Vietnam Era Chopper Lands At Tulsa School

Friday, October 29th 2010, 12:08 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell and,

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Vietnam War era helicopter known as one of the "Ugly Angels" landed at Saint Catherine's School campus Friday morning. The YL-37 served in Vietnam from 1965-1968 and is the only Marine UH-34D Sikorsky helicopter with documented combat history that survived the battle to return home.

The helicopter now serves as a flying memorial to all Vietnam veterans who perished and those who survived, according to crew chief Gary Doss of the YL-37 Group Foundation in Inola. One of a squadron of aircraft called the "Ugly Angels," she bears the names of 33 Marines in that squadron that lost their lives in Vietnam.

Vietnam Era "Ugly Angel" Helicopter Visits Tulsa School

Doss, who was crew chief on the helicopter during the Vietnam War, spoke to Saint Catherine students on what the helicopter accomplished during its service - in and after wartime.

"We are thrilled to have a piece of living history here on our campus to share with our students and discuss with them the sacrifice that our veterans make for our country," said Principal Vicky Adams.

The YL-37 wears 54 patches over bullet holes sustained in Vietnam. She was fired upon many times by the Vietcong and was once disabled and had to be carried out of the crash zone by another helicopter. 

Pilots Gerald Hail, Mike Schneider and Greg Dierks joined Doss at the school campus Friday.