Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2001 Induction
LTC George L. O'Grady excelled both on the battlefield and in combining his combat experience and engineering talent to improve equipment.
On his first Vietnam tour he commanded the Cobras, the gun platoon of the 114th Assault Helicopter Company. Almost daily, the Cobras were committed to air assaults into base areas at night to protect villages and outposts under attack. The Cobras became so well known their call sign was given to the Army's first attack helicopter. On his second tour he commanded B Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry. His troop provided reconnaissance and long-range patrols blocking three major infiltration routes leading south out of Cambodia. His heroism was recognized by many awards, including three Silver Stars, four Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars and two Presidential Unit Citations - one for the 13th Aviation Battalion and the other for the 1st of the 9th Cavalry.
Between and following his combat tours, he drafted the Army's first field manual on A Gunnery, helped set up the first instrumented helicopter firing range at Fort Rucker and established the first door gunner training program.
Hardware innovations were a constant during O'Grady's aviation career. He designed a flight helmet shield to block flare light, constructed helicopter cargo door airflow adapters to reduce buffeting and drag, modified an M-39 cannon for helicopters, performed classified work on the Hellfire missile, redesigned the M-5 ammunition box, utilized the XM-3 smoke adaptor to load tear gas grenades into the rocket system and applied a microphone sensing system to develop a hostile fire indicator. He also developed a Relative Wind Air Data System for more accurate rocketry and smoother flight that is in use today on attack helicopters.
This master Army aviator had 5,000 flight hours, of which 1,900 were combat.