Birddog 51-11971, a 1951 TL-19A Birddog
This Aircraft is a Cessna TL-19A (TO-1A), Bu No. 51-11971, Cessna Serial Number 22285. It rolled out the doors of the Cessna Aircraft Company Pawnee Division in Wichita on 24 January, 1951 as the 1285th Birddog built and the first of four completed that day out of a total production run of 3437. Assigned to the U.S. Army Aviation Training Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama, many Army Aviators learned to fly in 971 during it’s 9 year tenure there. The Black & White Photo shows it tied down at Schell AAF, one of the satellite Army Airfields around Ft. Rucker during the fifties in it’s current paint scheme. A retired Army Aviator in Appleton, WI. verified the Schell location as he flew it there and identified every door & window in the building behind the aircraft. Many of the Army Aviators trained in 971 later became Forward Air Controllers (FAC’s) during the Vietnam Conflict. Scores of infantry soldiers owe their lives to the FAC’s whom came to the troops’ rescue via directing artillery and air strikes on their behalf.
This aircraft is a flying tribute to all Pilots and Birddogs flown during both Korean and Vie