Army helicopters make commemorative flight over SWLA

KPLC's Crystal Price at Chennault International Airport
KPLC's Crystal Price at Chennault International Airport

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - More than a dozen helicopters flew low across southwest Louisiana on Tuesday morning as part of a commemorative flight  honoring Fort Polk's last UH-1H helicopter.

The UH-1H helicopter, also known as a "Huey," led the group as the 19 helicopters flew over Chennault International Airport.

The Huey was the aerial workhorse of the U.S. Army for decades and will retire from the active fleet later this year.

"The Huey is significant to military aviation history," said Bobby Moore, general manager for Million Air in Lake Charles. "It was the first helicopter that really transitioned our army to an air assault platform."

Another significance of the Huey is the improvements the aircraft brought to MedEvac service during the Vietnam War.

"It has allowed us to use MedEvac and it changed the fatality rate of Vietnam from any other war," said Moore. "That's the significance of that helicopter."

Tuesday morning's flyover also included the UH-21 Lakota that will replace the Huey in the active fleet after this year.