Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, has contributed $1 million to the National Museum of the United States Army to sponsor its iconic Bell UH-1 Iroquois Utility Helicopter as the featured macro artifact of the Museum’s Vietnam War exhibit.
Bob Hastings, Bell Helicopter’s Senior Vice President of Communications & Government Affairs and Chief of Staff, presented the ceremonial check to General William W. Hartzog (USA-Ret.), President of The Army Historical Foundation (AHF), on October 14 during the 2014 Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
“Bell Helicopter has been an important part of Army Aviation dating back to 1948 with the first Army helicopter, the Bell H-13B Sioux,” said Hastings. “We are proud to support the campaign for the creation of the National Museum for the U.S. Army, and it is our privilege to show our support for the men and women who have served in the U.S. Army by contributing to this inspirational and important effort.”
Bell Helicopter’s contribution places the company in the Museum’s Five-Star Circle of Distinction reserved for donors of $1 million or more.
“We certainly appreciate Bell Helicopter’s generous investment in the Museum project,” said Hartzog in accepting the check. “What’s more, we believe Bell’s selection of this particular exhibit sponsorship in the Fighting for the Nation Gallery’s Vietnam War exhibit is spot on. It allows the company not only to showcase the critical importance of the ubiquitous Huey in support of our troops in Vietnam, but also to underscore the company’s longstanding record of providing innovative aircraft designed with Soldier speed, safety, and survivability in mind.”
According to David S. Lewis, AHF’s Chief Development Officer, over 7,000 Bell UH-1’s were flown in Vietnam. The specific model for the Museum exhibit will be a Bell UH-1B flown by the 129th Assault Helicopter Company, 1st Cavalry Division, from March 1966 until February 1969.
“As a combat artist in Vietnam, I made over 20 combat assaults—some hot, some not. One was off a boat. The rest were from Bell UH-1 Hueys. Now, 45 years later, if a Bell helicopter is overhead I look up. All Vietnam veterans do. There is no other sound like it. Hueys took us everywhere in Vietnam, so I’m personally delighted to welcome Bell Helicopter to the National Museum of the United States Army team,” Lewis noted.