Singapore Refugee Camp 1975 - 1996

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Singapore Boat people:

If you stayed in this camp, we need your story. Any information is highly appreciated. If you see it here, we'd still like to hear from you. Corroboration is important. We will always need more information. Please email us at vt268tengah@gmail.com

Boat 55 rescue by USS San Jose

Story 1: I do not know the exact time we left, but I was only 9 year old when we escaped in 1981.

Story 2: Mr Johnson who served USS ship. We rescued Vietnamese refugees.

Salut to freedom   Sea pirate   rescue
Thieu, Thieu's daughter & Loi's son   Thieu, Quoc and Dung   Nga and Van
  • I am, Quoc Pham, who was the captain of that small boat which delivered 55 souls to the San Jose in not a very good shape but maybe better than most of other groups. I was a sea captain in trade and was drafted to serve the South Vietnamese Naval Force from 1970 until the Fall of our country.
  • After the war I was send to hard labor camp for 3 years, then the police-controlled area far from home, Saigon, then to the front during the Vietnamese-Pol Pot war to search mines. During the short break from the duty, with help from my late wife, Jan 1979 I escaped to the South to help build boat for the Chinese people to leave the country in government support policy.
  • Because the mass exodus have lost so many people in the sea the United Nations ordered the Vietnamese goverment stop all action.
  • With help from a childhood friend we built the boat right in the heart of Saigon. We took cover as a contractor to ferry goods and people from and to Vung Tau - Saigon. We decided to take the most severed weather to set out to the sea by going under their nose as delegates to their seminar at Can Gio, the other side of Vung Tau.
  • I am sorry I just can't finish the story now. I need sometime to digest what I am having today, which is a lot. In the last couple of years my son had long to connect to his past, especially the trip for his freedom. I hope God will give me enough strength to overcome the emotional for me to complete the whole journey as I can remember.
  • Thank you for your effort of creating a website for us refugees. Please pass along my email to Mr. Johnson as you wish. God Bless you,
  • They assigned our boat name as "San Jose " or "San jose 2".
  • In the first picture, the man on the right hand side of the group is Mr. Dung, my chief mechanic.
  • In the second picture the salut boy is the son of the second mechanic who was the former corporal of South Vietnamese Navy. The son is among the six children and the pregnant wife he brought along the trip. They were all healthy even after four days of rough sea. His name is Loi. Their family later resided to Pennsylvania.
  • I hope I can contact more people.
  • Sometime in Sep 1983 or 1984 my brother wrote an essay about the journey for school and was later published in the Lawrence Tribune. We have no print to prove it but
  • I believe the essay was awarded for interesting story in the Norther Essex Community College, Haverhill, Massachusetts. The teacher was Mr. Brancomb, English Department Head.
Temporary list of 55 refugees:
  1. Family of Quoc Pham: Quoc Pham, Cuu Pham, Tom Pham and Dong Duong: 4 persons
  2. Family of Nguyen Duong My: Nguyen Duong My, Hong Vo, Lily Nguyen, Hoang Nguyen: 4 persons
  3. Family of boat owner Di Nguyen, about 8 persons: 8 persons
  4. Family of Loi, the second mechanic, couple with 6 children, 1 is underway (8 months): 6 persons
  5. The first mechanic Dung: 1 persons
  6. Group of local youth militias : 4 persons
  7. The volunteer to help navigate picking uo along the way: 1 person
  8. Family of Thieu,couple and 1 daughter: 3 persons
  9. The doctor Mr Nguyen: 1 person
  10. Mr Tan: 1 person
  11. Family of Nga Van: 3 persons
  12. Friends of boat owner, 1 with mentally ill: 2 persons
I have no memory of the rest, at least for now.

By Quoc Pham

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