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News & Events

Mineral Wells, TX
May 21, 2008


“Flying Thunder” Comes to Mineral Wells

Every Memorial Day weekend for the past 20 years, thousands of motorcycle riders from around the United States have converged on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., in an event known as “Rolling Thunder.” This year, the event will add a new dimension. Four Vietnam era helicopters – three UH-1 “Hueys,” and one OH-58 Kiowa – will join the riders with a “Flight to the Wall” dubbed “Flying Thunder.”

One of the UH-1’s is a Vietnam combat veteran with both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy. This UH-1B model was one of the first to serve in Vietnam, and is restored with the original U.S. Navy “Seawolves” markings it carried from 1968 to 1972. It will serve as a flying memorial to members of its crew that were killed in action as well as all the Navy Seawolves that served with them.

The aircraft were restored by Wings and Rotors Air Museum in California, and departed for the Memorial Day weekend from French Valley, California on May 14. Along with various groups of riders, they will cross the country making stops along the way at Vietnam Memorials and other veterans’ memorial sites. On their return to California, the aircraft and riders will be making stops in North Texas that include Fort Worth and Mineral Wells.

The schedule calls for the aircraft to land at Meacham Field on Friday, May 30 at around 4:00 p.m., where they will remain overnight. They are scheduled to depart at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 31 and land at Mineral Wells Airport at 11:00 for a three hour layover before departing for Abilene at 2:00 p.m.

The National Vietnam War Museum would like to encourage everyone to come out to the airport to see the aircraft and meet the crews and riders, and show your support for our veterans. This ride and the accompanying helicopters are participating to show their support of veterans and their families, to honor those who have paid the supreme sacrifice, and to keep alive the issue of accounting for all POWs and MIAs.


Edward T. Luttenberger
Communications Director
The National Vietnam War Museum





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