Helicopter shot down in Vietnam brought to Tonawanda for dedication ceremony

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Cobra helicopter shot down in Vietnam was brought to Tonawanda for a dedication ceremony.

The aircraft, which was shot down during the Vietnam War, was recently brought to Veterans Park on River Road.

After it was originally shot down, the helicopter was repaired and put back into service.

“This Cobra is an important symbol to a lot of us,” local veteran Bill Paton explained.

Paton, who helped secure the helicopter, calls it a “survivor.”

“It represents that resilience, the will to take hits and keep pressing on, that really came to represent our soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors during the Vietnam War,” Paton said. “It’s a survivor, like we are, and a reminder of our brothers who didn’t come back.”

The helicopter will now carry the name “Remembering Vietnam.” Bell Aerospace will lease it out to local veterans for 99 years.

The dedication ceremony took place Wednesday morning.

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