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314th AW Restores H-21 helicopter

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron paint a finishing coat on a Piasecki H-21 Workhorse helicopter May 12, 2015, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The 314th Airlift Wing received the helicopter from Kirtland Air Force Base and plan to display it in Heritage Park toward the end of June. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephanie Serrano)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron paint a finishing coat on a Piasecki H-21 Workhorse helicopter May 12, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The 314th Airlift Wing received the helicopter from Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and plans to display it in Heritage Park toward the end of June. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephanie Serrano)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Approximately 20 volunteers from the 314th Airlift Wing are bringing back a little piece of history to Little Rock Air Force Base by restoring a Piasecki H-21 Workhorse helicopter to be placed in Heritage Park near the end of June.

Mark Wilderman, 314th Airlift Wing historian, came up with the idea of restoring the helicopter when he discovered that the 314th flew them in the late 50s. Wilderman saw the opportunity when he found that Kirtland AFB was planning on getting rid of the H-21 they had on display.

After a year and a half of coordination and planning, the H-21 arrived to Little Rock Air Force Base on April 5, 2016. Within a week, volunteers had assembled, ready to begin restoring the historic helicopter.

"It's a little know, but significant piece of our history," said U.S. Air Force MSgt Matthew Tabor, 314th Airlift Wing quality insurance chief inspector. "Everyone sees the 314th and automatically thinks C-130s,  but we've been in the troop carrying for a long time and this is a big piece of that."

Once completed, the helicopter will be placed in Heritage Park between the C-130 and the Communication Squadron building. The estimated completion date for the project is June, with a dedication ceremony to follow.

"It's a cool experience to take a little known piece of our history and restore it to its glory, to be put on display for everyone," Tabor said. 
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