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Hero to say goodbye to iconic ‘Huey'
The News Tribune (Tacoma WA) ^ | 1/26/2011

Posted on 01/26/2011 9:45:09 AM PST by llevrok

It’s not enough for retired Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall to wave goodbye to the Army’s last UH-1 helicopter flying on the West Coast.

Crandall, 77, wants to take the controls of the “Huey” himself.

“I would fly it tomorrow,” said Crandall, a Medal of Honor recipient from Port Orchard. “If I can, I’ll be in the cockpit.”

He’s the guest of honor at the Yakima Training Center today, where the Army Air Ambulance Detachment plans to mothball its last Huey.

The iconic Vietnam War-era chopper was still in use for medical evacuations at the Yakima grounds through September. It’s been replaced by new models of the UH-72 Lakota, a quick helicopter designed for medical missions.

The Huey’s departure marks the passing of an era to Crandall and other Vietnam veterans who remember the “whoop whoop” of its blades gliding into combat zones.

“You’ll never see a movie about Vietnam without some helicopters flying around and they’ll all be Hueys,” said retired Col. Philip E. Courts, 72, of DuPont.

Courts’ career spanned the Huey’s heyday. It was first produced in 1959, and Courts was an instructor pilot in the early 1960s teaching others how to fly the chopper. At the time, it represented a considerable improvement in power and speed. Courts was eager to fly the Huey instead of its cumbersome predecessors.

He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, flying Hueys on medical evacuations and attack runs. The Army sent about 7,000 Hueys to Vietnam; it lost 3,305, according to the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association.

Courts went on to command the 9th Aviation Battalion at Fort Lewis. He retired in 1988 with the Blackhawk and Apache established as the Army’s primary helicopters.

“I know the new equipment is much better,” said Courts. “It’s much more sophisticated and more capable. But I still have a soft spot for the Huey. We could not have done what we did in Vietnam without the Huey.”

Courts will be the featured speaker at today’s ceremony in Yakima. He’ll be joined by his son, Col. Michael Courts, who likewise became an Army helicopter pilot. Michael Courts now is the deputy chief of staff at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Crandall’s achievements in a Huey are memorialized in print and on film. He commanded a helicopter company during the Nov. 14, 1965 battle at the Ia Drang Valley, the first major battle between American ground forces and the North Vietnamese Army.

Crandall and his wingman, the late Maj. Ed Freeman, made 14 landings under fire that day and are credited with saving more than 70 soldiers.

Both received the Medal of Honor for their actions at Ia Drang. They’re memorialized in “We Were Soldiers,” a 2002 movie starring Mel Gibson that recounts the battle.

Crandall was an adviser to the movie crew. He last flew a Huey while working on the set.

He told Gibson he felt as if he’d never stopped flying.

“Like riding a bicycle?” Gibson asked.

“More like sex, unless you’re really into riding a bicycle,” Crandall joked to the actor.

Crandall misses flying, but not only for the adrenaline. Seeing the Huey go reminds him of the lives it saved.

“It meant that there’s a lot of people living today that wouldn’t be here – grandchildren and some great grandchildren – because that helicopter performed. It brought home a lot of my friends,” he said.


TOPICS: US: Washington
KEYWORDS: helicopter; military
Bravo zulu, Huey.

One of the classic air frames of all time.

1 posted on 01/26/2011 9:45:11 AM PST by llevrok
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To: llevrok

My husband flew the Huey in the OK Army National Guard, until they retired it and him.


2 posted on 01/26/2011 9:48:32 AM PST by Montanabound
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To: llevrok

Crandall was Snake Shit correct?

My Dad used to fly his Huey over the house and wave to us at Benning. I still love that sound and can tell a Bell twin blade rotor from miles away.


3 posted on 01/26/2011 9:53:22 AM PST by doodad
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To: llevrok

Thanks for the post. Here’s a link to a great documentary on the Huey:

http://www.intheshadowoftheblade.com/documentary.html


4 posted on 01/26/2011 9:56:15 AM PST by Ben Hecks
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To: doodad

I sent this to my Dad and he served with Courts and met Crandall.

All the Way!


5 posted on 01/26/2011 10:49:45 AM PST by doodad
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To: llevrok

A good question should be, “Will there be a commercial production Huey based on the military models?”

There was a very successful commercial production Jeep and Humvee, so why not a Huey?

Its selling points would be that it would be “factory simple”, without a lot of the bells and whistles of most commercial helicopters, with perhaps a more efficient engine. There are lots of Huey models, with all sorts of mods, and Bell might be receptive to a low end production line.


6 posted on 01/26/2011 11:14:39 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

No need to make more. They are still modernizing and reselling existing ones.


7 posted on 01/26/2011 11:35:13 AM PST by TalonDJ
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To: llevrok

Gotta love the UH-1...the AK-47 of helicopters...simple, rugged, durable.


8 posted on 01/26/2011 11:38:28 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: doodad

Roger that!

And Freeman was “Too Tall.”


9 posted on 01/26/2011 12:32:55 PM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: llevrok; ALOHA RONNIE
LLevrok.

It is FR protocol that any story about the Ia Drang be bumped to Aloha Ronnie. He was there and is an FR hero of first order.

10 posted on 01/26/2011 12:40:29 PM PST by mad_as_he$$ (V for Vendetta.)
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To: mad_as_he$$; All

.

NEVER FORGET

.

