Last November the Veterans Memorial Park of Jackson County (VMPJC) proudly announced the arrival of a Vietnam Era UH-lH Iroquois ”Huey” Helicopter, after 4- ½ years of searching. The helicopter was donated by Bell Helicopters in Ozark, Alabama, which originally designed and manufactured the 50-year-old work horse of the U.S. Army. The team still needed to find rotors, which are in high demand. VMPJC is happy to announce the project has reached an important milestone at this early stage thanks to the donation of the main and tail rotors and other major components from added generous donors.
On January 23rd, Jim Blackburn and Dave Long went to Ozark, AL to pick up the transmission and other parts, which were donated by General Manager Michael Baergen on behalf of Bell Industries, Ozark Assembly Operations. Jim and Dave also visited the Friends of Army Aviation-Ozark Museum where they met with President John “Doc” Holiday (LTC Retired) and FOAA Tent Boss Karyn Kaempfer. Doc was kind enough to call the folks he sends blades out to be refurbished in Pocahontas, Missouri, to see if he could help us find the rotors. Doc mentioned the helicopter would be displayed at a Veterans Memorial Park. It was a special moment when Doc turned around and told us those guys were more than happy to donate the blade and the main rotors, which will be delivered to us in March.
The team held its first workday on January 27 and made great progress with sanding and cleaning the inside, which will require more work. Additionally, the seating and interior insulation was taken to Norm’s Upholstery in Grant, Alabama. Norm is a Vietnam Veteran, who spent many hours serving in a Huey, and will refurbish the seats and paint the frame of the fold out passenger seats. Enjoy more photos from the workday at this link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/of3ANbU21vPmCyM1A
When completed, hopefully by summer, the Huey will be positioned directly on the concrete pad in front of the Cobra. The restoration will be extensive, and volunteers are needed. If you would like to help in the restoration, please contact the Veterans Memorial Park of Jackson. Donations can be sent to Veterans Memorial Park of Jackson County, Inc., Attn: Huey Restoration at 1616 Heroes Drive, Scottsboro, AL 35768. Donors of $1000 or more will have their names displayed on a plaque with the Huey. Learn more at.www.vmpjc.com or call 256-999-0120.