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 Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975., Looking for the pilot who saved us. (11 Replies, Read 11244 times)
CanadaHouse1975
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Posts: 7
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Hello,

I don't know if anyone can help me.  But, I'm looking for the Flying Tigers pilot who agreed to evacuate 55 Cambodian orphans from Phnom Penh to Saigon around end of March - beginning of April 1975.  We were from the orphanage called Canada House in Phnom Penh,  Cambodia. The person who talked with the pilot was Eloise Sr. Charet, Eloise Charet-Calles, Anna Charet or either Naomi Bronstein.

Is there a way I could get in touch with this pilot or find out who he is?  Any help would be so much appreciated!

I already found these women but, they can't remember his name so far.  Also, I already found 25 out of the 55 orphans from my orphanage Canada House, a Canadian engineer named Art Purdon who helped us at the orphanage somehow and the Hercules Canadian pilot who took us out of Saigon. It's been 40 years ago already, but we would like so much to have the chance to thank everyone who helped us somehow to survive.

Hope someone can help me!  Also, if you search on Internet for Canada House 1975, you should find more information about us.  If that, could help you lead your research for our pilot.

I really hope I can find him with your help.  It's mean a lot to us!

Best regards,

Ms Vanie Prud'homme
vanie.prudhomme@gmail.com
Canada

IP: --   

Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
aaatripp
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Posts: 598
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cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
Thanks, CanadaHouse 1975, for posting your inquiry and for informing our AVG Forum of this very interesting humanitarian effort.

Can you give us any more details?  Height?  Hair Color?  Anything which the pilot may have said about himself, his unit, or his WWII experiences?

Thank you.
Tripp


Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
Flying Tigers Association


-----------------------
Tripp

Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
AVG Flying Tigers Association
IP: --   

Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
CanadaHouse1975
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Dear Tripp,

Ms. Eloise Charet-Calles,  was able to send me a picture while boarding the orphans into the Flying Tigers airplane in Saigon.

I'm waiting to get further news from Anna Charet, any details that could help us find the pilot.  Maybe she kept the cables between ambassador Dean in Cambodia and the American ambassador in Vietnam.

Thank you for your help!  This is much appreciated!

Best regards,

Ms. Vanie Prud'homme

Edited by CanadaHouse1975 : May 4, 2015, 9:01 pm
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Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
LydiaRossi
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Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
Have you tried contacting the Flying Tiger Line? They have a website:
http://www.flyingtigerline.org
The airline was started after the war and became the largest cargo carrier in the world at the time. They did a lot of transporting in and around Viet Nam during the war years. My late husband, Dick Rossi, was a captain with the airline and flew in and out of the area many times.
The company was sold to FedEx in 1989 but they still have a reunion group. Here is the email for one of the officers of the that group. Peter Okicich is a retired captain:
paokicich@comcast.net
Good luck in your search!
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Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
CanadaHouse1975
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Dear Lydia,

Thank you for your help too and this is much appreciated!  I just sent an email to Peter Okicich.  I hope he will be able to help me as well.

Unfortunately,  I wasn't able to register on the website you referred me.  Because I need to answer this question in order to be able to do so:

In what year was FT founded and by whom?

Best regards,

Ms Vanie Prud'homme
IP: --   

Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
LydiaRossi
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Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
The answers to the questions are: 1945 by Robert Prescott.
In re-reading my post I see I did not specify which war. It was WWII of course.
You might not get an answer from Peter for awhile. The airline is having a reunion in New Orleans starting this Wednesday and he is probably already there. I am leaving tomorrow. If he brought a computer with him he may get a chance to ask some of the pilots about your questions. I will mention it to him when I get there. Hope we can help you.
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Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
CanadaHouse1975
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Dear Lydia,

Thanks a million!  I really hope to find him!  Yes, it would be really nice from you, if you can give a word about me and my story regarding the Canada House orphanage to Mr. Peter Okicich at the reunion this week.

Now, I was able to register on the website given.  I'm just waiting for my request to be approved by the administrator.

Best regards,

Ms Vanie Prud'homme
IP: --   

Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
CanadaHouse1975
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Hello,

Here's another information :

“Luckily, we knew a stewardess who had helped us and she knew the Flying Tigers. These were intrepid men — Americans — who had fought in the war and for some reason couldn’t, or didn’t, want to go home. They came with Naomi Bronstein and Eloise Charet Sr. and got us.”

