138th Aviation Company (RR)
RU-21A Memorial Project

Congratulations To
Harley Raffle Winners

Grand Prize Winner-2017
Harley Davidson Road Glide Motorcycle
JoAnn Bensen of Cocoa, Florida

2nd Prize- $1,000.00
Pam Ferry of Melbourne, Florida

3rd Prize- $500.00
Andrew Riordan of Ft Walton Beach, Florida

4th Prize- $100.00
John Forde of Loxahatchee, Florida

Party Wagon
Michael Wheeler of Swanonnoa, North Carolina



Winter 2017 Update

We've officially said goodbye to 2016, and we accomplished a lot! Let's pick up where we left off in July, when Veterans of the 138th Aviation Company had just finished reassembling their RU-21A, and it was looking none too worse for wear given the over 20 years it spent at the old J.W. Duff salvage yard in Denver, Colorado before being rescued.

So now we had an airplane, now came the hard work, raising awareness of the need to construct a memorial for which the aircraft is simply the centerpiece. Before we could do that though, they had to protect the aircraft from the pending arrival of Hurricane Matthew to Florida. The aircraft is currently based at Orlando Executive Airport, which was devastated by 4 different Hurricanes that came through Central Florida in 2004. Models predicted a potential turn inland somewhere along the Central Florida coast so volunteers had to scramble, but one of them in particular, Raphael Rodriguez, pretty much single handedly acquired bags of river rock to be placed along the aerodynamic surfaces to break up lift to keep the aircraft from going wheels up without a crew, as well as tying down the aircraft with steel cable to reinforce the rope tie downs. Fortunately, between his efforts and some good fortune, the storm stayed of the coast and downgraded itself quickly, saving the aircraft.

One of the most interesting events that came up for the Vets was a chance to meet the Soldiers of the 138th Military Intelligence Company, which is the reactivated successor to the 138th Aviation Company, only now days, instead of having their own aircraft, they hitch a ride with the U.S. Air Force on board the E-8C JSTARS aircraft out of Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Georgia. On the day before Veterans Day, close to 20 Veterans and their families got an Unclassified Briefing on the mission and capabilities of the JSTARS system, got to tour the aircraft, as well as a tour of one of finest Air Force museums in the country, the Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB. It was during their visit that they presented the Commander and First Sergeant of the 138th MI Co artwork by the talented Central Florida Aviation Artist Rick Blyseth "http://www.rickblyseth.com" depicting the actual memorial aircraft, RU-21A 67-18113 named "Patriot" by its pilot CW4 Ray Belcher, flying over the burning oil fields of Kuwait left by the retreating Iraqi Army after the cease fire that ended Operation Desert Storm. The Vietnam era of the unit was represented as well by a profile drawing of one of the unit's Beechcraft RU-8D Seminoles, the military version of the venerable Twin Bonanza.

Finally to end the year, the veterans did another artwork presentation, this time on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and at the USO at Orlando International Airport. Now visiting military service members and their families will see examples of aircraft that were based at Orlando International Airport after McCoy Air Force Base was closed, and that they will know of the proud history of military service that members of the Central Florida continues to provide to the nation to this day.

Starting next year, look for information on our fund raising efforts at the Valiant Air Command Air Show, March 10-12, 2017 in Titusville Florida and the American Heroes Helicopter Airshow, March 25, 2017 in Oviedo Florida. Also look for news on the new paint job we hope to apply to the aircraft with the help of Army ROTC Cadets and Riddle's Redeemers, who are student volunteers from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Florida.


Spring 2016 Update

So since the parade, a lot of progress has been made with the aircraft reassembly in that we've arranged a couple of work party details, and working with Aircraft Mechanics from Delta Airlines who have volunteered their time and expertise, we've managed to mount the engines, props, and the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, as well as completely replace the damaged tail. All that remains is to mount the wings and wingtip antenna pods. We still have to paint the aircraft and weatherproof it for long term outdoor display, but we hope to have a rollout ceremony once the wings are back on. It should also be noted that we are building momentum with the Central Florida community as well, as we are engaged with the City of Orlando Mayor's Veterans Advisory Council, and we've down roadshows at a couple of Airshows and other community events. We hope to see you at a future work party to help us out, and of course you can always help by making a donation or buying a commemorative brick today!



Click to see the pictures that were taken
at the RU21A Memorial...


Getting it Together-Late Summer Update 2015:

In the last few weeks, serious progress has begun on getting "Patriot" ready for the big move to Orlando. Dynamic Aviation has moved the aircraft from the outdoor storage field to an indoor hangar to start the inventory process, and add a few cosmetic touch ups.

