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Vietnam Views by Wilson Hurley


Note: This exhibit is on display in Kettering Hall.

Wilson Hurley based this series of oil paintings on his actual experiences and observations. Hurley was a member of the 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 150th Tactical Fighter Group, New Mexico Air National Guard. He went on active duty as a major when President Lyndon Johnson recalled his unit in January 1968. His squadron was assigned to Tuy Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, in May 1968, but he was sent to Phan Rang Air Base for training as a forward air controller (FAC).

Completing his instruction in December 1968, Hurley was assigned to fly single-engine O-1 Bird Dog observation aircraft. He flew 150 reconnaissance missions as a FAC for the First Regiment of the Republic of Korea's "Capital" Division, flying from air bases at Qui Nhon and Phu Cat. He returned to the U.S. with his squadron in May 1969.

When Hurley died in 2008, he was regarded as one of America's premier landscape artists. He donated the paintings on display, and the description next to each painting are Hurley's own words.

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Wilson Hurley: Painting the FACs in Action
A Dangerous Business: Forward Air Control in Southeast Asia
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