Ad Spot

At Madison Street Festival, veterans to show fighter helicopter from Vietnam War

MADISON – A bit of military aviation history will be on display for inspection at Madison Street Festival on Oct. 1.

In October 2011, two organizations accepted responsibility to restore the BUC 3 UH-1H helicopter: North Alabama Chapter of Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association or NAVHPA and the Saving Our Flying Heritage Through a Flying Museum or SOFH.

NAVHPA and SOFH are non-profit public educational foundations, as filed under IRS section 501(C)3. The organizations agreed to restore this ‘war hero’ helicopter to “Display” status. With its restoration, the helicopter serves as an interactive, hands-on, living-history museum that the public can view.

NAVHPA will display the UH-1H helicopter in Captain Jesse Ollie Wikle Jr. Veterans Memorial Park on Front Street in downtown Madison during the Madison Street Festival. Festivalgoers can examine the vintage helicopter, manipulate the flight controls, get the feel of flying a warbird and ask questions to docents, who are all Vietnam helicopter pilots.

The BUC 3 is available for patriotic occasions, school meetings and charitable events in the greater Huntsville and Madison County area.

“We are appreciative of the NAVHPA for sharing this iconic symbol of an important part of U.S. military history with our community. Lots of work goes into the logistics of preparing this aircraft for display, and the Madison American Legion is thrilled to have it displayed in our veterans’ park for the Madison Street Festival this year,” Larry Vannoy said. Vannoy retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Air Force and now serves American Legion as Commander of both the 12th District and Madison Post 229.

The helicopter not only represents the military power of our forces that served in Vietnam but also in every conflict since that era.

The aircraft, a UH-1C/M Huey gunship, 66-00623, flew in Vietnam from 1968 through 1972. “She mostly served with the 170th Assault Helicopter Company, whose gun platoon call sign was ‘Buccaneers,’” Vannoy said. BUC 3, as the helicopter was known, received battle damage from enemy fire at least twice.

In May 1969, the aircraft received five AK-47 rounds in the cockpit. One crewman was wounded.

After 1,417 combat flight hours, the aircraft returned to the United States. In 1974, BUC 3 was transferred to the Kentucky Army National Guard and later to the New York Guard.

In 1988 after 3,095 total flight hours, BUC 3 was designated a QUH-1M target aircraft and transferred to White Sands Missile Range, N.M. In 1989, the helicopter was moved to Redstone Arsenal.

The aircraft served as a target for missile seeker development for 20 years until its transfer from the U.S. Army to Huntsville Veterans Memorial Museum in 2009.

For more information, email LVannoy06@gmail.com or visit americanlegionpost229.org or Facebook/American Legion Post 229.

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones to represent Alabama at Southeastern Theatre Conference

Business

The State Of The Rocket City Trash Pandas 2022

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Rocket City Marathon 2022: New Format, New Course, New Day

James Clemens High School

Christmas Card Lane brightens downtown streets

Liberty Middle School

World War II, Korea veteran Walt Siffringer accepts Quilt of Valor

Bob Jones High School

beEntrepreneurial [beE] High School Idea Competition sets Dec. 7 deadline

Madison

School board approves bid to turn the old West Madison campus into PreK Center

Bob Jones High School

Greenpower racing builds STEM skills and confidence

Madison

Madison Animal Rescue Foundation in need of new foster homes

Madison

How to submit your child’s “Letter to Santa”

Events

Neighbors: Community theater groups in Decatur to stage ‘ELF: The Musical’

Events

Driving Nights for Galaxy of Lights begin today at Huntsville Botanical Garden

Events

Polar Express Christmas Tree Trail lighting and Wassail Fest being held Friday in downtown Madison

Polar Express Christmas Tree Trail lighting and Wassail Fest being held Friday in downtown Madison

Bob Jones High School

Former Patriot named assistant director of coaching at North Alabama SC

Former Patriot named assistant director of coaching at North Alabama SC

Digital Version

Check out the new issue of Madison Living Magazine

James Clemens High School

James Clemens medical and drama students, first responders simulate trauma scene

Madison

Curbside recycling recovery assistance throughout the weekend

Bob Jones High School

Scholarships at stake in American Legion oratorical contest

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast avers multi-disciplines feed theatre

Business

Town Madison becomes city’s first Arts & Entertainment District

Events

Asbury Church to present “Lessons & Carols: The Songs of Christmas” on Dec. 4

Events

Christmas at Burritt on the Mountain

Events

Madison Community Band to present “Christmas Journey”

Events

Winter Park at The Orion Amphitheater is now open!

x