"Patches" is home in Fort Worth. Our CH-53 Sea Stallion arrived from NAS Pensacola, Florida Sunday 24 November.
From 1972 until 1980,
Marine Aircraft Group - 41 operated CH-53A Sea Stallion helicopters in Marine
Heavy Helicopter Squadron - 777 (HMH-777) as the “Flying Armadillos.” Now, after thirty-three years, one of these
heavy haulers will be returning to the Metroplex.
a special loan agreement with the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola,
Florida, the Fort Worth Aviation Museum will be adding the large helicopter to
its growing collection of display aircraft. A crew of volunteers are in Florida this week to prepare the
helo for transport to Fort Worth.
We are anticipating delivery on Friday November 22nd.
is one more piece of North Texas aviation history being returned to our
community,” stated Jim Hodgson, Executive Director of the Fort Worth Aviation
Museum. “This is one more example
of teamwork” Hodgson continued.
“Our volunteers handle the logistics of preparing and moving the aircraft,
but supporters around the country and the Metroplex have donated the funding
needed to make this happen,” Hodgson added.
is the twenty-fourth aircraft in the museum’s collection. The CH-53 will be a unique
addition. It is a combat veteran
from HMH-463 when it served in Vietnam. While in Southeast Asia, it was heavily damaged in a
rocket attack and was given the name “Patches” after all the repairs done to
it. This will be the museum’s
first aircraft with a cargo compartment large enough to allow interior tours.
will be a perfect fit to the museum’s collection policy of acquiring aircraft
with ties to North Texas. It
should also be popular with visitors since they will be able to go inside the
FWAM Makes Debut in Fort Worth Parade of Lights.
Since this year's Veterans Day Parade, we have been making plans to use our little OH-58 Kiowa in the Chesapeake Energy Parade of Lights in For Worth. Our volunteers prepared our helicopter with LED lights for it nighttime appearance last night. From all accounts she was a big hit. tens of thousands of people saw us promote Toys For Tots while promoting our museum. A big thanks to everyone who helped make our appearance possible. We look forward to appearing again next year.
Since the rise of Airborne Forward Air Control during World War II, Forward Air Controllers would brief aircraft on targets with a variety of information. One piece of information that was given to these pilots was called a "Save-A-Plane." It purpose was to warn the attack aircraft of potential threats to them in the surrounding area such as artillery activities and such. The Save-A-Plane was designed to literally do just that, save a plane from harm.
Here at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum we have adopted that term to spotlight aircraft in the Veterans Memorial Air Park that we need help to "save." It usually means financial support to refurbish an airplane that has significance to the history of aviation in North Texas or the story of Forward Air Control and Close Air Support but, it can also be a call for logistic or technical support. Save-A-Planes come in many varieties.
Without the generous support we have received over the years, our Petting Zoo of twenty-three airplanes would be pretty empty.
We have several Save-A-Planes in effect right now such as our most current one one for "Patches" the CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter. Through the help of the Marine Corps Aviation Assocaition and other local donors we over half way to our projected goal of $8,000 to recover and transport this CH-53 home.
Although all of the twenty two (soon to be twenty three) airplanes in our collection need assistance and support to remain in good condition, some are in more need of help than others.
Some of our other other "Save-A-Planes" include:
Blue Angel #3: When we were given the opportunity to add a Blue Angle F/A-18 Hornet to our collection, we jumped at the chance. We hadn't had the time to organize a fund raising campaign for the aircraft so we had to self fund that project. It hit our treasury hard and now we need some help to build our treasury back up.
F-111 "Balls 9": Our Aardvark has been rehabilitated and prepped for a new coat of paint, but its account is too low to do that. The B-36 Peacemaker Musuem has taken on the task of raising the funds needed to paint our F-111 "Balls 9." Their goal is $6,000. They are selling memorial bricks to raise those funds. You can download and order form for that below.
What You Can Do To Help
Help us with our SAVE-A-PLANES
You can buy one of our new shirts in our PX (gift shop) at VMAP PX or clicking on the gift shop link under ABOUT VMAP.
Or you can click on one of the links below to download a flyer or pledge form or click the PayPal DONATE button below and send a donation right away.
But please help us SAVE-A-PLANE.