North American Aviation was incorporated in Delaware in 1928 and built many famous aircraft including the P-51 Mustang, B-25 Mitchell bomber, F-86 Sabre, XB-70 Valkyrie, and X-15 experimental rocket plane. The NA300 was North American’s entry into the US Navy’s Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (LARA) competition, and was declared the winning design in August 1964. It first flew under the designation YOV-10A Bronco on July 16, 1965. In October 1966 the first production order for the OV-10A was placed.
On September 22, 1967, North American Aviation Inc. and Rockwell Standard Corporation of Pittsburgh (a manufacturer of automotive components and builder of the Aero Commander series of civil aircraft) merged to form North American Rockwell Corporation.
By September 1969, the US Marine Corps had 114 OV-10A Broncos in service, of which 18 were on loan to the USN. At this time, the USAF had 157 OV-10A’s. Most were dedicated to Forward Air Control duties in Vietnam.
In 1973, the corporation changed its name to Rockwell International Corporation. The Aerospace portion of the business was called North American Aircraft Operations and appears to have devoted much of its time to the multi-billion dollar development program of the B-1 bomber, as well as the development and building of the (then-futuristic) Space Shuttle.
On 6th December 1996, Boeing completed a US$3.1 billion acquisition of Rockwell Aerospace and Defence. Following the takeover, it was briefly known as Boeing North American but was subsequently absorbed into McDonnell Aircraft and Missile Systems (McDonnell Douglas was another Boeing acquisition – itself a merger between famous aviation companies).
Today the Bronco is “owned” by The Boeing Company, but as a new Bronco has never been built under that name, convention has it that Broncos can be referred to as either a “Rockwell OV-10 Bronco” or a “North American OV-10 Bronco”.
Brendan Searle provided this info.