A This Tiger Party suit belonging to J.P. Finneran who served with the USMC (perhaps explaining his call sign "Finn The Grunt") before joining the USAF as a Covey Rider based out of Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam. The suit is made from Thai Tiger fabric by Maharajah Clothers in Thailand, a common manufacturere. The patches are all locally made but have been customised by the owner with titles to describe his role, and the Viet Cong Hunting Club patch is in a rare colour way. A name tag on USMC herringbone twill wad found in the pocket. The Covery Rider patch is for the 20th TASS based out of DaNang AB, South Vietnam and is Thai made.
The beret is locally made with a 19 TASS patch featuring Snoopy and a Vietnam Parachite club beercan, suggesting he had to bail out at one point. The beret is made by Luong Tan or Cheap Charlie Tailers.
The 19th TASS dates its lineage to the Second World War. It was first constituted the 19th Observation Squadron (Light) on 5 February 1942, and was activated on 2 March 1942 at Miami Municipal Airport, Florida. It was redesignated the 19th Observation Squadron on 4 July 1942, and the 19th Liaison Squadron on 2 April 1943. It was inactivated on 1 December 1945 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
This section only addresses the squadron history during the Vietnam War. The Squadron, redesignated the 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron (Light), was reactivated on 17 June 1963, and was organized on 8 July 1963 at Bien Hoa AB, RVN. Briefly inactive between August and October of 1964, the Squadron remained at Bien Hoa until 1 August 1971 when its resources were relocated to Phan Rang AB, RVN, and were incorporated into a unit located there. On 15 January 1972, the Squadron relocated to Suwon AB in the ROK. Ultimately, it relocated to Osan Air Base, ROK, where it was inactivated on 1 October 1993.
In Vietnam, the Squadron primarily provided visual and photographic reconnaissance and airborne forward air control of fighter aircraft. Operations included combat support liaison, artillery and naval gunfire adjustment, forward air control of helicopters, and escort for convoys and trains. Psychological warfare missions, radio relay, and resupply missions were flown as well. Finally, the Squadron trained USAF and VNAF Pilots in the O-1, O-2, and OV-10 aircraft. The O-1 (as flown by Finneran and seen below) was operated from 1963 to 1970. The O-2 and the OV-10 came into service in 1968, and were operated until departure to Suwon AB in 1972.