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Combat flown helicopter unveiled in Downtown Bryan

The aircraft will stay on display at 418 N. Main Street in Bryan for all to see.
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 8:49 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Ahead of Memorial Day, Helicopter OH-58A Kiowa finds new home in Downtown Bryan. The helicopter was unveiled to the public on Friday.

The combat flown helicopter was recovered by Charles G. Mancuso. He says he wants to honor all Vietnam veterans, especially Vietnam Veteran pilots and crew members that gave their lives for the United States of America.

“This is kind of my appreciation to them doing what they did,” said Mancuso. “By bringing an actual piece of history from Vietnam back home to the states.”

Mancuso and his friend Mike Southerland drove nearly 1,500 miles round trip to Montgomery, Alabama, to retrieve the helicopter. They say the trip was worth it to honor our heroes and bring Vietnam history home to Downtown Bryan for everyone to see.

“This is our way of giving back,” said Southerland. “By keeping this helicopter out of the crusher, putting it back together, and putting it on display as a memorial to all veterans and especially Vietnam veteran helicopter pilots.”

The OH-58A Kiowa flew a total of 1,736 hours while in service with the United States Army, according to the Vietnam Pilots Association. Officials say during the Vietnam War, it totaled 1,458 hours of flight time.

The Vietnam Pilots Association has provided the following information for Helicopter OH-58A Kiowa tail number 68-16761:

Date of ServiceMission/ Assignment
Jan 1970Assigned to the 7-8 Artillery 23 Group Vietnam
Nov 1970Assigned to the 605 Transportation Company DS Vietnam
Mar 1971Assigned to the 173 Aviation Brigade Vietnam
Sep 1971Returned to the United States for repair
Aug 1972Assigned to the 101st Airborne 3Rd Army Ft Campbell
Jan 1975Assigned to 197th Infantry Brigade 1st Army Ft Benning

Mancuso says the aircraft will stay on display at 418 N. Main Street in Bryan for all to see.

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