Oklahoma History Center to show “Helicopter Missions: Vietnam Firefight”

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma History Center is giving Oklahomans a firsthand glance into the lives of helicopter pilots during the Vietnam War.

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, the Oklahoma History Center will show “Helicopter Missions: Vietnam Firefight.” The program will be moderated by former Huey helicopter pilot, Ret. Capt. Bob Ford.

“Helicopter Missions: Vietnam Firefight” showcases one of the most dangerous helicopter missions of the Vietnam War.

A company of more than 100 South Vietnamese soldiers, led by US Special Forces, were ambushed and surrounded by more than 600 North Vietnamese  soldiers. The only way for them to escape would be by helicopter.

Only two unarmed Huey helicopters were able to answer the call and found no place to land in the 40-foot-high bamboo. The pilots decided to use the blades of their helicopters to chop their own landing zone. After five trips, they were able to rescue every single survivor.

Before or after the showing, attendees are encouraged to tour the museum’s special exhibit “Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam.”