A Look Inside 'Take Me Home Huey' Medevac Helicopter

ABC News' Rachel Scott checks out a helicopter that was shot down in Vietnam and repurposed as an art piece to honor veterans.
34:53 | 11/10/16

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Transcript for A Look Inside 'Take Me Home Huey' Medevac Helicopter
Hey everyone Rachel Scott for ABC news vigil here in New York. Have a pretty special treat you guys had a veterans day tomorrow night hanging is a little accident at a traveling acted accident visited. Taking home Huey. He'd Huey helicopter and once Emmy for in 1969 was shot down during the Vietnam War. And an artist sort of re pieced it together as you can see behind me with some artwork. And we're gonna talk to artists today as well as the veterans that were actually aboard on this helicopter that was shot down. And it to you guys over to meet the artist. Steve Maloney your lilac ABC news digital thank you so much for joining us today and how he's just telling our viewers. About what you. Doing this traveling sort of art piece that you had as a hint this. You put together he found the remains of the Huey helicopter went before that was shot down and Tulsa about the projects. Mothers project this is every purpose helicopter that was found my light horse legacy in Arizona nonprofit that's in the business restoring them or dealing. Yeah. Using veterans and and the restoration process from Munich. And that's why I'm this particular one was found in northern Arizona. And it was a medevac and one day of the life of this helicopter it was used in Vietnam as a matter. And that was on February 14 1969. It went in for rescue and it was shot down. In any case I refer percent in Maine and into an art piece traveling and look around the country say an exhibit. Narrates I wanna get sort of our viewers that he get this out after the bear with me I'm gonna put the camera around so that you guys can't yet. An average getting a look here sort of how about your inspiration behind this banging you had this is this what you can't miss essentially lose my cameras and what do you what do you how did you decide to sort of what artwork to put on here. Well. It took a little little side land one chance to get it right and I certainly think about how often what was on the minds of these guys once they were in Vietnam. And what you're looking at at the moment really. Here is a composition Mano a squadron games and then nicknames or call now. Backwards jail. I was imagine what was on the minds. Some of these. Guys over. Imagine a day. I created as we go dressed as a field. Things that I rethinking it. We're. Drive another car. If your girlfriend. That was imagery that was created an ever for the studio assistant. Then she'd use a tablet and digitally. Reproduce what. Photos it was my idea we central. Three. And the deep tell is really Sharon and an zoom in sort of so people at home and sort of giving you here on the project obviously taking QB that is on display on these are tax rate here. And I just want to talk about how much of the actual remains a part of this helicopter and nobody said it was we heard this. And you also did find some other remains that are incorporated sort of sort of tells about. Well as I said like yours legacy develop. I'm a helicopter and delivered it to me so it looks like you could fly he came from a bone yard so it was really Iraq everything had been stripped down. And what I've done this in the inside of also use of the remains in the helicopter. To string them down and then make a suspended sculpture so that those parts to mere metaphor. Lives and inside importantly there isn't time yeah. You will receive him photos. What are we doing get a look again at just the look inside. Of sort of what you're talking about here. I'm summons for me that you did this sort of guide students. Trotting exhibit. Of art here and as we're saying I'm ITC the time capsule back there. So I didn't think it happened being sort of inside they're going to be some point that you read them. I'm glad we're asking for letters home or photographs and memories. What was what happened during that period of time might have been things that they carried. As examples wanted to the pilots. And it says snoopy doll that his family had given him for Alaska line. And also as a guardian Angel after Connie the Dorgan argues his purple heart because he was wounded. And the data fish this ship was shot. And and we are gonna talk to some of the veterans that were on board. The original helicopter when it was gunned down where you all nervous when you work creating this there react. Into it well for sure because most people would expect especially a veteran who served. If it was a helicopter as an example where a plane that was going to be restored perfectly. And this was totally off the wall totally different but I Dodd. Mussina and and transforming an end to an art piece it was going to be more engaging for sure. Definitely definitely and it has been and it has been an Al I know a lot of veterans have. Use this sort of as the ear piece poured them suffering from PT SD and they've seen this sort of as a way to be able to talk about what has happened. And in the war well as connected them and it's been a catalyst for their conversations for sure. And talked his good we've heard that talk is threatening them is concerned that it is giving its ally healing helicopter