ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Local veterans of the 138th Aviation Company, a former Orlando-based U.S. Army Reserve unit, are working hard to reassemble one of the unit’s original aircraft to its former glory. They are getting some help form aircraft maintenance volunteers from Delta Airlines.
The aircraft is a Beechcraft King Air, also known as an RU-21A “Ute,” and it has been acquired for the purpose of serving as the centerpiece of a Memorial to the members of the 138th Aviation Company. The veterans are currently working with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority to place the aircraft into the park adajacent to Orlando Internatinal Airport, where a venerable B-52 Stratofortress is located.
The work on the aircraft is being done at the Hangars of Atlantic Aviation at the Orlando Executive Airport.
Those who may be interested in volunteering or donating funds or services may contact the 138th Aviation Company Memorial Inc. at RU21AMemorial@gmail.com. To more about the restoration project, click here.
The 138th Aviation Company was originally formed as an active duty unit in 1966 and served with distinction in Vietnam. In 1974, the 138th was designated as a U.S. Army Reserve unit and based at Orlando International Airport. In 1990, the reservists of the 138th were activated and deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After 25 years at Orlando International Airport, the unit was deactivated in 1999 but in 2004, the unit was reactivated once again, now known as the 138th Military Intelligence Company, flying the Northrop Grumman E-8B Joint STARS aircraft out of Warner Robins A.F.B. in Georgia.