August 17, 2016
A Glimpse into the Life of Vietnam HUEY “411”
Robert “Bob” Broaddus will make a presentation about life as a Huey crew chief and door gunner during the war in Vietnam.
Bob served in Vietnam with the 56th Transportation Company from July 1969 to August 1970. Located at Long Thanh North airfield, his recovery unit’s mission was to bring back helicopters, airplanes and personnel. The 56th provided direct and backup support to 42 units operating more than 427 aircraft. Bob flew on the recovery hops in the two Hueys assigned to the unit, including 68-15411 or simply “411”. Those recoveries were categorized as routine maintenance evacuations involving airlifting aircraft from one secure area to another. The second type of recovery, known as field extraction, involved retrieving disabled aircraft that had been forced down by mechanical or combat damage in areas beyond camp perimeters.
411 flew for many years after Bob left Vietnam. One of Bob’s successors in the 56th Transportation Company shot movies of his Vietnam activities, including several flights in #411. A fifteen minute compilation of this film and some still photographs are available on YouTube under the title “The Vietnam War – Flying Aboard the 56th TC Huey 411 UH-1H Helicopter” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmcnYEYqFhg). 411 is now safely enshrined at the Pacific Aviation Museum located on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
About Bob Broaddus
Bob grew up in Ukiah, CA and graduated from Ukiah High School in 1966. He attended Junior College and received his AA and Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Mechanics licenses. After his 14 months of combat, Bob finished up college on the GI Bill at Sacramento State. In 1973 he began work as an aircraft mechanic for Nation Flight Service here at the Charles M Schulz -Sonoma County Airport. He obtained his single and multi-engine commercial pilots licenses with instrument rating and flew as a part time corporate pilot.
Bob is currently working for Reach Air Medical Services as Chief Maintenance Inspector here at the airport. He makes his home in Santa Rosa and as he says, is blessed with two lovely daughters; Carly (the oldest) is a Motorcycle & Swat Officer for the city of Vacaville and Allison works for an electrical company here in Santa Rosa as Project Engineer.
As part of a 2015 vacation to Hawaii, Bob was reunited with his HU-1H #411 at the Pacific Aviation Museum. The museum staff was overwhelmed on meeting him and has plans to return #411 to the 56th TC markings and invite Bob and several other crew members to return for the dedication.
Bob will be available to autograph copies of PCAM’s 2015-2016 Edition “Our Vietnam Memorial Issue” which will be offered for sale Wednesday evening.
Columbia Distributing (formerly Mesa Beverage)
3200 N. Laughlin Road. Santa Rosa, CA, 95403
Air Show Meeting: Same location, 6:00 p.m.
Directions: From Santa Rosa, take Highway 101 North and exit at Airport Blvd. Turn left on Laughlin Road toward the museum. The Columbia Distributing building is located on the left (east) side of the street a couple hundred yards past the museum.