Project image
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$1,555
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
11
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, December 13 2015 5:00 AM UTC +00:00
Andrew RodriguezBy Andrew Rodriguez
First created
Andrew RodriguezBy Andrew Rodriguez
First created
$1,555
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
11
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, December 13 2015 5:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

Before we tell you about our memorial, you should know a little bit of our history.

Company Sign- Da Nang, Vietnam
Company Sign- Da Nang, Vietnam

The 138th Aviation Company was formed in Da Nang, South Vietnam, in 1966 tasked with the Top Secret mission to fly small twin engine airplanes with special electronic gear to eavesdrop on and locate enemy radio transmissions. The unit performed with distinction, but sadly lost personnel in plane crashes, and one aircraft was lost to an enemy missile with the loss of 5 crew members. The unit was deactivated in 1973, one of the last units left in Vietnam flying these missions.

RU-8D Vietnam
RU-8D Vietnam

In 1974, the 138th was reactivated as a US Army Reserve unit and based at the recently decommissioned McCoy AFB in Orlando, Florida.  As a Reserve unit, it's members came from throughout Central Florida to train one weekend a month, and two weeks a year. 

Of course, as a truly one of a kind unit, it's members often found themselves doing more than just the minimum, as the unit was often tasked with providing intelligence to national level consumers.  Members of the unit and their aircraft flew missions throughout Central America and the Caribbean, and in a foreshadowing of things to come, in 1985 the unit deployed all the way to Egypt and back for the Bright Star exercises.

In October 1990, only a few months after Saddam Hussain's Iraq invaded Kuwait, the unit was called up and sent to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  Members of the unit left their civilian lives as teachers, mechanics, police officers, airline pilots, and college students, and said goodbye to their families to answer their nation's call.

Painting the "Nose Art"
Painting the "Nose Art"

The unit successfully deployed and returned at the end of hostilities, and the unit continued to fly missions for another 8 years, when in 1999 the unit rolled up its guidon for the final time.

Patriot's Homecoming- MCO
Patriot's Homecoming- MCO

Today, the veterans of the 138th have located one of the aircraft, a Beechcraft RU-21A, 67-18113, known by its Nose Art as "Patriot", that was flown in Desert Storm, and are looking to build a memorial with the aircraft as its centerpiece to honor all those who served, in Vietnam, Desert Storm, and today.

Artist Design
Artist Design

So why build the memorial?

Memorials are important because they act as historical touchstones. They link the past to the present and enable people to remember and respect the sacrifice of those who died, fought, participated or were affected by conflicts. 

Memorials can also be an important source of information for young people in understanding the sacrifices made by past generations. This will in turn ensure memorials are cared for in the future.

Memorials also represent a focal point for remembrance both individual and collective particularly on occasions such as Memorial Day and Veteran's Day or anniversary events. The sacrifices made by so many for freedom needs to be remembered and a memorial like ours play a vital role in ensuring that continues.

Why build it in Orlando Florida?

From 1974 to 1999, the unit was based at Orlando International Airport. There already is a B-52 Stratofortress on display dedicated to those who served at McCoy AFB, so placing our aircraft next to the B-52 will be an additional reminder of the airport's history and its role in defending the country. 

I'd like to help, how much should I donate?  

We need to raise enough money to cover the restoration, painting and preparation of the aircraft for long term outdoor display, build the display pad, and have enough funds to cover its insurance and maintenance for the future. You can donate in any amount, and to show our appreciation we'd like to send you these gifts if you give at the levels mentioned below.

$10.00 5x7 Profile Card

5x7 Litho Card
5x7 Litho Card

 $25.00 Official 138th Aviation Company Memorial T-Shirt

T-Shirt
T-Shirt

  $50.00 Official 138th Aviation Company Memorial Poster

Poster
Poster

  $100.00 Your Personalized Engraved Brick for Memorial site

Example Engraved Brick
Example Engraved Brick

$250.00 24x36 Canvas RU-21A over Kuwait Lithograph

Patriot over Kuwait
Patriot over Kuwait

Risks and challenges

There really isn't a great deal of risk because no matter what, we have an aircraft, that's not changing, and we have a commitment from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority to place the aircraft at the site. Once we hit our fundraising goal, it's a matter of working with the airport planners as they redesign the B-52 memorial park to accommodate some of the new infrastructure going into the airport associated with the airport's growth.

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    Engraved Brick

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    Patriot Kuwait Lithograph

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Funding period

- (29 days)