Historic Vietnam War helicopter makes final parade appearance - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Historic Vietnam War helicopter makes final parade appearance

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Hundreds flocked to downtown Colorado Springs Saturday morning for the annual Veteran's Day parade.

As ROTC students, marching bands, and retirees gathered for the celebration, for at least one group the event was bittersweet. 

For 152 weekends of his life, Retired Army Colonel Bill McPherson has dedicated his time to teaching people about the historical significance of a Vietnam War-era helicopter.

Something McPherson, knows all too well. 

As a retired Army helicopter pilot, he flew the same UH-1M he showcased at hundreds of events. 

As for how he got a hold of it, 'don't ask, don't tell,' said McPherson jokingly. 

McPherson says the actual story dates back several years ago, when an event at White Sands Missile Range got canceled.

'It [the helicopter] was going to be destroyed as a Target at the missile range,' said McPherson.

McPherson then gathered 2 of the historic helicopters, one of them he kept at his home in Cripple Creek, the other would become an attraction for many parades and events to come. 

"After 10 years, I'm going to take a break,' said McPherson.

The helicopter will be donated to the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver on Tuesday.

"At my age, it's time for me to enjoy time with family,' said McPherson. 

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