Saturday, September 19 2020


Once enemies, Vietnamese and US veteran pilots join hands in Hà Nội

Update: October, 04/2018 - 17:42
Charlie Tutt, a retired US marine and head of the US veteran pilot delegation, speaks at the meeting among Vietnamese and US pilots. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese and American veteran pilots, once enemies in the air during war time, reunited in Hà Nội on Wednesday for the third time.

Present at the gathering were Lt. Gen. Nguyễn Đức Soát, hero of the People’s Armed Forces and head of the Vietnamese veteran pilot delegation; Charlie Tutt, head of the US veteran pilot delegation; representatives from the Air Defence – Air Force Service under the Việt Nam Defence Ministry and veteran pilots of the two countries.

Lt. Gen. Nguyễn Đức Sóat speaks at the meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

In his remarks at the event, Lt. Gen. Nguyễn Đức Soát said the Vietnamese and US veteran pilots met for the first time in Hà Nội on April 13, 2010 and their second meeting took place in San Diego, California, the US, in September seven years later. The third meeting is not only a chance for the aviators to recollect their air battles nearly a half-century ago, but also demonstrates the desire to boost the Việt Nam – US relations as reflected in the motto “From dogfight to detente and cooperation for development,” Soát noted.

Veterans from the US and Vietnam reconcile more than 40 years after the Vietnam war ended. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

This year’s gathering drew fighter pilots from both sides who fought in air battles during the war in Việt Nam more than 40 years ago. Some shot down their enemies; some were shot down. They had the opportunity to tell their stories from back then and learn about each others’ lives at present.

Soát called this type of meetings between Vietnamese and American veteran pilots “historic” and “humane.”

More and more veteran pilots from Việt Nam and the US have become interested in these meetings, which show the strong development of the two countries’ ties, Tutt said. — VNS




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