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“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 Helicopters: Workhorses of the War in Vietnam

 
 
Huey Helicopters: Workhorses of the War in Vietnam Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 9, 2021
1. Huey Helicopters: Workhorses of the War in Vietnam Marker
Inscription.  The helicopter you see here is pitched slightly forward with the nose down and the rotors angled. This configuration was the most efficient for straight and level flight at 70 knots, or roughly 77 miles per hour.

The sight and sounds of Huey helicopters became iconic images of the Vietnam War. Hueys served as utility helicopters, as medevac (medical evacuation) helicopters, as command and control helicopters, as air assault helicopters, as personnel and materials transports, and as gunships. Hueys typically had four crew members, with two officers as pilots and two enlisted men as crew chief and door gunner.

Length: 57 feet
Height: 14 feet, 9 inches
Speed: 139 miles per hour
Maximum take-off weight: 10,500 pounds
Maximum range: 198 miles
Armament: Variable - two M60 machine guns (or variants), two seven-or nine-shot, 2.75-inch rocket pods
Medevac capacity: up to six stretchers and one medical support staff

One pilot's story: From July 1967 to July 1968, First Lieutenant Bob Ford from Shawnee flew more than 1,000 missions in Vietnam. After only his first six weeks in Vietnam,
Huey Helicopters: Workhorses of the War in Vietnam Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 9, 2021
2. Huey Helicopters: Workhorses of the War in Vietnam Marker
Marker is the first one on the left, in front of the Huey Helicopter exterior exhibit (Tip of the Spear)
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an exceptionally short amount of time, he became an aircraft commander and assumed command of a helicopter detachment stationed at Hue, 40 miles from the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). This detachment was stationed farther north than any other detachment in Vietnam.

First Lieutenant Ford's tour of duty included the siege of Khe Sahn and the Tet Offensive in February 1968. During the offensive he and his men joined other base defenders on the base perimeter for three days and nights, enduring continuous ground attacks. These attacks are thought to be the bloodiest and most costly of the war. While Lieutenant Ford and his crew helped defend the base, his helicopter was destroyed on the ground during the attacks.

 
Erected 2021 by Oklahoma History Center.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, Vietnam. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1968.
 
Location. 35° 29.637′ N, 97° 29.848′ 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. "Any Army aviator or crew member..." (here, next to this marker); Huey Helicopter
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(a few steps from this marker); Model 1861 3-Inch Ordnance Rifle (a few steps from this marker); Chahte Tamaha (within shouting distance of this marker); Choctaw Nation (within shouting distance of this marker); The Great Raft (within shouting distance of this marker); Oberlin (within shouting distance of this marker); Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oklahoma City.
 
Regarding Huey Helicopters: Workhorses of the War in Vietnam. 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 6, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 6, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Jun. 19, 2021