By CHRIS AGEE
Just months after the second helicopter was erected, balancing the entrance gate to Fort Wolters, Wednesday’s devastating hailstorm ravaged both aircraft.
Fort Wolters Gate Committee Secretary Mary Creighton said the extent of damage was undetermined as of Friday, adding she did not yet know whether both helicopters would have to be moved for repairs.
“Jim Messinger is our treasurer and wanted people to know if they saw the helicopters down it is because they are being repaired,” she explained. “It could be they will take the one on the left to a hangar.”
She said she is certain the individuals responsible for the restoration project will excel, though the final cost could be substantial.
“We have an exceptionally good group of men who are helicopter people, so I think they’re going to be able to do the repairs,” she said, “but it’s expensive to get the supplies and all.”
Those interested in supporting the project and the ongoing work of the Fort Wolters Gate Committee can send donations to the National Vietnam War Museum, P.O. Box 146, Mineral Wells, Texas 76068.
“We have just a little bit of money left from the Fort Wolters Gate Committee for the memorial park we’re building out there,” Creighton explained, though that and other continuing projects can always put financial support to good use.
The unique windshields of both aircraft bore large holes, evidence of the storm that left a path of extensive destruction throughout Mineral Wells.
If necessary, Creighton said estimates show “around $900 is what one bubble costs if you had to buy it and put it in.”