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Operation Huey Takes Flight at the NJ Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation

Meet the Operation Huey Restoration Team
Meet the Operation Huey Restoration Team
In January 2013, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation (NJVVMF) of Holmdel, NJ took possession of a 1964 Bell UH-1D, Iroquois helicopter, also known as the Huey. The Huey, serial # 64-13732, served two tours in Vietnam. From October 1966 through September 1967, it served with the 116th Assault Helicopter Company, “The Yellow Jackets,” at Cu Chi in support of the 25th Infantry Division. It then served with the 118th Assault helicopter Company, “The Thunderbirds,” from November 1968 through February 1970 at Bien Hoa. During its service in Vietnam, the Huey logged more than 3,000 flight hours, saving countless lives and providing daily support for troops. 

After spending more than two decades outside at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the Huey is currently under restoration by a crew of dedicated veterans. Throughout the spring and now summer of 2013, the crew has logged more than 900 hours so far preparing the Huey for display at the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center in Holmdel, NJ, which celebrates its 15th Anniversary in 2013.

Thanks to the generosity of the crew, members of the local military community and friends of the Foundation, the NJVVMF has accomplished a great deal. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. After restoration work is complete, the Huey will be relocated to the Foundation’s grounds and installed as a permanent display at 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, NJ (Garden State Parkway Exit 116 on the grounds of the PNC Bank Arts Center). 

This project is a labor of love, and the NJVVMF crew of veteran volunteers couldn’t be more qualified to restore the Huey. Their dedication and passion reflect the significance of this project. Many flew and maintained Hueys during their tours of duty. Every crew member has a Huey story to share. 

There is a common bond among veterans, especially Vietnam veterans. This project has once again brought them together, working towards an important goal, the restoration of a Huey that served in Vietnam. They understand that their work will preserve their legacies and leave a lasting impression on all who experience our Huey in coming years.

Stay tuned for more news on the project and volunteers, as well as videos documenting the restoration project currently under production by Brookdale Television. NJVVMF will also unveil a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to help underwrite costs associated with its display and restoration. "Like" the NJVVMF on Facebook where you can also stay updated on the restoration project.

About New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, dedicated May 7, 1995, strives to encourage and foster patriotism and provide for recognition of the sacrifices, courage and valor of the New Jersey veterans of the Vietnam era. The Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center, dedicated in September 1998, strives to encourage and foster a thorough understanding of the Vietnam era, including the political, historical, social, cultural and military aspects that affected the United States, especially New Jersey. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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