Vets file restraining order against man who removed antique helicopter after donating it to post

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. — A group of veterans is taking legal action in hopes to get a helicopter back that was removed from their VFW post.

A Vietnam-era UH-1 Huey helicopter was refurbished by veterans at the post south of Taylorsville. Veterans said they took in donations and spent nearly nine months working on the helicopter.

Veterans said they have been trying to get the helicopter back for more than a year after it was removed from the VFW post.

They said the fuselage was donated to them and that was when they began the process of collecting parts and working on it so it could be displayed at parades and other events.

After getting parts donated from the North Carolina Forest Service and other groups, they said the person who gave them the fuselage removed the helicopter from their property without their permission.

The veterans told Faherty that they’re now considering legal action to get the chopper back.

“It was a county thing. Something to be proud of that we took places. And everyone knew where it come from, and for someone to just come up and blatantly take it,” said Terry Harrington, commander of VFW post.

Channel 9 learned that the helicopter is now in Montgomery County.

Faherty spoke to James Henry, who donated the helicopter to the VFW. Henry said he only agreed to give it to them for three years and wanted it back for a military show.

“I sure am ready to go to court and they ain’t gonna win. They’re gonna spend a bunch of money for nothing. First of all, they don’t got nothing in writing,” Harrington said.

Vietnam veteran Bill Johnson believes the man is taking advantage of the VFW.

“It makes me mad. It’s heartbreaking that someone would do us that way,” Johnson said.

The VFW post has taken out a temporary restraining order against Henry.

The VFW filed the court papers to keep Henry from disposing of, tampering or hiding the helicopter and also to disclose where the helicopter is currently located.

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