Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced the preferred recipients of six Iroquois helicopters reserved for RSLs and historical organisations.
“The Iroquois helicopters served in the Australian Defence Force for nearly half a century. They were affectionately known as Hueys, and featured prominently in the battle of Long Tan,” Mr Clare said.
“During the Vietnam War, the helicopters provided vital support to troops on the ground. They were used for casualty evacuations, patrols and resupply.
“Today’s announcement means they will be preserved to ensure their contribution to our military heritage is not forgotten.”
The six successful organisations are:
• Australian Flying Corps RAAF Association West Australia Division;
• Vietnam Veterans Associations of Australia Mitchell Sub-branch Victoria;
• Caboolture Warplane and Flight Heritage Museum Queensland;
• Port Pirie RSL Sub-branch South Australia;
• Merredin Military Museum West Australia; and
• Scottsdale RSL Sub-branch Tasmania.
Following their service in Vietnam, the Iroquois went on to serve on many peacekeeping and humanitarian missions.
“The Iroquois’ final deployment was to Sumatra in Indonesia to provide assistance following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami,” Mr Clare said.
“The helicopters flew from dawn to last light every day, delivering food water, medical supplies and aid workers to affected areas.
“The air and ground crew worked tirelessly in Banda Aceh for six weeks. By the time they were withdrawn in late February, they had completed approximately 300 missions and delivered 150 tonnes of vital supplies.
“The helicopters evacuated close to 500 people who had lost their homes to the tsunami,” Mr Clare said.
Iroquois helicopters were withdrawn from service in December 2007.
Defence will now commence negotiations with the preferred recipients.
The helicopters will need to be demilitarised, and the display is subject to approval by United States Government under its International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Imagery of the Iroquois helicopters is available at
Annie Williams 0428 040 522