Vietnam 'Huey' drops in for historic return

A VIETNAM "veteran" has made a return visit to historic Lytham Hall.

The Huey helicopter, 509, returned on Sunday to say "thank you" to the team at Lytham Hall, who had been superb hosts on a previous visit in January last year.

On this earlier occasion, the Huey team needed a location to surprise visiting American Vietnam veterans from the 129th Assault Helicopter Company, who enjoyed an emotional reunion with the Huey that flew in their unit.

This moving reunion was filmed by the BBC and broadcast on their Inside Out programme. Lytham Hall provided a stunning backdrop to the Huey's arrival and the staff there made the American guests extremely welcome.

On Sunday, the Huey was accompanied by a number of historic military vehicles. These, like the Huey, are privately owned by members of the Military Vehicle Trust. The vehicles dated from the 1940s through to the '70s and included World War Two jeeps, other jeeps from later conflicts and large and small trucks.

The Bell UH1 – or "Huey" – is one of the most famous helicopters in the world. It is to helicopters, what the Spitfire and the P51 Mustang are to fix wing aircraft.

The Huey's most famous role will be remembered for their role in the Air Assault and Medivac operations in the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1975. They flew 36,145,000 sorties during the conflict. Somewhere in the region of 2,600 Hueys were based in Vietnam.

Huey 509 is now a resident of the Fylde Coast and appears at air shows, and other events throughout the UK, operating on a non-profit basis. All members of the Huey 509 Team are aviation enthusiasts with a keen interest in all old military aircraft and vehicles.

n For more information visit or phone Becky Pickford or Phil Connolly on (01772) 687775.