The sisters and 55 children were bundled into an old transport plane operated by the Flying Tigers, an airline with a colourful if not dubious past, and the crew delivered them to Saigon."
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Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
CanadaHouse1975
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Hello,

I was able to get the cables. Hope this will help me better find our pilot.  See below:

Cable 1/4
http://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1975PHNOM04643_b.html

Canonical ID: 1975PHNOM04643_b
Subject: ORPHAN EVACUATION - FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN (FFAC)
From: Cambodia Phnom Penh
To: Department of State, Secretary of State, Thailand Bangkok,
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City
Original Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Current Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Previous Handling Restrictions: -- N/A or Blank --
Archive Status: Electronic Telegrams
Type: TE
Locator: TEXT ON MICROFILM, TEXT ONLINE
Reference(s): 75 STATE 057276
Executive Order (E.O.): GS
Markings: Margaret P. Grafeld Declassified/Released US
Department of State EO Systematic Review 05 JUL 2006
Enclosure: -- N/A or Blank --
Concepts: -- N/A OR BLANK --
TAGS: Cambodia [CB]
Consular Affairs--Visas [CVIS]
Office: -- N/A or Blank --
Document Character Count: 1682
Date: 1975 March 14, 11:30 (Friday)
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01 PHNOM 04643 141204Z
42
ACTION EA-10
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 VO-03 SCA-01 SR-02 ORM-01 AID-05 IO-10
PM-03 NSC-05 SP-02 SS-15 OMB-01 TRSE-00 IGA-01 L-02
H-02 CIAE-00 INR-07 NSAE-00 DODE-00 PRS-01 SSO-00
NSCE-00 INRE-00 EUR-12 /084 W
--------------------- 049825
O R 141130Z MAR 75
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9774
AMEMBASSY SAIGON IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
C O N F I D E N T I A L PHNOM PENH 4643
E.O.11652: GDS
TAGS: CVIS CB
SUBJECT: ORPHAN EVACUATION - FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN (FFAC)
REF: A. STATE 057276
B. SAIGON 2815
C. PHNOM PENH 4548
1. AFTER WHAT APPEARED TO BE ROUND-THE-CLOCK DISCUSSIONS,
MS. GRANT AND MS. BROWNSTEIN (FFAC-CANADA) HAVE RECEIVED
VERBAL PERMISSION FROM THE GKR TO TAKE ALL OF THE ORPHANS
TO SAIGON. ACCORDING TO MS. GRANT, WRITTEN PERMISSION WILL
BE SIGNED TOMORROW. MISSION PARTICIPATION IN ABOVE DIS-
CUSSIONS WAS KEPT TO A MINIMUM AND CONSISTED ONLY OF OUR
INFORMAL ASSURANCES TO GKR THAT FFAC WAS A REPUTABLE
ORGANIZATION WHICH COULD BE RELIED UPON TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF
THE ORPHANS ONCE THEY LEAVE PHNOM PENH.
2. AS FOR QUESTION OF TRANSPORTATION (PARA 3 REF A),
GEORGE JACOBSON, SPECIAL ASST. TO THE AMBASSADOR FOR
FIELD OPERATIONS IN SAIGON, INFORMED MISSION BY TELEPHONE
ON MARCH 14 THAT HE WILL ARRANGE FOR AN AIR AMERICA
CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 02 PHNOM 04643 141204Z
C-47 TO COME TO PHNOM PENH TO PICK UP ALL THE ORPHANS
AND THE FFAC PERSONNEL. (SIMILAR ASSRUANCE
WAS GIVEN IN REFTEL B.) PLANE IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED
TO ARRIVE IN PHNOM PENH AT 10:30 ON MONDAY, MARCH 17.
3. WE WILL ADVISE ANY NEW DEVELOPMENTS.
DEAN
CONFIDENTIAL
NNN



