Huey lands at Maxwell
A UH-1H Huey landed at Maxwell last week and it had a special connection to the Gathering of Eagles.
The Huey was one that flew in Bruce Crandall’s unit.
The retired lieutenant colonel is best remembered for his role in the battle in the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam, as dramatized in the movie, “We Were Soldiers.”
Patty Meek was one of the volunteer pilots that brought the Huey to Maxwell. It’s a part of the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, which refurbishes Army aircraft and uses them as a mobile museum.
“We’re trying to reconnect people with the aircraft of the past,” she said.
Many veterans wounded in combat were rescued by Hueys, she said, and seeing them again, outside of combat, helps close that door.
“Sometimes combat is the hardest thing to recover from,” she said. “This time when they come off, their families are there.”
The flying museum also helps civilians get a better idea of aviation and what it was like during combat and other veterans that were never on a Huey.
Crandall came out to see the Huey and told stories about it. He explained how they had to change the seating configurations during Ia Drang to evacuate more wounded.
The Huey is based in Ozark with the Wiregrass chapter of the foundation.
In July, Fort Rucker is having a celebration and the foundation will offer flights on the Huey. Donations from the flights help keep the aircraft operable, Meek said. For more information, go to www.wiregrassskysoldiers.org or www.armyav.org