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dprchuynh

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dprchuynh last won the day on September 4

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About dprchuynh

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    Riverside, CA

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  1. Yes, the 69 hood is different in several areas. I compared it to my later Series 1( #8701) and Series 2 (#23381). The most striking different is that reinforced piece at the upper corners. The 69 hood doesn't have them. So yes, we're trying to save the hood of #187. As you can see, the front lip of the hood was originally bent down and in, and shows a lot of fillers once the paint was stripped. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  2. Thank you for the information, and for the restoration tip! Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  3. If for nothing else, or to no one else, he was definitely a hero to me. Thank you for the kind words. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  4. Thank you for the confirmation. It's amazing the variations of a single piece over the run of a few years. I'm glad your friend made it out. Earlier that day, my dad's squadron made many trips to airlift Americans and civilians to the airport. Not certain when he was airlifted, but he might have been one that my dad's squadron extracted. Those last minute airlifts where dangerous. There were so much traffic in the air that you could have easily collided, shot down by enemy fixed wing planes, and friendly fire, as the US Navy had no way of knowing if you were friendly or foe. So what my dad ordered his squadron to do was ditch the machine guns to save weight, but more importantly, give the US Navy a clear message that you weren't hostile. That's why you see in the picture, the machine gun mount was still there but no machine gun. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  5. Hello everyone! I hope this message finds you well. It's been a long couple of years. After my last update, which was exactly 2 years and 2 days ago, I spent 2019 moving a family of 8, along with 7 Datsuns, into a new house. Truth be told, the Datsuns, and all their parts, outgrew the space. We had to move! So 2019 was spent renovating the old house and getting it to market. We were handed keys to the new house in February of 2019, along with an ultimatum that the front and backyard landscaping needed to be completed within 12 months to avoid HOA "nasty-grams" threatening fines. 2020 started off promising. The economy was on fire. Work was great. We were planning to celebrate my 50th birthday in March with a road trip to wine country in #8701. It was definitely time to get back to restoring #187. But all those plans were temporarily placed on hold upon news of my father's health in late January. Within 2 weeks of finding out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he departed this world. It was a somber Valentine's Day 2020. We took comfort knowing he passed without much suffering. In fact, he reported no pain at all. Unlike many during the lockdown, we were fortunate to be at his bedside until his final breath at 77. Please indulge me while I speak of him. He was a descendent of generations of Vietnamese farmers. As such, he was destined to become one, but as fate would have it, he was drafted and placed into service. At the beginning of the conflict, Bell UH-1 Iroquois (nicknamed "Huey") were arriving in theater, but they came without pilots. So a batch of Vietnamese Air Force officers were hand picked and sent to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Tx to learn how to pilot the Huey. Interestingly enough, I completed my officer basic course (OBC) at Fort Sam Houston 4 decades later and separated from service with the exact same rank as my dad. Upon returning home from Texas, he flew special ops mission, flying upwards of 3 to 4 sorties a day for 8 years. It was an amazing feat. One old combat vet that spoke at his funeral said, "When we would climb aboard the Huey, we would always check upfront to see who was piloting the bird. When we saw that it was MAJ Huynh, we knew we would be home for dinner." During the war, he was introduced to his future wife, a young lady who was a descendent of royalty. Her father was the nephew to the king. What does that make me you ask? Absolutely nothing. [emoji1787] I digress. They married months later and had my brother in 68 and I followed in 1970. On April 30, 1975, the Fall of Saigon, we were on the tarmac at Ton Son Nhat Airport awaiting evacuation to US naval ships off the coast. Needless to say, plans for an orderly evacuation were scraped when the North Vietnamese planes began bombing the airport. As such, Operation Frequent Wind was implemented. I don't recall much other than booming explosions and the ironclad grip of my mom's hand handcuffed around my wrist as she dragged us out of the belly of a Boeing CH-47 Chinook onto a Huey. Despite the uncertainty of our Huey lifting off, 30 passengers, mostly women and children, made their escape by helicopter onto the USS Midway. As a young boy growing up, I would watch footages of Bell Huey being pushed over the deck to make room for incoming helicopters, and not once did I equate those clips to my past. It wasn't until the 40th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, when a large ceremony was held on the deck of the USS Midway, now a floating museum in San Diego, to honor my father and his squadron did I come to appreciate the significance of that aircraft carrier. The USS Midway evacuated my family and thousands of other refugees to the new world. Unfortunately my mom's journey ended in Hawaii after succumbing to malaria and pneumonia. She passed at 27, and my dad, then 33, a widow with 2 toddlers, began life in America with only the clothes on our backs, literally. Given the umpteenth times he has cheated death as a helicopter pilot, I thought my dad was invincible, capable of living well into his 90's, certainly long enough to enjoy driving #187 after the restoration. After all, it was he who bought me my first Datsun in high school, a used red 1979 Datsun 280ZX with 77K miles. We picked it up in Fontana from a gentleman that races top fuel for a living. I remembered our trip home. We got on the freeway and he gunned it. My dad rarely smiled, but he did that day, and we smiled all the way home. Now that I've laid my father to rest, I can once again turn my attention to restoring #187. Thank you for indulging me. Due to COVID-19, the panels that Rod ordered sat in quarantine at the border for months. The parts finally arrived last month and he striped the car to a rolling chassis in preparation for the body shop. Sorry I don't have anymore pictures to share but I will in the near future. Here's wishing you all a safe and happy Labor Day weekend! P.s Not sure why my father was the only one on that helicopter with a life vest on. You think he would have given it to me. [emoji1787] Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
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