East Texans experience history as "Huey" helicopter lands in Nacogdoches

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A piece of history landed into Nacogdoches this weekend, the "Huey" helicopter.

"A piece of history that's going to the wayside and the new technology is coming in and everything, so I wanted to see it before it was gone," said Nacogdoches resident, Jeff Latham.

The first its kind, the machine was largely used for medical evacuation during the Vietnam War.

"Brings back a lot of memories and even got goose bumps when we heard it come in," said J. D. Hill, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 931.

Hill says he worked on flying the aircraft into East Texas for a month. He says he wanted his hometown to experience a piece of history.

"Members in our chapter that were actually crew chiefs and pilots on the Huey Helicopter during Vietnam," said Hill. "So, there's some history here in Nacogdoches county with this aircraft."

Parents, grandparents, kids and others came to catch a glance of the 55-year-old military work horse.

"They just wanted us to be able to see a helicopter because we just wanted to get on one to know what it was like," said 9-year-old Kyra George.

"It's just really cool that they would let you sit in their helicopter while they were on duty," said 7-year-old Trent Wimberly.

Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth Woods of the United States Army, piloted the aircraft from its base in Fort Hood. He says this is one of its last runs, as the helicopter will go into retirement next year.

"A little melancholy, but I understand with progression and of course, things have to go their own way. This aircraft's given us great service, so we know for a fact that the aircraft that will be coming on board is going to give us great service as well," said Woods.

The helicopter has made less trips in recent years due to new technology.

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