Restored “Saigon Lady” to be part of a Vietnam Veterans Memorial

GENESEO – A pilot who escaped Saigon in 1975 visited the National Warplane Museum recently to see firsthand the progress of the restoration of the aircraft he flew during his escape.

Pham Quang Kheim, who served with the South Vietnam Air Force and escaped with his family and more than 50 refugees to Singapore in 1975, visited the museum along with his wife and son on the 45th anniversary of his flight out of Saigon. Kheim was one of the last to leave Saigon before it fell to the North Vietnamese.

Known as the “Saigon Lady,” the Lockheed C-130 aircraft will be the centerpiece of a new memorial to Vietnam veterans being planned for the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo. It was purchased from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The National Warplane Museum, located in Geneseo, is dedicated to the preservation of military aircraft, equipment and the stories of those men and women who served our country at home and abroad. The museum is open seven days per week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information is available at