Cessna Aircraft Company is saluting the service men and women in the United States Armed Forces by donating a restored 1953 L-19/O-1 "Bird Dog" aircraft to the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF) for sale this January at the 43rd annual Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. The auction item includes both the L-19 from Cessna and a Dodge M37 three-quarter ton pickup truck restored and donated by Okoboji Classic Cars of West Okoboji, Iowa.
Cessna has a decades-long track record of designing and producing efficient, effective training and reconnaissance platforms for the airborne needs of the United States service branches, dating back to before World War II. To this day, Cessna supports the aviation needs of today's Armed Forces while also actively engaging with veteran's organizations to help raise funds for veteran's causes. The proceeds from the upcoming auction of these legendary American-made icons will go to support the AFF's efforts to educate the public about the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and serve as an advocate for troops affected by these conditions.
"We're extremely grateful for the support of Barrett-Jackson and Cessna for the 2014 auction in Scottsdale," said AFF President and Executive Director Patricia Driscoll. "The funds raised each year help the Foundation continue to support military families and veterans in need of financial assistance. We are proud to return 95 cents of every dollar raised to our programs in order to honor our motto of, 'Serving those who Serve.'"
The Barrett-Jackson car auction consistently makes charity fundraising a key part of their events. The L-19 and M37 package will be auctioned off in a live, prime time broadcast of the 43rd annual Scottsdale, Ariz., event on the FOX network on Saturday, January 18.
The Army version of the L-19 (designated the O-1) saw service throughout the 1950's and 60's, and its roles included artillery spotting, medevac operations, search and rescue, communications and training. The Bird Dog was manufactured by Cessna starting in 1950, and an Army aviation officer at the time described the L-19 Bird Dog as "worth its weight in gold" for its successful operation during the Korean campaign.
The Dodge M37 three-quarter ton pickup truck is being restored and donated by a Cessna customer, Okoboji Classic Cars of Spencer, Iowa. "We have put over 2,500 hours into restoring the M37 so far," said Toby Shine, president of Okoboji Classic Cars and of Shine Bros. Corp. "We'd found it sitting in a field, so it is a complete frame-off restoration. It looks great, especially alongside the L-19. We feel it is our honor to be able to support our men and women in the Armed Forces, and our family business has done that for over a century. We are proud that the proceeds from this effort will go to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation."
The specific unit up for auction has been restored and is a fully functional instrument flight rules (IFR) Bird Dog equipped with Garmin 430 Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS).