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Post 108 to dedicate helicopter Saturday to fallen hero



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August 18, 2010 - Oxford American Legion Post 108 is planning to dedicate the Bell AH-1G Cobra helicopter outside its 130 E. Drahner Rd. building to a true hero who died trying to save a life.

The public is invited to attend the 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21 ceremony honoring Delbert Lee Waugh, a highly-decorated U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who was tragically killed in October 2008 while piloting an Air Angel medical transport helicopter in Aurora, Illinois.

Waugh's chopper came in contact with one of the guy wires of a 750-foot radio tower causing it to crash. Everyone on board was killed including the 14-month-old patient being transported.

Never one to quit or leave a wounded man behind, Waugh served three tours of duty in the Vietnam War. Two of those tours, he spent as pilot of a helicopter gun ship, supporting ground troops and rescuing the wounded. During one rescue mission, he was shot down, wounded, evaded capture for several days and was finally rescued.

His gallantry earned him 21 medals.

Following his active military service, Waugh remained in the U.S. Army Reserves where he continued to fly. He became commanding officer of all Reserved Army Aviation in Indiana and Michigan. He served as an Army Aviator and Flight Instructor for more than 25 years and accumulated more than 7,000 flight hours.

The AH-1G Cobra helicopter being dedicated to Waugh is very symbolic because this model played a critical part in America's Vietnam War effort from 1967-73. These attack choppers racked up more than 1 million operational hours in Vietnam performing duties such as providing fire support for ground forces and escorting transport helicopters.

Following the memorial/dedication ceremony, a light lunch will be served at 2 p.m.

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