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Vietnam War Huey helicopter unveiled at National Medal of Honor Museum in North Texas

Huey helicopter for new National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington unveiled
Huey helicopter for new National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington unveiled 02:33

ARLINGTON — The National Medal of Honor Museum got to show off its largest piece of war history, the Huey.

Thursday, a group that included veterans watched as Arlington police led a procession until the Vietnamese Era medical helicopter made its way before a cheering crowd.

Vietnam War Huey helicopter arrives at National Medal of Honor Museum

"Well, the most beautiful thing about the machine is it's mine - and it's named after my wife," Patrick Brady said.

Brady is a retired U.S. Army Major General who flew a Huey during the Vietnamese war. The 87-year-old received the nation's highest award of valor for flying the multifaceted medical chopper into enemy territory in January 1968 multiple times to rescue the wounded through fog and gunfire: The Medal of Honor.

"Keep in mind, I didn't do anything that everybody else flying doesn't do--, didn't do," He said. "Just somebody saw what I did. It's just that simple."

Brady shared his experience as he sat in front of the helicopter during a fireside chat with CBS News Texas' Jason Allen. "Nancy Lee," as he's named this Huey, will go into the museum for public viewing when it opens in March 2025.

"[It's] seen a lot of combat. It's carried a lot of wounded and dying," said Pat Rodgers, an Army veteran.

Rodgers is a Vietnam vet who used to fly the same helicopter during the war. He and his team worked to restore the helicopter.

"the enemy is firing at you as you're going in to rescue the wounded," Rodgers said. "There are many cases of medivac aircraft being shot down going into rescue wounded."

Rodgers and his team made sure to keep all the details as authentic as possible.

"We actually painted the name of General Brady's wife on the nose," said Rodgers. "It kind of makes the restoration complete."

Gen. Patrick Brady

Huey pilot Chuck Carlock, who flew in Vietnam too, saw the ambulance helicopter at Westpoint. He got it.

Carlock said the machine has been in many cities, but it can now be called Arlington Home.

"I heard they wanted one. I said I got a good one out here," Carlock said. "That's a flying helicopter."

Fellow Huey pilot James "Patrick" Rodgers restores Huey helicopters in California. After three years of stripping paint, Rodgers restored it.

"And that's where I feel the most satisfied. I've saved a piece of history and now I've preserved it where people and generations will get to enjoy my labor," Rodgers said. "That's my legacy for the world."

Both Carlock and Rodgers attended the Arlington reveal. Brady said nothing matches the exhilaration the helicopter gave him when he saved lives.

"Not lobster tail, not sex, not anything comes close to the thrill that you get out of getting your way through the obstacles into the battlefield," General Brady said. "Getting that guy and then putting him in the hands of a surgeon is definitely going to save his life."

Hopefully, on the ground in Arlington, the same machine will generate an appreciation for history and veterans.

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