The state Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. took possession of a UH-1 Huey helicopter Saturday morning.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which is located at the intersection of Route 825 and Ellsworth Road on the former Griffiss Air Force Base, was dedicated on Memorial Day 2019.
Phase 2 Project Coordinator Mark Jennings said the process of acquiring the Huey began after the memorial dedication.
“We had several people looking for a Huey and ultimately found and purchased this one from a private owner in Missouri,” said Jennings.
The Huey will be restored over the winter by Walt Constantini and the students from the Mohawk Valley Community College Aviation School, with an estimated time frame of Memorial Day 2021. The helicopter will be placed on a pole at the memorial location, and a dedication ceremony will follow.
“The Huey will be restored as a U.S. Navy Seawolf gunship and will provide a wonderful point of reference to those who are not familiar with the memorial location on Griffiss,” Jennings said. “The Memorial Fund was actively working to raise funds to help pay for the Huey, the restoration and other enhancement to the memorial location when COVID-19 hit and our fund-raising efforts were greatly affected.”
The organizer said he hopes by acquiring the Huey, it will help reignite the committee’s fund-raising efforts.
Anyone wishing to make a tax-deductible donation to the Phase 2 Memorial project, may send them to the New York State Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc., 210 Elm St., Rome, N.Y. 13440.