June 22, 2017 - A U.S. Army Huey helicopter, shot down in 1969 and later transformed into a sculptural art piece, is coming to the EAA Aviation Museum and will be open to the public beginning Saturday, July 1.
The newly restored “Take Me Home Huey” helicopter encourages healing dialogue between soldiers and society. Steve Maloney’s mixed-media sculpture was inspired by the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War as proclaimed by the United States Department of Defense. His mission was not only to inspire interest in aviation but encourage the healing of those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and thank veterans for their service.
“Incorporating and transforming an actual U.S. Army Huey that had been shot down while on a medical evacuation mission creatively juxtaposes the gratitude many Americans feel toward troops,” Maloney said. “The sculptural art will help bring awareness and assistance to all veterans suffering with PTSD coinciding with the commemoration of the anniversary of the Vietnam War.”
Illustrations on “Take Me Home Huey” are composed of a soldier’s duffels, public address speakers, and helicopter squadron names, as well as symbolic 1960s and ’70s pop culture imagery of icons that many soldiers longed for while on active duty.
“To honor Vietnam veterans, we saw it fitting to bring in a powerful symbol from that war,” said Chris Henry, EAA museum program representative. “There is no better symbol to represent the conflict in Vietnam than a Huey helicopter, especially one that carries such a powerful message and mission for veterans.”
“Take Me Home Huey” will be on exhibit July 1-30 during museum hours. The helicopter will also be featured during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh at the EAA Aviation Museum. Admission to see the exhibit is free for EAA members and included in the cost of museum admission for nonmembers. On July 4, museum admission will also be free for veterans.