Pilot Ly Tong

Welcome home by San Jose Vietnamese community
Ly Tong, veteran of the
Black Eagle squadron of
the South Vietnamese Air
Force, returns home to San
Jose after seven years
imprisonment in Thailand.  
He was freed by the
appeals court, overturning
extradition to Vietnam,
where he surely would have
been harshly imprisoned
again.  Pilot Ly Tong had
rented an airplane and
flown over Saigon dropping
anticommunist leaflets in
early 2000.

photos by Jean Libby, editor
VietAm Review
(above, center)

Jean Libby and Mrs. Tran holding sign for
Freedom Fighter Ly Tong.  Jean is wearing a
knit scarf that is presented as an honor to
people who support the heritage of Vietnamese
Americans.  

The scarves are knit by Mrs. Minh (above right)
of the Northern California Vietnamese American
Community.  

(left)  Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tien, president of the
Northern California Vietnamese American
Community organization and Mrs. Christine, an
activist in the lively association.   

Bryan Cong Do (above) cut short
his vacation in Oregon to greet
Ly Tong, whom he had met while
in a refugee camp in Indonesia in
the 1980s.  

At that time (when Bryan was
seven years old) the RVNAF pilot
Ly Tong was a hero for his
wartime combat action.  He was
shot down by a Russian
anti-aircraft rocket and imprisoned
in North Vietnam.  Ly Tong
escaped from the jungle prison
five years later and walked into
Cambodia, then to Thailand.  He
went to Singapore, to the
American Embassy, and asked for
political asylum, which was
granted.  Pilot Ly Tong and the
Vietnamese refugee Boat Person
Bryan Do are now U.S. citizens.   
     
Friends of Ly Tong -- please send your photos from his   
welcome home or support events and I will publish on
his page here.  
editor@vietamreview.net     Thank you, Viet Trade for
the audio file of Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tien and Congresswoman Zoe
Lofgren speaking on April 21, 2007 at Lion Plaza in San Jose.  





Vietnamese Australians and their
guest dissident poet Nguyen Chi
Thien (in brown hat) demonstrated
their support of Ly Tong during his
imprisonment in Thailand on
April 29, 2006.

At that time the Thai government
acquised to the Vietnam government
in their demand for extradition of pilot
Ly Tong on the grounds of violating
Vietnamese air space when he
dropped anticommunist leaflets over
 Saigon in 2001.   On April 4, 2007,
an appeals court judge overturned
the extradition and released Ly Tong.



photo courtesy Vietnamese Community of
Australia