AHP Huey Chosen, Awaiting Transfer to BG
Finally! After years of searching and rejections, Aviation Heritage Park has a Huey. Well, not exactly. The bird is not on site.
However, one with AHP’s name on it is sitting in the “bone yard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, AZ.
According to Patricia Ochs, Air Force Display Administrator with the National Museum of the USAF, the Vietnam era Huey UH-1 is waiting to be demilitarized, readied for transfer to AHP. Once this is done the craft will be officially on loan to AHP. The next step is arranging transportation from AZ to KY.
Recently a search team from AHP traveled to Arizona to view three aircraft available and selected the one best suited for the park. The gunship selected flew with the 20th SOS “Green Hornets,” involved in several insertion and extraction missions deep in enemy held territory. Once on site at AHP the bird will be restored, then put on display. No timetable has been set for restoration completion at this time.
In keeping with AHP protocol, the Huey has a back story connected with a local aviator. This artifact will pay tribute to Army chopper pilot, Col. Raymond Nutter, along with honoring all the men and women from south central Kentucky who served during the Vietnam War.
Nutter was a native of Georgetown, KY. He played football under Coach Bear Bryant at the University of Kentucky before transferring to WKU. He played on WKU’s 1952 Refrigerator Bowl Championship football team.
In 1966 Nutter was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with armed hostile forces in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with the 121st Assault Helicopter Company.
Nutter distinguished himself while serving as platoon leader of an armed helicopter team supporting combat operations near Vi Thanh. Nutter led his air-craft in strikes on heavily fortified Viet Cong positions that were threatening a small friendly force. When two evacuation helicopters were forced to abandon attempts to reach the ground unit because of intense fire, Nutter decided to fly in for the pickup. As he brought his Huey down, it was hit by a burst of fire which riddled the cabin, shot away the controls and killed the other pilot. In the crash Nutter suffered severe injury to his leg, but led two crew members deeper into the swamp as the Viet Cong gave chase. Hoping to escape capture, the team continued to move through enemy terrain. Hampered by injury and beset by leeches and mosquitoes, he hacked his way with his knife through the swamp. On two occasions he was attacked by armed insurgents. He engaged in hand-to-hand combat and killed them with his knife. Early the following morning he made contact with a friendly Vietnamese force and was rescued. More about Colonel Nutter on our site here.
Nutter died Oct. 2006
John Fleck Film Features WWII Veteran
Poignant video of veteran John R. Boyer sharing his memories of WWII in France and Germany. This was filmed for Ropkey Armor Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana by John Fleck, photographer, videographer and great friend of Aviation Heritage Park. Mr. Boyer was a Staff Sgt serving in the 36th Division (Texas National Guard), 142nd Infantry, Company B. He is 91 years old. We thank him for his service.
Funding Campaign for Restore BG Seeks Local VN Vet and Area Support
For several years, AHP has sought a Huey to symbolize the courage of the warriors who served in Vietnam. Recently the park has received official word from the National Museum of the Air Force that the request has been confirmed. The process to retrieve, demilitarize and release the helicopter can be a tedious process leaving the park unsure on its expected arrival. It’s the military.
The mission of Aviation Heritage Park is to assure that military heroes’ stories are never forgotten. With your financial support, the BG Huey will display in AHP as that symbol of the warriors of Vietnam. The park will use it to tell the story of Huey pilot and Distinguished Service Cross recipient, Ray Nutter.
Our budget for this project is $15,000. That includes transportation of the helicopter from the Boneyard in Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, parts, extensive repairs, complete rebuild of the interior, and paint.
Work finished this week on the refurbishment of the T-33, on display in honor of General Russ Dougherty of Glasgow, Commander of the Strategic Air Command. The Mobile Maintenance Shelter was moved to the F-4, known as Phantom 550, the exact plane flown by General Dan Cherry in the Vietnam War when he shot down a MiG-21 flown by Nguyễn Hồng Mỹ.
All of this work could not have been accomplished without the community partners and volunteers who continue to work on this project. Special thanks go out to Jerry Cantrell and team from Continental Machinery (for providing the steel plates), and J. David Fields and team from Western Crane. These guys have their “stuff” together. Thanks also to Tanker, SAR, Barrett Barnes, Mach Yowell, Rooster and Air Boss for making the move go smooth.
We have great volunteers at the park who help with the refurb project. But, we need more. If you need a hobby project and have some spare time, please call Gerry (270) 618-0226 to inquire.
AHP Awarded Huey
After years of searching, Aviation Heritage Park has received official word from the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, Ohio that our request for a UH-1 has been confirmed.
The park is approved to receive a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter as the next artifact. The process to retrieve one from the “Boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona has begun.
After the selection of the air frame, it will be designated as a museum artifact and then demilitarized for civilian release. It’s a long process that could take anywhere from 6 months to three years, according to the acceptance letter. (The park waited two years for the F-111 currently on display).
We are excited that the process has begun! As soon as the air frame is released it will be transported to Bowling Green. That’s when the meticulous restoration process begins. It’s a very expensive proposition and thousands of man-hours will be spent making Bowling Green’s Huey a showpiece worthy of display. As soon as we have more information, we will post an update.