Bob Ford spent a year in Vietnam and tells the terrifying story of how he spent that year and the 1,000 missions he completed from July 1967 to July 1968.

Bob Ford spent a year in Vietnam and tells the terrifying story of how he spent that year and the 1,000 missions he completed from July 1967 to July 1968.

He piloted the Black-Cat 2-1, a Huey helicopter on the missions and tells the true story of a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and his Crew who made it home in his book “BLACK CAT 2-1”.

After the first six weeks he took over the command of a helicopter detachment at Hue, forty miles from the DMZ, the farthest northern helicopter unit in Vietnam. His tour included the beginning of the siege of Khe Sahn and the Tet Offensive in February 1968 when he and his men manned the perimeter for a three-day and three-night ground attack.

Ford made his commitment to flying helicopters when he was still in college at the University of Oklahoma. He competed ROTC training and received a commission in the US Army in 1966. He volunteered for army helicopter flight school and within one year was flying combat in Vietnam. When he completed his tour in Vietnam, he became an instructor pilot at Fort Wolters, Texas.

This war cost the lives of 2,197 helicopter pilots and 2, 717 crew members.

He now lives in Okeene, Oklahoma to head the Okeene division of the family flour milling business. His brother Bill and wife, Nancy, recently retired from managing the mill in Shawnee.

Several years ago Bob made it possible to have a Huey Helicopter posted in Shawnee.

That was just the beginning and the next Huey would be brought to the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City on September 24.

Bill along with several spectators was present when the Patriot Guard Riders, on 34 bikes with 37 aboard, along with the Highway Patrol escorted the Huey in on a flatbed truck from Weatherford Texas.

They arrived a little after noon and the guys responsible for reconstructing the Huey, which will hang in the History Center, were all smiles: Pete Costilow, Mike Peterson, Lynn Gibbins and Jerry Staggs. Some of them have been working the last 3 months to make this entry to the History Center possible.

Ray Gehrig is the leader for the Central Oklahoma Patriot Guard Riders and stated that Mr. Bob Ford had donated the Huey to the History Center as a permanent display.

The Patriot Guard Riders will be escorting in the “The Wall that Heals” on November 8 and will be placed at the History Center through November 12.

Bob Ford will have a “Book Signing” at the center after the Huey is on display sometime in the near future. His book “Black Cat 2-1” can be purchased at the History Center gift shop.