In late 1966, the USAF selected a military variant of the Cessna Model 337 Super Skymaster to supplement the O-1 Bird Dog forward air controller (FAC) aircraft then operating in Southeast Asia. Designated as the 0-2, the aircraft was distinguished by twin tail booms and tandem-mounted engines. This unorthodox aircraft resulted from several years of study by Cessna aimed at producing a twin-engine airplane that would be simple to fly, low in cost, safe and comfortable, while offering all the traditional advantages of two engines. Having twin engines enabled the O-2 to absorb more ground fire and still return safely, endearing it to its crews.
Two series were produced: the O-2A and the O-2B. The O-2A was used for identifying and marking enemy targets with smoke rockets, coordinating air strikes and reporting target damage. It was equipped with wing pylons to carry rockets, flares, and other light ordnance and was used in the FAC role. The O-2B was equipped with loudspeakers and leaflet dispenser and was used in a psychological warfare role in Vietnam. It carried no ordnance.
The O-2B crew consisted of a pilot and an observer. It had a cruising speed of 196 mph with a max speed of 205 mph. The aircraft had a flying ceiling of 19,300 ft but for PSYOP missions it spent most of its time flying above tree tops. The range of the aircraft was 1,325 miles. The 02B aircraft were assigned to the 14th Special Operations Wing, Nha Trang Air Base, Vietnam.
The above pictured 0-2 was used in SOG missions over the Ho Chi Minh. The plane is painted black for clandestine missions, but with white letters on the top so that fast-movers (fighter-bomber aircraft) could see the aircraft against the green of the jungle.