Written By: Chapter Secretary & Newsletter Editor, Frank Febus
McAuliffe’s Eagles Chapter Newsletter, June 2014
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rememberance Day Ceremony on May 7, 2014, with the dedication of a UH-1D Huey was attended by my estimation over five hundred Vietnam Huey aviators, crew chiefs and those of us who have deep memories of the insertions and extractions by the Huey. The ceremonies and guest speakers were exceptional. The main guest speaker was Rocky Bleier, Super Bowl Champ and Vietnam Veteran.
The restoration of this Huey was a labor of love by military veterans, many former pilots and maintenance technicians. This Huey served two tours in Vietnam. From October 1966 through 1967, it served with the 116th Assault Helicopter Company, at Cu Chi in support of the 25th Infantry Divison. It then served with the 118th Assault Helicopter Company, from November 1968 through February 1970 at Bien Hoa, logging more than 3,000 flight hours in support of our troops.
A special moment occurred when we had a huey fly over. This had the crowd on their feet and cheering and waving, but when the Huey made a 180 and came in really low and that thump-thump-thump brought back a lot of memories, the crowd really got into it then, I saw a lot of moist eyes around me.
After the ceremonies were over, the foundation had complimentary hoagies, soda and water bottles for all. The event then became a big picnic with the veterans mingling and greeting new friends. Our football jerseys attracted the attention of people who asked us to pose for pictures. As we walked around the memorial area I could see/feel a lot of eyeballs on us, our jerseys really stood out. One lady asked us to pose for pictures lined up from the back and from the front.
We also met chapter members who can’t make our meetings but receive our newsletter and are able to keep in touch about the 101st. We should make it a point that when we assemble together at a function such as this or one of our own, to wear the football jerseys. When we designed our jersey, the thinking was to make the design unique to our chapter, showing our unity of members and also the legacy of the 101st Airborne Division.