Questions about Nam F.A.C. pilots

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Thread: Questions about Nam F.A.C. pilots

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Aurora, CO.
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    Questions about Nam F.A.C. pilots

    So I am nearing the end of long workings on my early war Vietnam Marine infantryman and have been throwing the idea around about doing another 'Nam figure. I was looking my Hot Toys F4 jock over one day and pondered the thought of doing a F.A.C. O2A pilot. i though it would be cool to use the tiger stripe suit and boots, a shoulder holster w/ the .38 but had a couple questions about the headgear and vest.
    The few pics I've seen of actual F.A.C. pilots they seem to wear the classic SRU-21/P vest like this one



    I was curious if they also used the Navy/Airforce-issue SV-2B vest like the one that comes w/ the F4 pilot figure, shown here



    I know this vest is designed primarily for aircraft w/ ejection seats but i read somewhere that there is a vest w/ the same nomeclature for non-ejection aircraft. Would/could a prop-wing pilot use this vest? Or should I try to get the SRU-21/P?

    Now the question on headgear. The pics I've seen show a lot of the pilots wearing helicopter helmets, not zoomie helmets. In fact the many pics I've seen never showed a pilot w/ a soft cap and headphones (ala BAT 21). Any advice there? Any advice would be greatly appreciated
    "Preblown. It's like Preheat. Set it up to blow up. I'm already preblown because I'm already hooked up. Don't make no sense, don't it? Of course it don't. Dimebonics."
    e5sargemac's pbase gallery

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    As I am sure you know, FACs flew various different aircraft during Vietnam and came from the various services as well as our Aussie brethern. Since you asked about O-2As, most of the photos I have seen with survival gear have the mesh vest with the various designed or modified pockets on them. Not to say that other services might have worn different, but you did ask about O-2 jocks.
    As for helmets, most of the photos I have seen show crew wearing the single visor helmet (the device to lower or raise it in the center) and a single boom mike. Although I have seen photos of pilots wear soft head gear, I am not sure if that was something worn in lue of the helmet in flight.
    If you are looking for a photo heavy book on FACs in Vietnam, Hit My Smoke, Forwar Air Controllers in Southeast Asia by Jan Chuchill is a good one. Although not photo heavy, I highly recommend Naked in Da Nangby Mike Jackson as a great book on a O-2 pilots tour of duty in Viet Nam.
    Here are two on line sites that might help too:
    http://www.nightrustics.org/photos.htm
    http://www.covey-fac.com/pictures/pictures.htm
    Last edited by AirCommando; 03-03-2008 at 13:15. Reason: Added web sites
    "I'm so used to being the weirdest guy in the room, over here I am not even in the running" Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr, Air America)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Aurora, CO.
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    803
    Thanks much for the reply. I think I will go w/ the SRU vest. Now on to finding one
    "Preblown. It's like Preheat. Set it up to blow up. I'm already preblown because I'm already hooked up. Don't make no sense, don't it? Of course it don't. Dimebonics."
    e5sargemac's pbase gallery

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
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    Sent you a p.m. regarding the vest. Drop me a line and we'll do some dealing!

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    FAC o-2/o-1 pilots most often wore standard survival vests and HGU helmets(though some raven pilots didnt like helmets and wore ball cap type hats under headsets).i have seen photos of FAC pilots wearing tiger stripe fatigues and even jungle utilities,though standard flight suits('bags') seemed the most common.ov-1 mohawk pilots wore a unique vest that bbi put on its apache pilot for some reason.later in the war a soft body armour vest with the pocket arraingment of the survival vest was issued,also for 'fast fac's' in jet a/c.depending on where and when in the nam..there is a lot of leeway for flight gear...even cammies would not be out of the question.

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