Former army helicopter to take up permanent residence in Neosho

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NEOSHO, Mo. — A U.S. Amy helicopter, used in Vietnam, will have a forever home in a couple of months in Neosho.

This helicopter has actually been in Neosho since the 1990’s. The Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter – also known as a Huey – has been cleaned and restored. And now – work is being one to make sure it lands in a permanent location in town.

The Bell UH-1 Iroquois Helicopter is getting ready to be displayed at the VFW post 4142 in Neosho.

Eric Kruse, VFW Post 4142 Commander, said, “No one was thinking about the helicopter and the Neosho Post has never had any like status display of anything.”

The Huey was used in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war for rescue and transport operations.

“Joplin’s got their tank, Monett’s got their artillery, Neosho’s never had anything like that. And we had a helicopter sitting down at Morse Park and it was rotting away and being vandalized like there’s no reason that the VFW can’t have a static display of that helicopter in a more visible location so it’s not getting vandalized or forgotten.”

Eric Kruse is a commander of VFW Post 4142 in Neosho. The chopper brings him memories of his time in the service.

“As a marine I flew around in a lot of helicopters myself not exactly like this but anyone who has ever flown military helicopter understands a special level of terror and satisfaction whenever you get back on the ground.”

The chopper has been cleaned and restored by the Neosho city staff.

Clint Dalbom Parks and Recreation Department Director, said, “We have been working with the VFW to get the piece of property out there for this to sit on that would actually that would be in the cities ownership so that we are maintaining the relationship with the U.S. Army.”

City officials had locations in mind, but the community wanted the chopper to be placed at the VFW.

“All my members are extremely excited about this they’ve, they’ve been one hundred percent supportive and I hope that other veterans that aren’t members of the VFW and have no interest in joining the VFW I hope they appreciate it as well,” said Kruse.

The Huey is expected to be displayed at the VFW post 4142 the beginning of June. The VFW is planning to celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony and barbeque once an official date is set.

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