Major General Homer D. Smith Jr.

Born 16 February 1922

Passed away 6 March 2011 at 2200 hours


My Viet Vet Daddy,

Thank you for having been looking after me, your Linh "baby san."
Thirty-five years ago, on the very last fleeting days before you were ordered by President Gerald Ford from the White House to leave Saigon, you had saved thousands of lives, a repeat of the Schindler's List. I was among them. 

My journey to America by means of the wings of an angel named C-130 took 20 hours, destination was tent-city, Camp Pendleton.
Thirty-five years later, I took another journey, 87 hours round-trips, on the Greyhound bus not far from the Marines Camp, Pendleton, to your hometown San Antonio, home of the Alamo. Your fatherly love and spirit has stayed with me to the very last minute, making sure your adopted son getting to your funeral service just fine, and fine it was, the cab stopped at the door of Fort Sam Houston's Dodd Field Chapel precisely 3 minutes before the service began. Your beloved daughter Karen E.K. was still standing there for me. I was breathless, feeling the goose bumps, being present to your sacred presence...

Dear Daddy, on that fateful day of April 1975 you blessed me with the journey to a heaven on Earth, the U.S.A. Today, March 17, I made a second journey to see you off to the Heaven of love in the kingdom of God...

Linh Duy Vo
17 March 2011, right after the very moving Funeral of Papa MG Homer Duggins Smith, on the Greyhound bus going back to California.


from: E.K. Smith <<<>
to: Linh Vo <>

date: Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 3:14 PM
subject: Fwd: Two Clips of Rory's Grandfather's (My Father) Funeral with Rory in them.

Linh, here is the Fox clip as well.

  Video credit: KSAT-TV SAN ANTONIO

"Last Man to Leave Saigon" Laid to Rest -- Miriam Zamorano

Major General Homer D. Smith was best known as "The Last Man to Leave Saigon" when he left Vietnam in 1975. Today, he was laid to rest at Sam Houston National Cemetery .

After 36 years in the Army, General Smith held countless medals. But he is best known for heading two missions that saved thousands of lives in Vietnam : "Operation Baby Lift" and "Operation Frequent Wind."

"Operation Baby Lift" air-lifted more than 2,000 infants from South Vietnam . And in April of 1975, during the final days before the fall of Saigon , the General evacuated more than 7,000 Americans and Vietnamese in "Operation Frequent Wind."

General Smith died from complications from pneumonia. He was 89 years old, and a true American hero.

Posted by: Jim Bob Breazeale"Last Man to Leave Saigon" Laid to Rest -- Miriam Zamorano

    Fiday, March 18 2011, 06:27 PM CDT


MS. E.K. Smith


Poet's note: Papa San MG James Piner was deputy to Papa Homer in Saigon.


A Fateful Lottery Ticket


(In memory of Major General Homer D. Smith,

16 February 1922 – 6 March 2011)


Three decades and seven years have passed

Since the last helicopter left that roof

The last man left at the eleventh hour: Homer Duggins Smith

He was the last U.S. commanding general.


Saigon .


Dead people walking.

I ran to Tan Son Nhut Airport

The darkness covered my fate

The North Vietnamese communists were around

My name had not been registered

The angelic C-130 was waiting…

The general issued an order,

His soldier put my name on the list…

The life lottery ticket saved me

I will never forget my American Schindler…


Linh Duy Vo

April 2012




© Copyright by Linh Duy Vo.  All rights reserved.