Cable 2/4

Canonical ID: 1975STATE057276_b
Subject: ORPHAN EVACUATION - FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN
From: Department of State
To: Cambodia Phnom Penh, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City
Original Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Current Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Previous Handling Restrictions: LIMDIS
Archive Status: Electronic Telegrams
Type: TE
Locator: TEXT ON MICROFILM, TEXT ONLINE
Reference(s): 75 PHNOM PENH 4547
Executive Order (E.O.): GS
Markings: Margaret P. Grafeld Declassified/Released US
Department of State EO Systematic Review 05 JUL 2006
Enclosure: -- N/A or Blank --
Concepts: -- N/A OR BLANK --
TAGS: Cambodia [CB]
Consular Affairs--Visas [CVIS]
Office: -- N/A or Blank --
Document Character Count: 1599
Date: 1975 March 14, 02:11 (Friday)
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01 STATE 057276
61
ORIGIN EA-06
INFO OCT-01 SS-14 ISO-00 NSC-05 NSCE-00 PM-03 INR-05
CIAE-00 DODE-00 VO-01 PRS-01 SCA-01 OPR-01 SSO-00
SP-02 INRE-00 /040 R
DRAFTED BY EA/LC:BSKIRKPATRICK:DPW
APPROVED BY EA - MR. MILLER
EA/LC - MR. RIVES
SCA/VO - MR. SCHLOSS (SUBS)
AID - MR. MERRILL
AID - MR. SALVO (SUBS)
DOS/ISA - COL. CHING
--------------------- 042838
O 140211Z MAR 75
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY SAIGON IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 057276
LIMDIS
E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CVIS, CB
SUBJ: ORPHAN EVACUATION - FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN
REF: PHNOM PENH 4547
1. AID CONFIRMS THAT FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN IS A RELIABLE
ORGANIZATION WHICH CAN BE EXPECTED TO ARRANGE ADOPTION FOR
CAMBODIAN ORPHANS IN THE UNITED STATES OR CANADA.
2. AID CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT ADOPTION WILL TAKE PLACE BE-
CAUSE, ACCORDING TO OUR LAST CONVERSATION WITH MS. GRANT
LITTLE PAPER WORK HAS BEEN DONE ON SOME OF THE CHILDREN
CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 02 STATE 057276
AND THEY MIGHT NOT MEET LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR IMMIGRATION
OR ADOPTION. THOSE ORPHANS FOR WHOM ADOPTION CANNOT BE
ARRANGED WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO STAY IN SAIGON INDEFINITELY
UNLESS THE CONGRESS PASSES A SPECIAL BILL TO ALLOW THEM IN.
3. REGARDING ASSURANCE OF TRANSPORTATION OF ORPHANS TO
SAIGON, WE ASSUME YOU ARE WORKING ON SUITABLE ARRANGEMENTS.
DEPARTMENT, AID AND DOD WOULD APPRECIATE KNOWING IN ADVANCE
ARRANGEMENTS FOR TRANSPORTATION INCLUDING TYPE OF CRAFT IN-
VOLVED AND FUNDING PROVISIONS IF ANY. INGERSOLL
CONFIDENTIAL
NNN



Cable 3/4

Canonical ID: 1975PHNOM04845_b
Subject: ORPHAN EVACUATION - FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN (FFAC)
From: Cambodia Phnom Penh
To: Department of State, Secretary of State, Vietnam Ho Chi
Minh City
Original Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Current Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Previous Handling Restrictions: -- N/A or Blank --
Archive Status: Electronic Telegrams
Type: TE
Locator: TEXT ON MICROFILM, TEXT ONLINE
Reference(s): 75 SAIGON 2969
Executive Order (E.O.): GS
Markings: Margaret P. Grafeld Declassified/Released US
Department of State EO Systematic Review 05 JUL 2006
Enclosure: -- N/A or Blank --
Concepts: -- N/A OR BLANK --
TAGS: Cambodia [CB]
Consular Affairs--Visas [CVIS]
Office: -- N/A or Blank --
Document Character Count: 1084
Date: 1975 March 17, 11:22 (Monday)
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01 PHNOM 04845 171141Z
44
ACTION EA-10
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 SR-02 ORM-01 AID-05 OPR-02 IGA-01 SSO-00
SCS-03 SCA-01 IO-10 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PM-03 H-02 INR-07
L-02 NSAE-00 NSC-05 PA-01 PRS-01 SP-02 SS-15 USIA-06
VO-03 /083 W
--------------------- 084944
P R 171122Z MAR 75
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9825
INFO AMEMBASSY SAIGON
C O N F I D E N T I A L PHNOM PENH 4845
E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CVIS, CB
SUBJ: ORPHAN EVACUATION - FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN (FFAC)
REF: SAIGON 2969
1. AS REPORTED REFTEL, THE FFAC EVACUATION OF 43 ORPHANS WAS
SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED TODAY. USAID ASSISTED IN THEIREVACUATION, AND THEY ALL LEFT ON A C-47 SUPPLIED BY SAIGON.
ALTHOUGH THE AIRPORT HAS BEEN HIT BY ROCKETS DURING THE DAY,
THE DEPARTURE ITSELF WENT SMOOTHLY.
2. THE FFAC-SUPPORTED CANADA HOUSE ORPHANAGE WILL CONTINUE
TO OPERATE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE FFAC KHMER LOCAL STAFF.
WHEN THE SHARET SISTERS LEFT, THEY TOLD THE EMBASSY THAT
THEY HOPE TO RETURN AS SOON AS THE SITUATION IMPROVES.
DEAN
CONFIDENTIAL
NNN


