“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oklahoma City in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)

Huey Helicopter

Huey Helicopter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 9, 2021
1. Huey Helicopter Marker
Inscription.  The helicopter quickly developed a nickname derived from its designation of Bell UH-1 series Iroquois, which came to be pronounced as "Huey." Typically, Hueys had crews of two officer pilots and two enlisted crew members acting as crew chief and door gunners, who both manned M60 machine guns.

There were about 12,000 helicopters of all kinds that served in the Vietnam War. Bell Helicopter built 10,005 Hueys from 1957 to 1975. During the Vietnam War 5,086 Hueys were destroyed.

This helicopter is a shell built of original Huey helicopter parts. It was assembled by Vietnam veterans and former crew chiefs Mike Paterson and Jerry Staggs with the help and sponsorship of Vietnam veteran and helicopter pilot Bob Ford.

Stenciled on the left side of the Huey are two names. One is First Lieutenant Bob Ford, the aircraft commander. The other is of Bob's crew chief, Specialist Fifth Class, Crew Engineer Heidi "Bud" Atanian.

When asked about his friend, brother in arms, and crew chief, Bob Ford provided the following heartfelt statement:

Specialist Fifth Class Bud Atanian was the typical outstanding
Huey Helicopter image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 9, 2021
2. Huey Helicopter
Marker is on the right, in front of the Huey Helicopter exterior exhibit (Tip of the Spear)
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UH-1D crew chief. During his tour of duty in Vietnam with the Black Cats, 1967-1968, he was assigned to one ship-his aircraft. He manned the M60 machine gun on the left side during every mission. His other responsibility of maintaining the helicopter in near-perfect condition was enormously important. Daily preflight and postflight checks after the last mission of the day took 1.5 hours each time. Every time the helicopter shut down during the day, Bud would go over every inch, inspecting each moving part.

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, Vietnam. A significant historical year for this entry is 1957.
Location. 35° 29.641′ N, 97° 29.842′ W. Marker is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in Oklahoma County. Marker can be reached from Nazih Zuhdi Drive west of North Laird Avenue. Marker is on the grounds of the Oklahoma History Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City OK 73105, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Huey Helicopters: Workhorses of the War in Vietnam (a few steps from this marker); Model 1861 3-Inch Ordnance Rifle (a few steps from this marker); "Any Army aviator or crew member..." (a few steps from this marker); Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker); Choctaw Nation (within shouting
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distance of this marker); The Great Raft (within shouting distance of this marker); Chahte Tamaha (within shouting distance of this marker); Jones Plantation (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oklahoma City.
Regarding Huey Helicopter. The "Tip of the Spear" became an exterior exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center in early 2021. It was dedicated on March 29, 2021, with a ceremony on National Vietnam Veterans Day. Speakers that day included Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, retired Captain Bob Ford (mentioned on the marker) and Michael Do (representing the Vietnamese-American community).
Credits. This page was last revised on May 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 5, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on May 7, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.   2. submitted on May 6, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Jun. 23, 2021