Buc 3 and UH-1C History
The Huey Defined America's Presence in Vietnam
The aircraft we use for our interactive display is a UH-1C/M Huey Gunship, 66-00623, which flew in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. She mostly served with the 170th Assault Helicopter Company whose Gun Platoon call sign was “Buccaneers.” BUC 3, as she was known, received battle damage from enemy fire at least twice. In May 1969, the aircraft received five AK-47 rounds in the cockpit wounding one crewman.
After 1417 combat flight hours BUC 3 returned to the US and in 1974 was assigned to the Kentucky and later New York Army National Guard. In 1988, after 3095 total flight hours, she was designated a QUH-1M target aircraft and transferred to White Sands Missile Range, NM. In 1989 she was moved to Redstone Arsenal, AL. The aircraft served as a target for missile seeker development for 20 years until transferred from the Army to the Huntsville Veterans Memorial Museum in 2009.
In October 2011 the North Alabama Chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (NAVHPA) and the Saving Our Flying Heritage foundation through the Huntsville Veterans Memorial Museum, a non-profit public educational foundation filed under IRS section 501 (C) (3), took on the restoration project to bring Buc 3 back to her original condition and presentable for display status as a living hands-on “Vietnam War Hero.”