American Legion in Ellinwood working to restore Vietnam-era helicopter
ELLINWOOD, Kan. (KWCH) - A piece of military history is coming to life with a special project in a small Barton County town.
American Legion Post 320, in Ellinwood, found a Vietnam-era helicopter locally, purchasing it from a previous owner in Russell County. An effort is underway to restore the historic chopper.
Vietnam veteran Ken Lebbin started the project in September.
“We are going to restore this aircraft for a static display for the American Legion Post here in Ellinwood,” he said.
The American Legion is working to restore the helicopter to how it was nearly 60 years ago.
“This was used in Vietnam in the mid to late 60s. Needless to say, it needs a little TLC,” Lebbin said.
He said the restoration effort includes completely repainting the helicopter to look as if it’s in service. And, he wants to preserve the memory for the pilots that flew it.
By doing so, Lebbin said he hopes to bring honor to his fellow veterans and the Ellinwood American Legion post.
“Not just Vietnam, but veterans in general. Not just the Army, all veterans,” he said.
The restoration project will cost nearly $20,000 to complete. If you’d like to contribute to the effort and benefit the American Legion post, you can mail donations to Post 320 Adjutant Dale Kraus, 108 W 11th Street, Ellinwood, KS 67526.
Copyright 2023 KWCH. All rights reserved. To report a correction or typo, please email firstname.lastname@example.org