A piece of military history was destroyed in a crash on its way to a Veterans Day parade in Tulsa Monday morning.
The UH-1 "Huey" helicopter flew in Vietnam during the war, shuttling troops to and from the front lines and bring wounded men in for treatment.
It was on a trailer and was being escorted to downtown Tulsa when a cable snapped, and one of the rotors broke loose, catching the air and then catching the catwalk on an overhead highway sign.
As a result, the chopper was lifted off the trailer then smashed to the ground, breaking it into pieces and badly damaging the sign.
No one was hurt, but the men involved were very emotional as they contemplated the destruction.
Sgt. Douglas Hill, US Air Force Retired, was a crew chief for a Huey for some 20 years, and had worked for two years to restore the aircraft.
The plan was to place it at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.
"It's like losing a very good friend, and I don't mean that facetiously," Hill told KRMG at the scene. "When they go out, they're there to do one thing, and that's protect the troops. Carry them in, take them out when they're wounded, go in and suppress ground fire."
He continued, "I spent 20 years in the Air Force, I worked on fixed wings and helicopters. This is in my opinion the best aircraft built, ever. Because it did so many things... ask any Army and Marine that was out in the jungle and who called for extraction... this aircraft makes a very distinctive sound, and when they hear that sound, they know two things. One, they're going to be saved, and two, there's going to be another one right behind the one picking them up, laying down ground fire to get them out safely. So this aircraft meant a lot to nearly everyone who served in Vietnam."
The craft was named "The Velvet Underground," after the iconic band of the 1960s.
Ironically, Lou Reed, the singer for that band, died about a week ago.