Huey Helicopter Pilots Reunite In San Diego

July 1, 2010


More than 800 former pilots linked together by the Vietnam War and a specific type of military aircraft will be in San Diego from Wednesday through Sunday for an annual reunion.

"The reunion gives us a chance to renew friendships and bonds that were formed under fire," said John Quesenberry, a San Diego-born Huey helicopter pilot who did three tours in Southeast Asia. "When they heard the Huey and they'd been out in the boonies a long time, they knew they were going home."

Between 1964 and 1973, some 50,000 helicopter pilots flew missions in Vietnam, but more than 5,000 never made it back.

"That's part of the reunion, too … taking time out to remember them," said Quesenberry.

Among the special events planned for the veterans at the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association's reunion will be marching in the Coronado Fourth of July parade on Saturday.

"There will be a lot of tears from the people that are marching and it'll be a wonderful recognition of their sacrifices many years ago," said Quesenberry.

One thing the passing years could not change is the bond forged between man and machine in combat.

"[It] is a special bond that God creates for people like that and it's something that never goes away or weakens," said one former Huey pilot.

More than 1,600 people will be in San Diego for the reunion to honor those who served.

Huey Helicopter Pilots Gather To Remember Vietnam Vets

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