Video: Inside look at veteran helicopter in Jamesport

01/06/2012 7:00 AM |

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | The Flying Tigers were one of the first Marine Corps helicopter squadrons to be sent to Vietnam in 1963. The Flying Tigers are the second most decorated helicopter squadron in the United States Marine Corps, as well as the third oldest squadron.

She’s an actual piece of American history and for the time being, she’s airborne.

The “Gracious Lady” Bev, a Marine Corps (Sikorsky) UH-34D helicopter that saw three tours in the Vietnam War is currently being stored in a potato barn in Jamesport for winter.

She functioned mainly as a medevac helicopter and according to Neil Dembinski, a member of the charitable organization that cares for her, saved countless Marine lives.

He said the Marine Corps Aviation Museum wants the historic bird badly, but the organization is hoping donations will keep her airborne so the public can continue to see, touch, and learn about her, the Vietnam War, and the military in general.

“We don’t want to see her in a museum,” Mr. Dembinski said.

You can find out more information about this aircraft or make a donation to the Helicopter Squadron 361 Veterans Association, Inc., by visiting

The Gracious Lady will be viewable from the South side of Main Road in Jamesport in mid April or May, weather permitting.