Public Invited As Restored Viet Nam Helicopter Comes To Shawnee Sunday

Saturday, June 25th 2011, 4:45 pm
By: News 9

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -- A Shawnee High School grad and Viet Nam veteran will deliver a restored Army helicopter to the Shawnee Veterans Memorial on Sunday.

Bob Ford of Okeene was a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam. Ford restored a U.S. Army Bell UH-1 HUEY helicopter that will be hauled to Shawnee from Weatherford, Texas, where the restoration took place.

The HUEY will be escorted by a group of veterans and soldiers from the Ft. Sill area in Lawton once the bird reaches the state line.

The helicopter is expected to arrive between 10 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, then there will be a formal dedication on July 4, according to Helen Hendrick Price.

"Although the formal dedication of the HUEY will be on July 4th, many are excited about its arrival and installation on Sunday, June 26th, and plan to be present to watch," Price said.

"If you happen to be in the area, drop by for awhile or spend the whole day."

Restored HUEY Comes To Shawnee

The HUEY will be installed by crane onto a waiting base.

"It isn't known how long the installation will actually take, but I assume we will be there until at least mid-afternoon if not late afternoon or early evening," she said.

"Bring the kids, grandkids, and lawn chairs, and spend the afternoon enjoying this historic event."

Anyone who wishes to join in the escort is welcome to do so. The helicopter will travel north on Interstate 35 to Norman, then go east on U.S. Highway 9 to northbound U.S. Highway 177. From there, the escort will follow the HUEY to the Farrell Street exit at Shawnee, going east on Farrell to Broadway, then north on Broadway to the Shawnee Veterans Memorial at Woodland Park.

The memorial is in the park and is just north of the Courthouse and the old library.