The Wreck of a T-28 Plane from the Secret War in Laos.
Above Photo: T-28s at Long Tieng, the CIA’s secret air base in Laos (Panormio)
When the US pulled out of the Vietnam War and the Secret War in Laos, it left its Royalist allies in Laos with 75 T-28 planes for them to use against the communist Pathet Laos and North Vietnamese Army.
A considerable number of these versatile planes were shot down, and they can now be found in museum grounds and buildings all over Laos.
Mostly flown by some very skilled Hmong tribesmen and Laotian volunteers, Air America and Thai pilots also secretly flew them on bombing runs and in close air support missions in Laos, because finding enough local pilots was always difficult.
The most famous and highly regarded Laotian T-28 pilot was Captain Lee Lue, who was Hmong and who trained as a pilot after having been a schoolteacher.
During the Secret War, Lee Lue flew more combat missions than any other pilot in Laos, often as many as ten a day.
Lee Lue averaged 120 combat missions a month and flew more than 5,000 sorties out of the CIA’s secret airbase at Long Tieng.
Unfortunately, he was eventually shot down and killed over Laos near Muong Suoi on July 12, 1969, but he is rightly remembered as a hero by former Royalist Laotians and Americans he fought alongside of.
Our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.
See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil.
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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