From Otto Machacek of
503rd Aviation Bn, 3AD
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3AD Mohawks Spot Mysterious Nazi Trees
(But in 1962-63)
- See Story Below -


Otto Machacek of 503rd Aviation Bn, 3AD, during 1963-64 wrote the following on 10/13/2004 to this website:

"These two photos [above] of German forests were taken in 1963. I happened to be in the Aviation Bn. photo lab when they were being printed, so I managed to scrounge myself a set. Dating back to WWII or earlier, followers of Adolf Hitler must have planted certain trees that would create designs in the fall when they changed color. Apparently another similar grove was discovered outside Berlin in the late 1950's in the Soviet Zone and was cut down. These two photos were taken from separate Mohawk OV-IB recon/attack planes flying out of Fliegerhorst air field in Hanau. I'll e-mail my former boss, Lt. Col. Perrin, for more details."

Response on 10/13/2004 from Col. William Perrin (retired), former OIC of ASTA Platoon and the 503rd Battalion S-2 (ASTA: Aerial Surveillance Target Acquisition):

"My recollection is that it was the winter of 1962-63, during Christmas time. lst Lt. Roy A. Wulff, one of our OV-I pilots, landed one afternoon and told us about seeing a large swastika on the side of a mountain. After looking at his charts, it was determined that it was on the west side of the Vogelberg and southwest of Fulda. Later that week, Capt Dean R. Willwerth landed with the same story except that this one had a "1933" under it. After several flights it was determined that there were two of them on the same mountain about a mile apart. Photos were made and put up on the ASTA Platoon wall. Months later some Brig. Gen. came thru for a briefing on the Mohawk. He admired the photos and hinted that he wanted a copy. Someone in the group took them down and gave them to the general. Don't know why the Photo Section did not reprint them and put them back up on the wall."

Special Note on above photo of aircraft: This Mohawk OV-IB (serial no. 59­2631 and shown with external fuel pods) may or may not have been involved in the swastika photography. But in any case, it was assigned to the 503rd Aviation Bn in 1962-65, according to records of the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation - - and is still flown by that organization today (2005). The photo was found on their website.

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