TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- A unique aircraft has landed in Tupelo and it will be on display to honor north Mississippi veterans. However, this was not your normal aircraft touch down.
The F-105 Thunderchief made a long journey to get here, in an effort to honor the service of those who fought in the Vietnam War.
Excitement soared as onlookers watched as pieces of history made its way into town.
With a police escort and several flat bed trailers, the F-105 Thunderchief comes face to face with the men who once braved the skies inside one.
"I volunteered to fly this one, but I said, 'No, I can't land it,'" laughed retired Col. Carlyle "Smitty" Harris.
Retired Lt. Col. Richard "Gene" Smith who also flew a similar fighter-bomber in the Vietnam War; he said this jet looks a little different.
"It looks like it's in better shape than the one I left in North Vietnam," laughed Smith.
The veterans watched as workers carefully transferred the pieces of the jet to its temporary home while the jet is being restored.
Sammy Robinson helped disassemble the jet into 10 different pieces, which was transported from Texas to Tupelo. He said it took them four days to take it apart and another full day to load it on the trucks.
"I got to supervise them," Robinson laughed. "I don't want my plane damaged. That's my plane until we leave."
Leaders said it will take three to six months to restore the jet, technically on loan from the Air Force.
When complete it will be located at the entrance to Tupelo's Veterans Memorial Park.