and that's our mission. Now and that's and it hurts telling people say that this is sort of healing helicopter. And it will be traveling in sort of helping veterans and sparking conversation I do you did mention connecting and I know that you did connect the matter that we're on board after 47 years should suing do you want to bring them an event that and render an aunt got here. These two veterans were onboard. Big day. The Davis is helicopters. It was unfortunately guy and down makes you want to introduce you guys demon Ralph I've sort of walk us through that day. Will is I remember we had flown a mission encourage me but I go astray we have blown admission that morning it was a beautiful sunshine today. Finish the mission we came back and we were out of a helicopter in going to walk and get them. NATO has to get back in the helicopter. And take off again we had and the mission so we did and we flew out and it was everything was normal. And then all of a sudden. People started shooting and it's an action remembers seeing outside of this. Glassed in bubbles then here I could see a guy in it. Thank the uniform and helmet. Shooting at us and I think graph ago at a busy in the fact that we're in we're. Grooving to turn to protect the the aircraft and ground slaughter. But we started taking rooms sort of thinking it's almost immediately yeah fortunately. For patience and that's when. Runner you pick a vision for a naval and we we are certain of where I was. We just broke hard right is that remember so I was sitting I was flying it saw broke my leg. And we were headed back and I didn't mangling that little strip McKay him in the name of it was on the road and I think everybody. Except David elected city yeah we were putting out huge clouds of smoke. From the back and it's over it's very innocent mention the fact set a rather high pitched voice and you were in the back so club which your observation. My observation was the same that we were and I tried to should tell you wouldn't Walters over the intercom that. Like it's an elegy before. The helicopter purely could smell it and I could see smoke coming out of the back just about the same time that via cobra gunship told us we were true. And I understand it was a lot of smoke. Did it was quite a bit I read it wasn't just a little hot green it was our division we were trailing smoke. And had not been and I would elegant event threw for weeks and I didn't know it but had another aircraft in the same situation exploded. Long before there could be weeks before that we lost and it's. And seven patients after they picked up this this wounded soldiers seven of them they were they were lifting off of the landing zone. They had taken fire in the fuel cells and the aircraft exploded. We lost a crew of 57 patients they've virgin store improvements. Bodies that we shared the same templates so. Frankly to be honest with you that's exactly what sort of going through my mind. From the moment we were told we were trailing smoke can see in astrology before. And then I just found out about bad because I wasn't here and on the disclosure I was applying them and I just found out about it and I'm 78 years old and hasn't had a gun that I had not thought about that few people we lost. And I'll always blame myself because ice I should have kept flying I should've kept flying. But everybody's ability to go to the ground so I said okay so we went to the ground and when we got down. Neither would we got down we got into the trees in the trees took over and from Vietnam we were spectators and aircraft. Price fell one side. And two of the guests and you're supposed to set up perimeters and as it goes down in through the gasoline out that way. And were killed by the rotor blades and we went down this way and Ralph I know you've Christian youth about. It was getting picked up until an ailment. Today. That's something it was every day of record but I do want to say just when you set a moment ago we had blaming yourself for that that's never been should never be the case but. But it didn't but again I you have the survivor guilt as well and the aircraft crashes on the right side that right skid brakes you're not talking to me and that is something is convergence and ultimately. My entire life additional Tuesday night every Cole. Walter. Was calling out to Gary and Steve. Call you names and they weren't responding. Children. Crawl over trying to what was going on Jonathan brown. These deck of the aircraft and sell them on the side these measures that Slorc in the crow back over to this side. The three of us are you much of the river this do Walters state the effort through continue to make radio calls until we were. Rescued. And it was October came in and they damn fire all around us and that kind of culminated down. And then Marine Corps helicopter came in in what was it seemed like juvenile but it probably wouldn't over fifty yards away they found little poetry. And they were still hovering up there so we went running over there. Pretty fast and I think it was and so. Wrapping tollbooth did what about last night they boosted blocker and out of it aircraft and then. We pull Ralph. And Ralph was looking it is stated mice that because somebody had shot if you did that end. Auburndale this. And then they blew a seven and is on every member of the Marine Corps helicopter gun to move on and ended the same time. But then we were