VVA Chapter 850 welcomes long-awaited Huey to Dover

Donations to help rehab the Huey can be mailed to VVA Chapter 850, PO Box 1718, Dover, DE, 19901 with a memo that it is for the Huey rehab. We anticipate the rehab and mounting the aircraft at the site will cost about $10,000.

We would love to have it completed by Vietnam Veterans Day on March 30, 2014, but getting the job done right is more important than a date.

 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Contact: Dave Skocik 302-736-8500 cell

VVA Chapter 850 welcomes long-awaited Huey to Dover

Some of the members of Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, pose with their Huey.

Some of the members of Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, pose with their Huey.

Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, welcomed the newest addition to its family on Monday morning, Nov. 18, to the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park where it will later be put on permanent display.

It’s been nearly three years since the chapter began seeking a UH-1 helicopter, known as a Huey. The most iconic aircraft of the Vietnam War is sought by a great many organizations, including museums. Competition for the dwindling supplies of the venerable bird is intense.

Vietnam veterans instantly recognize the “thump, thump, thump” of it rotors. The aircraft carried them in and out of combat, brought them ammunition and supplies, provided gun and weapons support, and to many, life-saving medical transport.

“We have invited our chapter members to come out to welcome our Huey,” said Paul Davis, vice president of Chapter 850 and state VVA council president.

Chapter President Joe Startt echoed his sentiments. “This aircraft has special significance to me and to every wounded veteran whose life was saved by being airlifted to medical help by the Huey. Seeing it here means the world to me and my fellow chapter members,” he said.

The aircraft was given a Native-American “smudging ceremony,” a smoke blessing, by chapter Chaplain Terry ‘Dream Wanderer’ Sammons, a member of the Lenni-Lenape tribe. Mr.

First grade students from East Dover Elementary School next to the memorial site, visited and prepare to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

First grade students from East Dover Elementary School next to the memorial site, visited and prepare to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sammons was accompanied by John ‘Little Bear’ Fisher a member of the Cherokee tribe. A similar ceremony was conducted when the property was first acquired in 2007.

“It’s coincidental but November is Native American Month,” said Mr. Startt, “and this just adds another positive aspect to this ‘welcome home’ ceremony.”

Mr. Davis was effusive in his gratitude to all who assisted in the long process. “It’s important to not only acknowledge the assistance of Messrs. Carper, Coons and Carney, but also to the US State Department, and Kent County Levy Court and the City of Dover. We’ve also engaged Hillis-Carnes Engineering in Dover to test the soil. Site design work is being done by W.C. Gomez Associates Engineering of Chester, Pa., all of whom are providing discounted work for us as veterans,” he said.

Restoration work on the aircraft will done be at a Leipsic facility provided by John Carey. After being on public display at the memorial, the aircraft was taken to Leipsic to prepare it for later inclusion in the Vietnam Memorial. The memorial park is located on S. Little Creek Rd., Dover, behind Airbase Carpet Mart.

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