On Saturday, May 7, Don Creason delivered the back section of the CH-46 helicopter to the Musseum from Cherry Point. With this delivery, most of the helicopter has now arrived at the Museum. Only the rotor-blades and a few other parts remain to be brought back from Cherry Point.
Dean Demmery, Rick Whitesides, and Brian Hicks spent several days at Cherry Point collecting all of these parts, and Saturday to helped Don unload the helicopter section and work on restoring the helicopter. Each Saturday Dean and the team will work to restore the helicopter. Please feel free to come out and join the project.
In January, 1970, US Marine Corps Pfc. Mike Clausen, Jr. earned The Medal of Honor, this country’s highest honor, for his conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in Vietnam at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Clausen was a crew chief of a CH-46 helicopter named “Blood, Sweat and Tears.” While participating in a helicopter rescue mission of a Marine platoon that had inadvertently entered a mine field while attacking enemy positions. Pfc Clausen skillfully guided the helicopter pilot to a landing area cleared by one of several mine explosions. On the ground, 20 Marines were surrounded – 11 of them already wounded.
Clausen repeatedly left the safety of the chopper to get them home alive. Despite the ever-present threat of further mine explosions, he continued his valiant efforts, leaving the comparatively safe area of the helicopter on 6 separate occasions to carry out his rescue efforts. Clausen was the only enlisted member of Marine Corps Aviation to win the Medal of Honor during Vietnam.Now this historic helicopter presides at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. This helicopter not only saw combat in Vietnam but in Iraq also. It received combat damage in Iraq and was considered uneconomical to repair. Because of the historic significance of this particular aircraft, the U.S. Marine Corps would not abandon it in Iraq. With the assistance of a US Air Force C-5A crew, it was taken apart and flown back to Cherry Point Marine Corps Base, North Carolina.
It is in the process now of being completely repaired, restored, and will be put on permanent display in honor of the U. S. Marine Corps and Pfc. Clausen. There are very few helicopters and aircraft that have been saved with as much history as this CH-46, Sea Knight.
Founded in 1991, the Carolinas Aviation Museum is operated by the Carolinas Historic Aviation Commission (CHAC). Dedicated to preserving the aviation heritage of both North and South Carolina, the Museum is located at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. The Museum is the premier aviation museum in the Carolinas. Over the past decade the museum has developed an impressive collection of over 45 major aircraft, and a wealth of other artifacts. The Museum also operates one of the largest aviation-related libraries in the nation. These assets, combined with strong support among the civilian and military aviation community in the Carolinas and our location in the largest metropolitan community in the Carolinas positions us to well to meeting our goals of becoming one of the premier aviation museums in the country.
The museum is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday and 1pm to 5pm on Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, and $2 for children. Children under 6 are free. Military personnel who are or who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 2001 are admitted free of charge.
4108 Airport Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28208 (Ph) 704-385-4882 (Fax) 704-359-0428