A new monument stands in Arlington National Cemetary, VA, that honors the fallen pilots and crew members of helicopters during the Vietnam War. The memorial was dedicated on April 18, 2018, and according to the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) approximately 3,400 were in attendance, including Vietnam veterans and Gold Star families. Air Force Bell UH-1N helicopters conducted a flyby during the ceremony, hailing from 1st Helicopter Squadron at Joint Base Andrews.

The memorial serves as a reminder for the almost 5,000 pilots and crew members killed in action during the Vietnam War. Etched on the front:

1961 – 1975
In honored memory of the helicopter pilots and crewmembers who gave the full measure of devotion to their nation in the Vietnam War.”

One trooper sprawls in the flooded swamp as other Vietnamese Government Soldiers walk through the water after landing from U.S. army Helicopters near CA Mau Peninsula in South Vietnam on Sept. 15, 1963. The Soldiers were landed to pursue communist Viet Cong Guerrillas who had attacked a Vietnamese outpost. | AP Photo/Horst Faas

Introducing helicopters to the battlefield was a major game changer. While the use of military helicopters could technically be dated back to WWII, it was only routinely used first in the Korean War. During the Korean War, the use of helicopters as ambulances that could infil and exfil with relative ease and speed had a significant impact on the fatality rate compared to previous wars.