The Story

Father Missed His Plane

Father Missed His Plane – By Vincent Lee

On April 12, 1975, just days before Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge seized control of Phnom Penh, Vincent’s father missed a chance to take his family and leave Cambodia on a US Marine Corp helicopter. Had they boarded the chopper, Vincent would not have had to endure four years of brutality and starvation. He and his family somehow survived the genocide, but then found themselves destitute when they returned to the ruined city that was once their home.

In 1980, along with his sixty-four-year-old grandmother, Vincent risked his life to cross the landmine-filled Cambodian jungle to reach a refugee camp in Thailand.

Father Missed His Plane is a powerful real-life story of a boy surviving the Killing Fields of Cambodia. His experience as a refugee who ultimately found sanctuary has a special poignancy in today’s global political climate.


The book front cover picture was taken by Lee’s father in the early 70s near the Royal Palace before Phnom Penh fell into the hands of the Khmer Rouge. This is one of the priceless pictures of Vincent that survived the regime along with the family. 


在他对澳大利亚电视台SBS的首次采访中, “Father Missed His Plane” 的作者李腾辉(Vincent Lee)讲述了他在柬埔寨红色高棉种族灭绝里的儿童经历。

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