Helicopter shot down 4 times in Vietnam vandalized in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 50-year-old helicopter that flew 3,500 hours of combat in Vietnam and was shot down four times, will need to be repaired before it can be used again at special events.
According to Arnold Swift, a Vietnam veteran who helps take the helicopter to various events, they were preparing to take the helicopter to the atrium in Overland Park for an event.
“The tow truck got here and realized that they had busted out the chin bubble, the side window and the back window and vandalized stuff inside the helicopter,” said Swift.
Swift wondered aloud if perhaps someone who is homeless broke in to take the clothing and shoes inside.
“It didn’t make any sense because all they got away with was a flight uniform, a Vietnam era flight uniform and a pair of combat boots and one other boot,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense because we’ve got mock-up weapons and everything in there that weren’t even touched.”
The helicopter is stored in a remote area, so Swift believes it was vandalized by someone who had to know it was there.
He says it will need to be patched up before it can once again be displayed at events. He doubts they’ll be able to take it to the Moving Wall in Leavenworth or the War Horses for Veterans event at Liberty Memorial at the end of the month.
He says parts are hard to find, as well as a person to fix it.
“We got it in ’95 and we use it basically as an educational tool. It’s also used for healing for the Vietnam vets and other veterans that come out and visit,” Swift said.