well Alan. And as us they had. The sad thing is we lost over because. Add to your people were lost. And know this guy is obviously bring about a lot of memories for you guys this helicopter and seeing it fully intact. A sort of what we're initial reactions when you heard it was gonna read the purpose and to this art piece. Okay man you have to go and you and I talked of banana bend. I'm currently retired from the army a stately when years retired lieutenant colonel and am now with the Coast Guard auxiliary which is. Uniform. Reprise of the Coast Guard read you pretty much everything to Coast Guard does that we do not have please bowers. And I was on the side of the bed pretty like she's gonna teach by the safety. And TV is going to Bagram kinda tuned in and a reporter was saying. The Marine Corps basically Monaco has an undersea exhibit. It's a UH one helicopter. That was shot dead in Vietnam on Valentine's Day 1916 and lot perked up they end. They said the aircraft was medical evacuation and really perked. And they said it had improved. Three were risky to it I knew it was my aircraft. So I thought I calmly sit on my guys my Africa outlasted she's out of the snake and als or something because she heard yelling oh my god it's. And so I began to try to call the Marine Corps museum I never could get. And so finally after teaching boating safety. I looked up. The technique I think held here in started finding phone numbers held much people nobody answered good reason. I didn't know it but they were all at the Berlin Wall right now while all day columns called. Dave van today ominous fellow billionaire. He answered the phone and asset. You with a tightly held here he said yes and later a daddy sought out another quarter and I said well I'm your college. He's got all my god I'm looking for you for tonight ahead tears. And so opened and none have been involved in it in it is meant the world community to see these people again. Well good or else they bring back the memories in the. Suddenly here is right you're saying that it had been since you guys yeah there. The venture dollars when did you get started this noise I got this phone call from Dave turned two years ago which. We when he first called her first answer the phone I thought he was going to ask me for money opening. Sort of hung up on C. But. I was incredulous for the first 20/20 five minutes ago hardly say a word. And and war which cost in the war that I heard of what he already knew. Then I realized that it is quite very much on the level and and started to. Have this conversation with the and I think we talked for about an hour thirty minutes first. Talk to a number of total number of times after that. We'll be seeing the aircraft's first time in Arizona last year Phoenix Arizona when he had to sell there just. Just overwhelmed me just to be able to challenge it. Of course the first returns. Red Cross knows that was the most important part for me when it first on them over towards the right side which decide that I settled in. And it just I'm still overwhelmed to this day but. It's it's funny win. We're Dave Barrett called me you always remember Walters name I don't know whose name your name I. Okay being made here about three weeks. But I sold anywhere and it's an average comic close my. It's the CDC. Handle when I just couldn't believe. And then when we don't fool all the Vietnam memorial wall. Dave said to me the pilots on the I I started getting really. Chase as it when you George calls these arguments have already getting the shakes and Swanson. I don't call you you told me how you pulled me up after I'd been wounded and I knew right then there. Guy there when I saw you this morning. Today he asked if we can come up have breakfast Obama and away and little did and I was going to be 1 o'clock Monday morning before we got home. It was that kind of reunion and it's just been tremendous being immersed in this program. And Huey helicopter. Where such a pivotal part of the Vietnam War has it been reading more and more about it and I want to show our viewers. I'm because it's not it's not everyday it's a look at a helicopter about you don't 47 foot long and so walk as the red and he talked about sort of the front of the nose and a return to being on the right side -- I'm sort of tough talk this through this and in sort of what you guys. We're examining all of the Prague then I'll give rail the bats really well. I was sitting right here we did have seats into the control to dig we had an engine it's all kinds of instruments everything was like a response to date. And I was the pilot. The aircraft commander sits on the left side it has less or set of estimates and he has better visibility heroes the mission. The pilot sits over here with full instrumentation flies the aircraft disease yesterday notes or does what toe. There receipts has a sit on each side and then. You moved to the back and the medic is the very next person AM and end they cavalry was a little different and it. We Cary mounted door guns on each side and I'm let Ralph picked up there. I have a good question yes I can definitely out of the pilots sometimes you guys were you read obviously had a medical mission when you guys are going down but so you won't even landing bullying when you were picking up people and sort of bringing them back. The medics had a voice right here. And we could have were about the trees and