First Flight Platoon "Yellow Jackets"
This sign was designed by MMAF Director Charles Yonts for display with UH-1H # 71- 20130.
Second Platoon "Wasps"
Picture of UH-1H # 71-20130 as received from the Department of State
The UH1H instrument panel as originally received and the current progress made to return it to its original configuration.
Gunship Platoon "Stingers"
Pictures from the 116th Attack Helicopter Company
UH-1H # 71-20130 with Hornet 17 nose art.
UH-1H # 71-20130 Lycoming T53L13B turbine engine.
Maintenance Platoon "Bee-Keepers"
This sign will be displayed with UH-1H # 71- 20130.
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois (unofficially Huey) is a military helicopter powered by a single Lycoming T53 turboshaft engine, with two-bladed main and tail rotors. The helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet the United States Army's requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter in 1952, and it first flew on 20 October 1956. Ordered into production in March 1960, the UH-1 was the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production for the United States military, and more than 16,000 have been produced worldwide.
The first combat operation of the UH-1 was in the service of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. The original designation of UH-1 led to the helicopter's nickname of Huey. In September 1962, the designation was changed to UH-1, but "Huey" remained in common use. Approximately 7,000 UH-1 aircraft saw service in Vietnam.
In 2014, Military Machines of American Freedom acquired a Bell UH-1H Huey helicopter serial # 71-20130. This helicopter will be restored with the markings of the 116 Assault Helicopter Company, the Hornets, 1st Platoon, the Yellowjackets, as it appeared in 1968 at Cu Chi, III Corps.
The 116th Assault Helicopter Company was one of the most decorated aviation units within Vietnam during the most combat intensive period of 1965-1971. The 116th AHC's primary mission was supporting the 3 brigades of the 25th Infantry at Cu Chi, Tay Ninh, and Dau Tieng and in August of 1968 the 3rd Brigade of the 101st. The 25th had the second highest casualty rate in Vietnam. The 101st had the third highest casualty rate. The base camp location of this unit sat directly in the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army logistical path between Laos and Saigon. The 116th AHC sat precisely on top of the Cu Chi Tunnel complex which was later identified as the center of strategic and tactical support for the the NVA. The stresses of combat were a daily condition for all who were there during these years. Combat support was a daily mission and incoming rocket attacks occurred a few nights each week.
The 116th AHC landed at Vung Tau, on the coast near Saigon in October 1965, and then moved in November to Phu Loi in III Corps. At Phu Loi they supported the 1st Infantry Division. In November 1966 they moved to Cu Chi and supported the 25th Infantry Division. In July 1970 the Hornets moved to Chu Lai in I Corps to support the AMERICAL Division. In October 1971 they moved a final time to Da Nang. In December 1971 they were withdrawn from Vietnam.
The 116th AHC received the Presidential Unit Citation (1), Meritorious Unit Citation (1), Valorous Unit Award (5), Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (4), Vietnamese Civil Action Award (1), Vietnam Service Medal (15 Campaign Stars) and the Vietnam Campaign Medal (1).