The VAL-4 "BLACK PONIES"
• On January 3, 1969 the VAL-4 "Black Ponies" were Commissioned at Naval Air Station North Island, California. Operating the OV-10A Bronco, Light Attack Squadron Four was the first Navy squadron of its type. VAL-4 was deployed to Vietnam in March of 1969, were it quickly became an important part of the Brown Water Navy. Operating from Binh Thuy Air Base and Vung Tau Army Airfield in the Mekong Delta, the Black Ponies provided direct support for U.S., Allied and Vietnamese operations until it was dis-established in April 1972.
››› "The tragic, the comic, the terrifying, the poignant are all part of the story of the Black Pony pilots who distinguished themselves in the Mekong Delta between 1969 and 1972. Flying their Broncos "down and dirty, low and slow," they killed more enemies and saved more allies with close-air support during the three years they saw actionthan all the other naval squadrons combined. The U.S. Navy's only land-based attack squadron, Light Attack Squadron Four (VAL-4) flew support missions for the riverine forces, SEALs, and allied units in borrowed, propeller-driven OV-10As. • Cover Flap: The Flying Black Ponies by Kit Lavell ‹‹‹