the medic would lower the poet's day and we had. Several types of apparatus on the call patients from a full and others draft the end. Tuesday that they set out and we could push patients out of the jungle is well when we could not land. And draft pick it up because fluke thing which you know more about what widow Becky we'll know then how it was never. You're flying a fairly New York it's just that there was four for those missions where we burned out land we did send the boys down. And that was. Probably the most difficult mission for us because we were simply covering state and one place over the top of the trees are we were frankly. They stationary target it's exactly what we work. And it was my responsibility on the rights are in the crew chiefs responsible in the left side to you keep the aircraft. Pretty budget aligned with the voice if they were drifting too far right we were told to come back we'll. We could not sleep. The boys from opera so we had followed their instructions to stake scale and it was imparted to stay still so localized it. Tangled up and we cohorts mission Zemin hot college where they were shooting at us and our shared just a little trivia we give we also had a drink Tumblr grim blew a and you would lighting can you drank it published Bernie and we call that drive the hot lawless. To give you an idea of the mindset D'auria consulate. Good lives so that we would pull. We've pulled patient and or medical will be working on voice and I would assist from this side we vocation in. And inserted we had him pretty much did go all the way and we said let's go and then they go to dinner. It is as is Davis saying. The aircraft was all open in the middle here are the policies where there are so I don't see right here these stores open all the way back. We never close the doors to restore behind closed doors and open the doors there's you we only had. Counted minutes on the ground seconds at times for your patience this Alcides where these bills was for the machine gun was here. And an amount would come out she going to sit here and it was a responsibility of the door Gunner and the crew chiefs Q help. Look below out into the rear of the aircraft what the pilots could not say and so was our responsibility try to help find the ground unit. On the ground and then also. Look to protect the aircraft after receiving we expected industry folks if you had. And they did a good job. And and that was that's what it was like the right side and medic. All if we landed if we had the opportunity Linda because the patients. There were if they were littered patience if they were wounded where they were not ambulatory. There were there should actually hung from ceiling we were able to put three letters as we carried some letters on board we've been able Hank three litters. I'm Aaron voltage and frankly we pause many patients on board as we could that we thought we would allow and that we will accept about seven patients' eyes and. And a lot of times letters were not the question maybe just for arguments we've just have a holiday as dreadful known as most I ever took out. Ward twelve Vietnamese they were smaller and we went out lies which will wounded Vietnamese dead in the back. And that's the most I ever took out. At one. And. One thing that you're never got to say yeah we're always looking forward and news conferences. And the need. And at first and the we have seen a lot of horrible things don't turn our room that generally welcoming the but it was just seeing. These men scared. Right. And sometimes and sometimes temperatures grip on Q as I would sit here you just hold on here. The gratitude to their eyes that they were being evacuated and they knew it pretty good back against a medical attention there was just. He's never forget that act. It gave you one good example if you don't mind taking about it the minute on the ice. Eyewitness went to Germany commander unit after I left Vietnam. And today we sent our car over him when he got there life and I went into the vehicle registration plates to get license plates. Andy Clark handicap ourselves our champion. We do not have any flights will be about three weeks. And another guy came. And light place down on the counter. And don't. I sit. Stevens. I said. Why in the early yes it UK did that he said yes I can't just made take me out. Wasn't happy you know he said on the back here helmet you had a thunder cloud and allow a vote it is inches failed. And medevac blasted yeah. But heritage save me that you heard her right out. That committee. Until you've had a did you debate to head of the occasion at the board. Talking about. That they've had had been terrific times for people recognized. And remembered so. Peter let you know any remember seeing her really hang with because they were in such a statement and even recognize because you do remember. These people. You know and they remember you. And what is something else that you guys were sort of never forget I know people have been sleepy time capsules in this re purpose helicopter but for each review. Looking back so many years later what is something that you're never going to forget. So much. So much. I think. I remember having only been there three or four weeks after that afternoon I thought well there's going to be a lot here. And it was better than that afterwards. After that I flew for the rest the year and I think I only had two other