By Vincent Lee

Father Missed His Plane

A real-life story of a boy’s separation from his family, survival
and adversity in the Killing Fields of Cambodia and beyond.


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.

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April 1970, President Nixon decision to invade Cambodia and delivered the nation into the hands of Khmer Rouge. Between 1975 to 1979, over two million lives died under the regime.
In his first interview on SBS Australia, Vincent Lee, Author of "Father Missed His Plane", tells his boyhood experience in the Killing Fields of Cambodia.