“The Fall of Saigon: FedEx Aircraft Mechanic Reflects on Journey from War 40 Years Later” –An amazing story

This post is to honor someone who deserves to be recognized.  Sometimes the job of flying puts us in contact with amazing individuals.  I have been fortunate to meet quite a few in my lifetime and perhaps that will be a topic for another post.  This is a story of one of them. In August 2014 I carried a remarkable individual on my jumpseat.  He did not think his story impressive, but I strongly disagreed!  The very next day I sent the following email to one of the FedEx corporate communication people I had worked with on various projects:

“Let night I had the honor of carrying one of our mechanics, Mr. Do, on the jumpseat.  I invited him to ride up front, and during conversation I found out that he is quite a remarkable man.  It is a long story, but a few details  include that he was part of the South Vietnamese military, and after the U.S. pulled out and Saigon fell, he was captured, placed in a concentration camp, from which he eventually escaped, hid in the jungle, built a boat that he used to attempt to sail to Thailand, had their engine fail, drifted eventually into an oil platform, was rescued, and finally found himself in the U.S.  He has gone back to visit (since it opened), and that is quite a story as well.
I think that this would make a wonderful story, so I am sending his contact information to you in hopes you can either do it yourself or get it to the right person.”

I am honored to say that the story has now been published and you can click on the image below to view it and watch the video.  The URL is also listed below.

fall of saigon

http://about.van.fedex.com/blog/saigon-reflections-40-years-later/

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About Shem Malmquist FRAeS

B-777 Captain. Air Safety and Accident Investigator. Previous experience includes Flight Operations Duty Officer, Assistant Chief Pilot. Line Check Airman, ALPA Aircraft Technical and Engineering Chairman, Aircraft Performance and Designs Committee MEC Chair, Charting and Instrument Procedures Committee, Group Leader-Commercial Aviation Safety Team-Joint Safety Implementation Team (CAST)-Loss of Control-Human Factors and Automation, CAST-JSIT- Aircraft State Awareness. Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, full Member of ISASI, AIAA, IEEE, HFES, FSF, AFA and the Resilience Engineering Association.
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