Fort Rucker Now – Fort Rucker bids farewell to the Huey


[MG CRUTCHFIELD]: We’re here for a family
reunion to say goodbye to a family member: the UH-1 Huey. This is an incredible machine
as you all know and it served us proudly for over 52 years.
It was first introduced in 1959. In its first 20 years of service more than 7,000 of these
aircraft served in combat in Vietnam. More than 16,000 were built and served all around
the world. Today, with all of you present, we say goodbye and farewell to this fine war
machine. [CW4 CASTAGNETO]: To those in the crowd that
have had the honor to fly, crew or ride this magnificent machine in combat we are the chosen
few. We are the lucky ones. We understand what this aircraft means and how hard it is
for me to describe my feelings about her as a Vietnam combat pilot, for she is alive.
She has a life of her own and has been a lifelong friend.
[CW4 CASTAGNETO]: … It’s hard not to. We learn to fly in, carried us home, carried
us into battle, and carried us out of battle. Like I said, it was our mother. You sat in
this aircraft for 14, 16 hours a day every day in combat; she became a part of you. It’s
a part of you that never goes away. [SINGING: “ABOVE THE BEST”]

12 comments

A sad day for Rucker. Amusing the number of ceremonies we see announced regarding the "last" Huey. I expect we will see more Huey retirements but the airframe will be around for many more years and may well outlive the last Vietnam veteran. I hope she does. Long live the Huey and all her flew her.

Nooooo!, Huey is needed for Jungle operations, with its 52ft heavy blades, its the best helicopter for the job!. :-(..

Good bye, old friend. I thank you for the life long lessons you gave me during Primary and Instrument training. How I miss hearing your distinctive sound.

My unit 427 medical company put medics in that aircraft 1978 Flat Iron. I was a medic who tested the 1978 -1979 high powered hoist system at Cairns Air Field in a huey. It was fun work with great pilots and sargeants.

I watched the last of them fly over my house(I live under Beatcat corridor on a 43 acre farm that you guys like to PL in :p) and my Vietnam reenactment group and I stood there in our dress kahkis and saluted as the last few flew over… Sad day

Thank God for the air Force keeping them alive with their training huh? They fly over my mom's house on the river hill at highbluff. Two together in tight formation low and gettin it. Makes you have goose bumps.

flight training at fort rucker the very best 9 months of my life…the thrill, challenges, great great great

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