Photo Gallery A Wisconsin tribute to the bravery of Hmong pilots in Laos

Photo Gallery

A Wisconsin tribute to the bravery of Hmong pilots in Laos

Posted: Sept. 19, 2014

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source: http://www.jsonline.com/multimedia/photos/a-wisconsin-tribute-to-the-bravery-of-hmong-pilots-in-laos-b99354565z1-275857571.html

Hmong pilots flying dangerous missions in north Laos in support of the U.S. effort in the Vietnam War have never had a memorial paying tribute to their bravery — until now. On Saturday a restored T-28 propeller plane like the ones the Hmong flew will be unveiled in tribute at Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin in Sheboygan Falls.

Tim McKeown, a T-28 instructor pilot for the U.S. Air Force who taught Hmong pilots to fly missions in northern Laos in 1973, stands next to one of his students, Ya Lee. – Image credit: Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin
Volunteers Al Schafer (foreground) and Ted Katte get ready to mount a plaque dedicated to the Hmong veteran aviators on a North American T-28 plane used to train Hmong pilots during the Vietnam War. The aircraft acquired by the Sheboygan Falls-based Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin was restored by a local EAA chapter and will be unveiled Saturday in a new exhibit at the Sheboygan County Municipal Airport honoring the unsung sacrifices the Hmong pilots. – Image credit: Mark Hoffman
Jon Helminiak, executive director of the Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin, searches for the correct place to mount a plaque dedicated to the Hmong veteran aviators on a North American T-28 plane used to train Hmong pilots during the Vietnam War. – Image credit: Mark Hoffman
A custom-machine prop dome had to be machined from a solid piece of metal for the North American T-28 plane used to train Hmong pilots during the Vietnam War. – Image credit: Mark Hoffman
The insignia of of the Royal Laotian Air Force is shown on the North American T-28 plane used to train Hmong pilots. – Image credit: Mark Hoffman
Volunteer Al Schafer (back) and Jon Helminiak, executive director of the Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin, place a plaque dedicated to Hmong veteran aviators next to the insignia of the Royal Laotian Air Force on a T-28 plane used to train Hmong pilots during the Vietnam War. – Image credit: Mark Hoffman
Koua Xiong flew 2,562 combat missions over Laos in a T-28 propeller plane. He later immigrated to America with his family after the Vietnam War and will attend Saturday’s dedication of a memorial to Hmong pilots at the Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin in Sheboygan Falls. – Image credit: Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin

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