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A Very Special Grumman Mohawk Coming to Oshkosh
June 24, 2015 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 visitors can see a very special flying memorial tribute to the 1,636 American MIAs and POWs still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. The aerobatic demonstration Grumman OV-1D has all 1,600-plus names covering nearly the entire fuselage and tail in luminescent paint.
Acquired eight years ago by Dr. Joe Masessa, EAA Lifetime 576510/Warbirds of America 19790, the twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to arrive on July 18, and will be on display throughout the convention. From Thursday, July 23, through Saturday, July 25, the airplane will be on Boeing Plaza. Masessa is a 4,000-plus hour, multi-engine ATP and serves as lead pilot of the twin-engine aircraft.
This is the Mohawk’s first visit to Oshkosh as a flying monument, but the plane has been to Oshkosh at least once before it was covered in names.
“We are proud to be the world’s first POW/MIA flying memorial. This is our thank you to these men, our way to say that they are not forgotten, and our promise to fight for them as they fought for us,” he said. “We vow to attend as many air shows as possible to bring awareness to, and gain support for, our mission to help recover these brave servicemen. We will not stop flying until the fullest possible accounting is achieved.”
Slowly but surely we are recovering our lost soldiers from Vietnam. When someone is accounted for, Team Mohawk conducts a “recovery ceremony” that includes the playing of taps and a missing man formation performed by a flight team. A small American flag decal is placed beside the name on the fuselage to indicate a found serviceman. According to spokesperson Julie Cristie, at least one recovery ceremony will be held in Oshkosh this year.
Visit the Team Mohawk website to learn more.