Highly decorated OH-6A aero scout pilot honored at MDHI’s Mesa, Arizona, facility

Mesa, Ariz., Jul 22, 2021MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) proudly hosted decorated Vietnam War veteran and OH-6A LOACH (light observation helicopter) pilot LTC (Ret) Hugh L. Mills, Jr., during a special event at the MDHI facility in Mesa, Arizona. Mills was honored with a demonstration flight, facility and aircraft tour, and hosted questions from the company’s employees. The event also included Vietnam War-era aircraft and armaments, supplied by Mace Aviation, Dillon Aero, Degroat Tactical Armament, and Little Bird LLC.

Vietnam War veteran Hugh Mills, Jr., speaks to employees at MD Helicopters

Mills served three tours in Vietnam, two flying the OH-6A as an aero scout and one flying the AH-1 Cobra. He flew more than 3,300 combat hours with over 2,000 in the LOACH. Mills developed many of the U.S. Army’s air cavalry aero scout tactics, led raids into Cambodia and North Vietnam, commanded the Army’s first night attack helicopter unit, and was the first to test the XM-8 40mm grenade launcher in combat.

Shot down over Vietnam 16 times and wounded three, Mills earned more than 81 decorations, many with valor. His decorations included Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Stars, Air Medals, and Army commendation medals. The government of Vietnam awarded him the Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and Palm, the Vietnamese Honor Medal First Class, and the Civic Action Honor Medal First Class.

Veteran pilot Hugh Mills, Jr., takes a quick spin in an MD 500 with MDHI Senior Flight Instructor Dave Salem and Cinematography Pilot/Reporter Bruce Haffner

“The OH-6 represents MD Helicopters’ very beginnings, and Hugh is one of the many, many brave aviators who not only proved its combat capabilities and value but also contributed to its legacy,” said Steve Lapping, director of military sales. “It is entirely our honor here at MD Helicopters to host and celebrate him as he continues to tell his story.”

In 1992, Mills published a book about his experiences flying in Vietnam, Low Level Hell: A Scout Pilot in the Big Red One, which he signed at the event.

About MD Helicopters, Inc.

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) is a leading rotorcraft manufacturer of American Made commercial, military, law enforcement, and air-rescue helicopters. The MDHI family of rotorcraft is world-renowned for its value, versatility, and performance. Commercial offerings include the MD 500E, MD 530F, MD 520N, MD 600N, and twin-engine MD 902 Explorer. The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior and MD 530G Attack Helicopter comprise the company’s high-performance military offerings. A key feature of the MD 902, MD 600N, and MD 520N is the innovative NOTAR® system for anti-torque control with no tail rotor – exclusively by MDHI to provide safer, quieter performance and confined-area access capability.

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