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Bayou State Escadrille Welcomes Assigned Helicopter “Bayou Bell”

Hammond, Louisiana (April 24, 2023) - The Bayou State Escadrille of the Commemorative Air Force held a ceremony to acknowledge the arrival of their first assigned aircraft, an OH-13 Bell 47 helicopter. The group based at the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport was established in 2021. This is their first assigned aircraft, which they have named “Bayou Bell.”

The Bayou State Escadrille is the only Unit in the Commemorative Air Force assigned a flying helicopter. The Bell H-13 Sioux was a military training helicopter based on the popular civilian Bell 47, also a single-rotor, single-engine design. The Bell 47 had many designations depending on the branch of service; U.S. Army Air Forces called it a YR-13, the U.S. Army called it an H-13 Sioux, the U.S. Navy called it an HTL-1, and the U.S. Coast Guard called it an HUL-1G.

Attendees of the event included CAF President/CEO Hank Coates, the Mayor of Hammond Pete Panepinto, and the Head of the local Chamber of Commerce. Also, several members of other CAF Units were there to show support, including the Big Easy Wing, Mississippi Wing, and Floribama Wing.

The Bayou State Escadrille will now have rides available for purchase every third Saturday of the month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting. It is advisable to contact them in advance at (713) 557-5744.

About the Bayou State Escadrille

The Bayou State Escadrille is a Commemorative Air Force (CAF) unit established in 2021 to expand the mission to educate, inspire, and honor through flight and living history experiences in the Bayou State region. Based at Hammond Northshore Regional Airport, the group consists of volunteer members passionate about historic military aviation. Membership to the Bayou State Escadrille is open to anyone interested. No flying or military background is required to join. To learn more about Bayou State Escadrille, visit https://www.bayoustateescadrille.org/. https://www.facebook.com/bayoustateescadrille

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