people that were wounded on the aircraft and were heading the other field. Tell you what I actually remember. I remember. Packing to go home and I put in six to jungle fatigues. And abernathy breast today that would take what often though in the colors as the one last in the San Francisco airport outlets compared jungle case a pair of black leather boots. And stuff in the men's restroom put on a real uniform and went to Nashville Tennessee hormone while Wallace I do remember only airplane on the way home. The securities wrote me a drink instead. You know these people about it. Just 11 case for people were really think you guys and veterans and I know tomorrow with veterans day that will continue. I know ralphie sort of talked about how you guys were a sign of hope for a lot of people in this helicopter still does represent. That symbol of hope. Because this is sparked conversations for better and I'm not only between Hutu who haven't seen each other you don't 47 years since the creation does but also veterans that are now able to talk about. Sort of what happened in their experiences and it's helping number at PT SDM. How does how do you feel about that knowing that this is Phyllis. Sort of symbol of hope well it's. It's an addition being a symbol of hope. It has one more medevac mission right price is there is another medevac mission which is ironic and of itself. The fact that now it's it's looking to help veterans once again sort help him out of the field. Pull them on board and maybe who was that we did Colin Gordon I was helping others and they don't Steve Maloney. And Dave Barron called the gateway. Two to those veterans who. These are afraid to ask for help some cases actually asked for help. But it is very much that it is a gateway for veterans Judy their reach out and and no they are home to start to start letting go and that's what it did for me. Under US when we go what do what he remembers Sargent music which alone for him. But we did singers yeah. So right beyond. It's that mission day's mission. Just has never left. And against. Do now and knowing that it's once again on another matter of fact we should just overwhelms school. 17. Or has a spirit. And we felt spirit went seven floors and if you served in the military especially if you were out where the shooting was a you're getting shot at you have bag. And one of the biggest things Israel said is to see Cahill to talk to people and to share them. And I don't care I'm not embarrassed by being emotional about some elements though it's because they are that imparted Jimmy. And if we can convince people who have feelings about this to talk to someone and say can help Finland seven quarries continue its mission. Well I just I think people for your service. Especially on this veterans day in truly does it. Sudden. Engines being. Peace is again sparking conversation instead of two lives that were lost and as I know they are especially noted. I'm on the helicopter here as well under thank you guys for your service thank you when energy use. Some other veterans that we do have what does that are going to be on the part of the very Smart I'm gonna look at camp where. I do and introduce some of the other hearings that are with us. Me here today and I want to bring you in as well because you are going to be. Part of this tomorrow. This helicopter view 17174. Taking home viewing will be part of veterans day parade tomorrow. In New York City and you will be sort of driving this I want to show you quickly. We've been doing CUQ part in the parade it's going to be attached here and take me home viewing as you can see it's going to be attacked. And current will be driving that's tomorrow and are the tree I'd just tell me about this you are a Vietnam bed. And being here this project what hasn't done reunite. For me personally I mean I've suffered since Vietnam and its creatures do back to backs. Kayla Dave first came by and he's part for me ask Sheridan got involved in. I'll wanted to guys is virtually ready commits suicide and I started this ahead. On the VA didn't help in what Dallas did was an illness is this is healed mile daughter loves me. You know my family knows his he would change this is a healing project. For all PTS bowlers. And we seen. That we've seen people myself and it's it's a great product. I'm so excited so proud to be part and to drive it around my truck trailer and everything else there's a lot of fun. You know Hillary stop people proud program uses it's a big Mac we want. And you should've seen the effect that it has had on other veterans as well not only your own life but other veteran that's. Seen as a clue not back. The bears a come up to him you know they've been in talks to families and all the talking Olson. They start talking why should there in the daughters and sons are there like you never talked about it. It's only touches me notes real and it wasn't memory now. And he could see their units under an exit unison supported them and it's it's brought his brought there's certainly he'll start talking. Love is never talked about for years ago and now we do. We don't healed by no reason also received a daughter so all girl soldiers. Notice he'll let me do we do here and this is acutely thing as far as he. It's a start talking. People are being more in the open. And I am going public thank you so much for your answer. Everyone back home I do want to introduce sort