Cable 4/4

Canonical ID: 1975SAIGON02969_b
Subject: ORPHAN EVACUATION - FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN (FFAC)
From: Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City
To: Cambodia Phnom Penh, Department of State, PENH, Secretary
of State
Original Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Current Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Previous Handling Restrictions: -- N/A or Blank --
Archive Status: Electronic Telegrams
Type: TE
Locator: TEXT ON MICROFILM, TEXT ONLINE
Reference(s): 75 PHNOM PENH 4643
Executive Order (E.O.): GS
Markings: Margaret P. Grafeld Declassified/Released US
Department of State EO Systematic Review 05 JUL 2006
Enclosure: -- N/A or Blank --
Concepts: -- N/A OR BLANK --
TAGS: Cambodia [CB]
Consular Affairs--Visas [CVIS]
Office: -- N/A or Blank --
Document Character Count: 969
Date: 1975 March 17, 04:30 (Monday)
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01 SAIGON 02969 170507Z
17
ACTION EA-10
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 VO-03 SCA-01 SR-02 ORM-01 AID-05 IO-10
PM-03 NSC-05 SP-02 SS-15 OMB-01 TRSE-00 IGA-01 L-02
H-02 CIAE-00 INR-07 NSAE-00 DODE-00 PRS-01 SSO-00
NSCE-00 INRE-00 EUR-12 /084 W
--------------------- 081998
O R 170430Z MAR 75
FM AMEMBASSY SAIGON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3715
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
C O N F I D E N T I A L SAIGON 02969
E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CVIS CB
SUBJECT: ORPHAN EVACUATION - FRIENDS FOR ALL CHILDREN (FFAC)
REF: PHNOM PENH 4643
1. AT 1210 HRS. MARCH 17 THE MOVEMENT OF 43 ORPHANS FROM
PHNOM PENH TO SAIGON WAS COMPLETED. DR. STARK, USAID PEDIATRICIAN,PLUS TWO REGISTERED NURSES AND FIVE LADIES WHO SERVE WITH FFAC
ACCOMPANIED. FORMALITIES AT TAN SON NHUT WERE ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT
INCIDENT.
2. AS THIS TELEGRAM IS BEING DISPATCHED, THE ORPHANS ARE NOT THE
ONLY ONES HEAVING A KING SIZE SIGH OF RELIEF.
LEHMANN
CONFIDENTIAL
NNN

Edited by CanadaHouse1975 : May 30, 2015, 9:28 am
IP: --   

Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
LydiaRossi
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Post Group: Elite Member
Posts: 296
Status:

Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
It looks like it was Air America that sent the plane to your rescue.
A couple of the original AVG Flying Tigers did end up flying for that airline. Notably Erik Shilling.
The photo you sent before of the children being helped into the airplane showed a plane that the Flying Tiger Airline would not have been flying in the 1970s They were into Boeing 707s and DC8s at that time; 4 engine jets.
I did ask around at the recent reunion of FTL Pilots and even the older guys did not remember any flights into Cambodia.
Good luck in finding those pilots!


Edited by LydiaRossi : May 30, 2015, 11:47 am
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Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
CanadaHouse1975
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Posts: 7
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Dear Lydia,

Thank you again and for asking around at the reunion you attended a few weeks ago.

Is there anyone who can help me find Mr.Erik Shilling? Or is there anyone who could help me identify the Flying Tigers pilot who may have piloted a C-47 at that time, as per the cables, under an Air America's operation?

I'm still hoping to find him or these pilots. 


Thank you!
IP: --   

Looking for Flying Tigers pilots who were in Cambodia 1975.
LydiaRossi
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Post Group: Elite Member
Posts: 296
Status:

Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
I'm recommending that you try at the website of CNAC. Some of those have connections with Air America and CAT airlines. I'm thinking specifically of Felix Smith.
Unfortunately Erik Shilling passed away a few years ago.
www.cnac.org

Edited by LydiaRossi : May 30, 2015, 2:50 pm
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