.00 for ages 7-17; $6.00 for ages 18-61; and ages 6 and younger are free. A free shuttle for the event will also be available from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. also departing from the state park. Access to the event must be by bus tour or shuttle.
Supporting the vintage planes will be members of Camp Mabry Company G reenactment group. A Texas Department of Public Safety rescue helicopter will also be on the scene and the pilots will be available to discuss features of this very modern aircraft.
The Bird Dog, a Cessna light plane 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, by then designated 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 legend alive with gatherings every year, and the event at the LBJ Ranch provides a rare opportunity to see a number of the Bird Dogs close up.