of the last piece. To this puzzle. Indeed Daryn from the lies no light horse legacy and just talk to as really briefly here. I know that this and you're very much a part of its project anyone as Steve. And I went energies toward your ABC news digital disk around a slate of making it a shot at a helicopter behind us. Unless you're asked him to keep the puzzle that I haven't gone to talk to yet thought about sort of your project helping veterans. Yeah well I'm I'm. One of the two co founders of like source legacy. And he can't go back to 2008 where we work with helicopters veterans and we bring helicopters we don't necessarily fly them. But we restoring and are paying and we invite veterans to come in and and we take them out to different events. Again I've known because I'm a veteran army aviation Beckham's seventies. And I know what an emotionally tactic is to see here asking him to be near them. Can I ask for a long time thought I was nuts because I was looking particularly bright blue next sentence Atlantic counted down in Florida. But. We have been doing depth for some time again. We've got to know Steve might just sixty chief Mark Teahen different project that we needed departure project. So from their candidate falls into this partnership where art by Maloney and Steve Lavin and laborers legacy. Kinda got into this whole thing talking about it viewing. And so the challenge for signs pizza and like do it again I'm nice I got defense when students do. And it is about six must define this. Which he brought down when he's working then it's too quickly. It took this year with this helicopter together. That point that our greatest compliment right now people look at say we'll did you like that again. That the fact that we can think of when it was originally to it looks like now. That's of this complimented me again but I'm also being besides being a veteran. He's and I spent annually from Los Angeles county fire departments apparently. And actually flew the only rights and so win me when I started looking at a helicopter itself and what his personal history was. I started playing a little development through Vietnam. That challenged me to kind of find out what its service record who has what it did it in that account as he Valentine's Day. And it it was unfortunate that. Give all of that research and at first month or so. No record survive and he hit as did in his left Vietnam they put him in a 55 gallon number. So all of these stories for thousands of them is her idea. We're just lost to history because they just went up literally smoke. And I just decided it my connection with the with the between two parts of my careers. I was gonna let that happen so I started tracking him. Going to help the fifteen minute overtime which is an association. With the help not the Vietnam helicopter pilots association help. Senators plea from an Arizona. We started to get bits and pieces and all of this story here tonight bits and pieces. As we got a name we found out that the sister of the crew chief who died lived there in the Phoenix area. So we got a hold of her a couple of years ago on Memorial Day she Kia senior. But I got to Philly and personal levels. It's a pretty tough phone call to make it simulate a lot of talk give us of them were music here's that I don't ruin your life again I just want us it and talking about it. And it that may allow the condenser but it wasn't just minutes. But once we meet deadlines and months beat his it was able in this some analysts now divert them and it was not to take advantage of them. They opened right and from there this whole project has started with this group who you can obviously see they've Reebok they'd be running back together last year. They are working on healing themselves with this being down him being him investors to people who gave no partner went into it. He sailor if I can do it you can do and that's what we wanted to kill everybody up that are now it is. Yeah they're stresses and there's day he tenders ghosts that equipment not. Not only from the fire department of military service but whatever it happens that the animals this Hoover veterans that we're losing when he Tuesday. Just because well just talk to someone when that person in your life this important pieces. He was wrong with you lately you're just not yourself. Uses only took home currency you know maybe I mean people who consistently and her baby and I know what's going on. This helicopter here he'd see that we for Scott it looked like rolled downhill. And it has become a true ambassador for people coming and start talking to start a conversation and we watch over the last year. The number of people go and Ecstasy. So it's it's doing its job. Healy helicopter thank you so much bigger. Right guys and their wrap it up here at CB home yulia like I said will be featured tomorrow in the veterans day parade. Again this is the project that took a helicopter Huey one penny for that was gunned down in Vietnam in 1969. Ticket and and is now hasn't it using it as a tool to help veterans. On out there start conversation about PT SD I'm help in the healing process. And be a sign of hope as it was where many of the Huey helicopter in 1969 in Italy you guys with one last shot of this helicopter here. For ABC news digital I Rachel Scott and.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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