Once a soldier and young,

...They are still soldiers

http://www.ArmchairGeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66978

.

NEVER FORGET

.


11 posted on 01/26/2011 12:58:42 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: llevrok; All

.

RONNIE GUYER PHOTO COLLECTION

http://www.lzxray.com/guyer_collection.htm

.


12 posted on 01/26/2011 1:00:10 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: doodad; All

.

NEVER FORGET

.

..BRUCE CRANDALL = MEDAL OF HONOR..

http://www.ArmchairGeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48215

.

NEVER FORGET

.


13 posted on 01/26/2011 1:04:34 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE

I never will my Friend!!

Thanks again.


14 posted on 01/26/2011 1:07:49 PM PST by mad_as_he$$ (V for Vendetta.)
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To: mdcrandall

.

GARRY OWEN, Sir

.


15 posted on 01/26/2011 1:38:30 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE

I think I told you this before. Dad was in Ia Drang just a few months after you all were there.

He had two tours and then we spent many more years on various bases. His 70th birthday is next week. My hero.


16 posted on 01/26/2011 1:48:34 PM PST by doodad
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To: doodad; All

.

The one thing The LOVE Itself needs more of in this world
...is more LOVE.

And that only comes when people
...are FREE..!!!

http://www.Freerepublic.com/~aloharonnie/

.


17 posted on 01/26/2011 2:03:26 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: llevrok; All

.

For more...

Search: “RONNIE GUYER” on

http://www.Google.com

.


18 posted on 01/26/2011 2:19:04 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: TalonDJ

While a refurbished Huey would be good, I’m thinking more along the lines of a consumer Huey. Though it’s easy to compare it to a passenger minivan, probably a better comparison would be to a panel van.

A utility helicopter to transfer van sized cargo over terrain faster than it could be done on the ground. Say, in mountainous, swampy, or rocky terrain with few roads.

The design emphasis would be on a more efficient engine and lower maintenance. Maybe even adding fanwing props (centrifugal fans) in pods for much better lift and stabilization.


19 posted on 01/26/2011 2:47:30 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: All; llevrok; DO Dad; mdcrandall; Boston; Joy Angela

.

NEVER FORGET

.

Los Al base helicopter simulators take final flight

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/huey-140731-simulators-combat.html

.

NEVER FORGET

.


20 posted on 01/28/2011 1:05:03 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
A good question should be, “Will there be a commercial production Huey based on the military models?”

There was a very successful commercial production Jeep and Humvee, so why not a Huey?

Do a websearch for *Bell 205*. I dealt a little with Bell 205-A models back in the late 1970s.

As of about 14 months ago, the DEA was still using Huey UH1-H models, including some in Afghanistan used for DEA FAST counternarcotics teams trying to slow the Afghan/Taliban opium poppy trade.

21 posted on 01/29/2011 5:21:13 PM PST by archy (I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!)
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To: llevrok
35K20; Ft. Lewis, WA; 7 UH-1H's


22 posted on 01/29/2011 5:27:25 PM PST by bannie (( ))
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To: doodad; All

.

NEVER FORGET

As a Radioman-Driver-Orderly to then Lt. Col. HAL G. MOORE, while in 1965’s then Free South Vietnam’s Central Highlands, I was stunned to witness first hand that there really is such a thing as HATE in this world. And people out there who hate the FREE for ..simply being FREE.

http://www.lzxray.com/guyer_set1.htm

I have since seen directly that LOVE is indeed the Only Reality and GOD is LOVE. And that the one thing The LOVE Itself needs more of in this world is ..more LOVE.

And that only comes when people ..are FREE..!!!

Making soldiers who so selflessly sacrifice to bring more FREEDOM, and thus more LOVE, to the world ..and their loved ones who wait for them to come home or not ..HOLY in GOD’s Eyes.
Bringing a broad smile to His Face in the process.

FREE-ing up people to be all that they already are in GOD’s Eyes and all that they can be while here on the Planet Earth.

‘It’s WHO YOU ARE’ is sung at the ending of Director RANDALL WALLACE’s 2010 Motion Picture “SECRETARIAT.” RANDALL wrote the song’s words. He also wrote the stirring words to the ‘MANSIONS of the LORD’ hymn, which is sung at the ending of his 2002 Motion Picture “WE WERE SOLDIERS.” For in life, it’s not what you have that counts. ‘It’s WHO YOU ARE.’

http://mommylife.net/archives/2010/1...ariat_the.html

‘MANSIONS of the LORD’ went on to become publically known as ‘The REAGAN RECESSIONAL’ as well. For it was stirringly sung by the Marine Corps Choir as President RONALD REAGAN’s flag draped casket was being carried out from his Washington, D.C. funeral for flight back to his REAGAN Presidential Libary final resting place. This hymn was to be soon heard by tour guests as they leave the Library ..forever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WDrbbtaO0E

For President RONALD REAGAN was as much a soldier standing on the front line fighting for the FREEDOM of others, as we soldiers who were physically putting our own lives on the line out there.

http://www.ReaganLibrary.com

NEVER FORGET

.


23 posted on 02/15/2011 12:42:01 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: doodad; All

.

NEVER FORGET

.

‘It’s WHO YOU ARE’ = “SECRETARIAT” Video, Song & Lyrics

http://mommylife.net/archives/2010/10/secretariat_the.html

.

NEVER FORGET

.


24 posted on 02/16/2011 2:15:55 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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