Vietnam vets, historic helicopters to be featured at Freedom over Texas

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Two Vietnam historic helicopters will be part of today's spectacular Freedom over Texas event to celebrate Independence Day.

Vietnam War veterans Paul Cobb and Ross Eliason flew the historic helicopters -- the Cobra and the Huey -- side by side on Saturday and landed on Allen Parkway. They're the same helicopters the veterans flew 45 years ago on July 4th.

"He went to Vietnam first. I didn't know where he was at," Cobb said.

Cobb and Eliason met at an eye exam during flight school for the Army. Both got their orders in the Vietnam War. But tragedy brought them together again.

"And on the morning of the Fourth of July, he got shot down. His story is pretty horrendous. I will let him go into that. No," Cobb said.

On the same exact day, the pair were airlifted by a medevac out of Vietnam.

"I was shot down, he was shot up. The rounds came up through the turret. The rounds came up through there and went through his leg," Eliason said.

Cobb and Eliason ran into each other at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio in physical therapy.

Ross injured his back and broke his jaw in the crash.

"Came back to Pasadena and we've been friends ever since," Cobb said.

Both worked for the Pasadena Police Department as helicopter pilots and are now retired.

"He's my best man and he is one of the best men I know. He's super. He should run for president," Eliason said.

Cobb ended up becoming the chief of the Pasadena Police Department in 2001. He was chief in Pasadena until 2004.
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