Vietnam-era Huey a hit at PDTR racing night

by Verla Peichl Review Correspondent


A Vietnam War vintage Huey helicopter made an appearance at Saturday night’s Plymouth Dirt Track Racing program at the Plymouth Fairgrounds as part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial. — Review photo by Verla Peichl A Vietnam War vintage Huey helicopter made an appearance at Saturday night’s Plymouth Dirt Track Racing program at the Plymouth Fairgrounds as part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial. — Review photo by Verla Peichl The Plymouth Dirt Track at Sheboygan County Fair Park came alive with a special attraction Saturday.

The Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial celebrated its 20th anniversary, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Through the efforts of the Plymouth Dirt Track race organization, the Huey helicopter, which is a true veteran of the Vietnam War landed in the infield prior to the singing of the “National Anthem.”

The landing of the Huey astonished the crowd, but what was even more exciting is that the PDTR organization also sponsored 10 youth to participate by being passengers on the ride to and from the track.

After the Huey landed on the infield, the first group of youth exited and the next group made their way, with chaperones, to the copter.

It was then that Rachel Peichl-McGee requested that the spectators join her in the singing of “God Bless America” and after she finished Rob McCoy sang the “National Anthem.” The second group then boarded the Huey and departed.

The groups were from the Boys and Girls Club of Sheboygan, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and one rider was an exchange student from Germany. They were Maddy Jenkins, Kayla Zeier, Mike Beres, DuWayne Wieck, Justin Rogge, Julian Bischoff and Randy Schwoerer (chaperone).

The Huey helicopter was used during the Vietnam War. The copter that was on hand at Plymouth on Saturday was put back together and refurbished to be used as a demonstration for how the actual airlifts of the wounded were done during the war.

The Huey became a symbol of U.S. combat forces in Vietnam and millions of people worldwide watched it fly in TV news reports.

At its peak in March 1970, the U.S. military operated more than 3,900 helicopters in the war in Vietnam and two-thirds of them were Hueys.

Their impact was profound, not only in the new tactics and strategies of airmobile operations, but on the survival rate of battlefield casualties.

U.S. Army patients made up 390,000 of the total number of people transported by medevac helicopters in Southeast Asia.

Almost a third of this total, 20,000, were combat casualties.

The Huey airlifted 90 percent of these casualties directly to medical facilities.


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