A comparison of some of the first photos when it came out of the salvage yard in Denver versus how it looks today include new tires, some sheetmetal work around the nose, and the installation of the nose cone, and of all things, the Chaff dispenser on the fuselage! The move will be done by Les Chapman Trucking, who just completed a move of a B-17G from Grissom AFB to Robins AFB. It's believed that the entire aircraft and components will fit on the flatbed lowboy, with the aircraft fuselage itself serving as a shipping container for some of the smaller parts. Of course the big plan is, if you don't already know, is to bring the aircraft down from Bridgewater Virginia to Orlando Florida for the Orlando Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 14, 2015. The Aircraft will essentially be one heck of a parade float, with veterans of the 138th Aviation Company, including veterans who served in the unit during Vietnam as well as Desert Storm, marching along side as it rolls down the streets of Orlando.

After the parade, the aircraft will be transported the final 5 miles to Orlando Executive Airport to offload and await the fundraising to pay for the restoration. We will be kicking off our big fundraising drive incorporating a Crowdfunding campaign, so stay tuned for more details on how you can help! Of course you don't have to wait to help, you can make a donation anytime by clicking the PayPal links on our webpage:



City of Orlando Veterans Day Parade
The 2015 City of Orlando Veterans Day Parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 14 in Downtown Orlando. Hosted by Mayor Buddy Dyer and his Veterans
July 3rd 2015

US Army Beechcraft RU-21A 67-18113, "Patriot" is coming home! The 138th Aviation Company Memorial Inc. is proud to announce that the aircraft is returning to its home base to be put on display to honor the men and women who served in the 138th Aviation Company at Orlando International Airport.

The aircraft will be arriving via flat bed tractor trailer, and will arrive to coincide with and participate in, the Orlando Veterans Day Parade, November 14, 2015. After being on display before and after the parade, the aircraft will proceed to Orlando Executive Airport and begin the restoration process. Atlantic Aviation has graciously donated the use of a sun shelter hangar and free ramp space while we fundraise for the painting, prepping and landscape preparation for the memorial site.

To commemorate the aircraft's arrival, the 138th Aviation Company Memorial will kick off a fundraising campaign, which will include sales of commemorative bricks, integrated with a crowdsourcing effort to raise the needed funds, so please stay tuned to see how you can help!

If you're a Veteran of the 138th Aviation Company, or family member, and you would like to march in the parade along side the aircraft, please reach out to Andy Rodriguez at arod138@yahoo.com to sign up.


October 11th 2014

Progress being made as more pieces of the RU-21A are coming together at the warehouses of Dynamic Aviation as seen by the delivery of the engine cowlings and propeller blades.


September 27th 2014

As expected, (maybe a little ahead of schedule even) we have received official word from the IRS that we are officially a 501c3 Non Profit! What does this mean? In addition to being able to continue to take donations from individuals, we now have the bonafides to seek corporate donations through direct appeals and grants.

In the next few weeks watch this space for links to templates for grant request letters so you can get involved and maximize our reach.

Also next steps include finalizing of business plan to present to the Greater Orlando Airport Authority (GOAA) to get the final green light to start bidding for the design of the memorial.

Finally, for those who have donated over $200.00, we will be sending you a letter for your tax records confirming your donation.

Thank you all for your help!


End of Summer 2014:

Since our last update, interns working over the summer at Dynamic Aviation of Bridgewater, Virginia have begun the process of pulling any salvageable parts from the aircraft they recovered via the cross country road trip from Acme Aircraft Sales and Salvage in Denver Colorado. They have also provided photos of the non-functioning Pratt and Whitney PT-6A engine cores that are being built in order to rebuild the engine nacelle from the firewall forward.

In addition, they provided photos of the interior of the aircraft, showing an instrument panel completely bare, with the exception of the throttle quadrant, and the call sign reminder plate, "Army 18113". We also got some good shots of the Manufacture's Data Plate and Army Acceptance Stamp located below the horizontal stabilizer.

We've also been informed, that due to business requirements, the donation of the aircraft will not include any painting or restoration of the aircraft, so our group will be looking for experienced aircraft restoration companies that can prepare the aircraft for display "on site", once the aircraft is transported to its permanent home. If you are reading this and have experience with aircraft restoration, or architectural or engineering expertise related to preparing the display site, please contact us at ru21amemorial@gmail.com

Also, we have received notice of our application for 501(c)3 status is in the final review process, and baring any paperwork issues, should be approved shortly. This is important because although in our current status, donations made to our group are tax deductible, large corporations require proof of tax exempt status before making their donations.

Finally, members of the 138th Aviation Company got together for a reunion this past Labor Day weekend at the Shades of Green Armed Forces Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida and raised over $700.00 dollars for the memorial. A lot more is needed, so we would be grateful for your support. Please consider donating today.



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