Fort Worth Aviation Museum honors Vietnam War Era Vets

The Fort Worth Aviation Museum, a Commemorative Partner for The United States of America’s Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorations, recognized Vietnam War era veterans in North Texas at the museum during its recent Hops and Props aircraft fly-in and craft beer festival.

The ceremony began with a fly-over by one of the Texas Air National Guard 136th Airlift Wing’s C-130 Hercules aircraft stationed at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, the museum said in a news release.

Following the fly over, two of the museum’s recently refurbished aircraft were dedicated.

One was a Republic F-105D Thunderchief. This aircraft is a Vietnam War era veteran like those once operated by the 301st Fighter Wing at the former Carswell Air Force Base. One side of the aircraft carries the markings of the 301st to honor those who served with that unit.

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Brig. Gen. Bobby Efferson (Ret.) conducted the 105 dedication. The aircraft was also dedicated to the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Association by Trudi Pickett, widow of one of the association’s founders, Col. Larry “Pick” Pickett. The association was originally formed by pilots who flew into North Vietnam’s Red River Valley. The second side of the aircraft now carries the markings of F-105 squadrons that flew from Takhli, Thailand.

The museum’s General Dynamics F-111E Aardvark was dedicated by Lt. Col Jack Thompson (Ret.) to the local people who designed and built it, as well as those who operated this supersonic bomber for the United States Air Force. The aircraft carries the markings of the 77th Tactical Fighter Wing as it looked in Upper Heyford, England.

Local Vietnam War era veterans were recognized with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin, authorized and issued three years ago by the Department of Defense to be presented to veterans in local communities.

Twenty-two of the museum’s warbirds are Vietnam era veterans, many with combat histories.