Lý Tống, disparition de « l’Aigle Noir » (1945-2019)

La communauté vietnamienne exilée évoque la disparition de l’aviateur Lý Tống, alias Aigle Noir, son héros anticommuniste surnommé « le James Bond vietnamien ». Nous avions consacré quelques pages sur les actions de subversion de Ly Tong dans notre mémoire de maîtrise et nous l’avions rencontré à Montréal en 1999. Lire le parcours de ce personnage téméraire et haut en couleurs dans les articles ci-après.

Hoài Hương, « Lý Tống, ‘James Bond Việt Nam,’ qua đời ở tuổi 73 », VOA, 07/04/2019.

« Lý Tống, người hùng cướp máy bay để chống chủ nghĩa cộng sản, từ trần », RFA Vietnam, 08/09/2019.

Phụng Linh Gửi đến BBC từ Nam California, « Lý Tống, phi công Ó Đen của VNCH qua đời », Hai Ngoai Phiem Dam, 06/04/2019. Orange County Register có bài « Ly Tong is a hero, symbol, renegade », và còn nhiều bài khác nữa. Cũng không thiếu người cho Tống là kẻ ngông cuồng, nhưng điều ai cũng đồng ý là không mấy ai quyết lòng theo đuổi tưởng chống Cộng đến cùng như ông.

« Anh hung Ly Tong qua doi, » Thoi Bao The Vietnamese Newspaper, 07/04/2019.

« Lý Tống ! Anh Là Ai ? Một Thời Oanh Liệt », Tin Hôm Nay, 22/05/2012. Récapitulatif.

Ly Tong, South Vietnamese Legend Who Hijacked Planes to Fight Communism, Dies at 74

Ly Tong, a South Vietnamese Air Force veteran who dropped anti-Communist leaflets over Vietnam from hijacked planes long after the war’s end, playing out the fantasies of many defeated soldiers of the south, died on Saturday in San Diego. He was 74. His family said the cause of death was lung disease. A man who never accepted defeat, Mr. Ly Tong considered it his personal mission to take back his country from the Communists, who have ruled it since winning the Vietnam War in 1975.

“I have the duty to liberate my country!” he exclaimed in an interview more than 30 years later. “You cannot enjoy yourself when your whole country is in pain, in torture.”

Mr. Ly Tong became a hero to many Vietnamese refugees in 1992, when he hijacked a commercial airliner after takeoff from Bangkok, ordered the pilot to fly low over Ho Chi Minh City — known as Saigon, South Vietnam’s capital, before the Communist victory — and dumped thousands of leaflets calling for a popular uprising. He then strapped on a parachute and followed the leaflets down to certain capture. He was released six years later in an amnesty and returned to the United States, where he had become a citizen after the war.

In 2000, under the guise of taking flying lessons in Thailand, Mr. Ly Tong made a second trip over Ho Chi Minh City, sending down a new cascade of leaflets, which he had signed “Global Alliance for the Total Uprising Against Communists.” He was arrested on his return to Thailand and spent six years in prison for hijacking. He was not armed, and no one was hurt on either of his flights. “The only thing that matters is the Communists still control my country,” he shouted through a double screen of wire mesh during an interview at Bangkok’s central jail. “I’m a pilot. This is what I can do.” He timed his second flight to coincide with President Bill Clinton’s historic visit to Vietnam, the first by an American president since the end of the war. Soon after Mr. Ly Tong scattered his leaflets, Mr. Clinton was in Hanoi, the capital, where he delivered a very different message: “The history we leave behind is painful and hard. We must not forget it, but we must not be controlled by it.”

As the years passed and a new generation of Vietnamese-Americans accepted the unsentimental facts of history, the veterans’ fantasies of liberation became relics of that distant war. But at the end of his life, it became clear that the legend of Mr. Ly Tong — who proved time and again his loyalty to a country that no longer existed — still compelled devotion. As word spread that his health was failing, visitors converged on his hospital room in San Diego — as many as 200 people on one recent weekend.

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