History-making Vietnam-era helicopter lands at Ohio museum

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It flew on a daring but unsuccessful raid to free U.S. POWs in North Vietnam in 1970. Thirty-eight years later, after subsequent tours in Bosnia and Iraq, helicopter No. 357 is being retired — with honor.

The 88-foot-long special operations chopper has made its final landing at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, where it went on permanent display Monday.

"It's been a busy aircraft," said museum historian Jeff Underwood."It absolutely encompasses U.S. military history for the fourth quarter of the 20th century and carries into the first quarter of the 21st century."

No. 357 — nicknamed"Magnum" after the gun — flew for 38 years. It is the last to remain of the handful of helicopters used in the Son Tay raid in Vietnam. Its final flight was a combat mission in Iraq on March 28.

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