Vietnam “lifeline” helicopter flies over York County

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. --- A Vietnam-era helicopter took to the skies Saturday morning into the afternoon.

The Liberty War Bird Association, a non-profit volunteer organization of veterans, flew a fully restored UH-1H helicopter, known as "Huey 823."

The organization says it looks exactly as it did in Vietnam when it supported the 170th Assault Helicopter Company.

Col. Charles Bechtel, U.S. Army, ret., who serves as the Public Affairs Director for the Liberty War Bird Association, said they hope to educate people on how critical the helicopter was in Vietnam.

“It was literally our lifeline. That changed the way the Army would fight. The death rate from wounds in Vietnam was the lowest of any war up to that point, primarily, because the guys that were fighting when they got ammunition. When they got reinforcements, they also put their wounded soldiers on that helicopter. That’s more than just a helicopter to most people especially us, it's like a labor of love,” said Bechtel.

The Liberty War Bird Association says there are only about six restored Huey helicopters flying in the U.S.

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