SAN DIEGO – The daughter of a South Vietnam pilot killed during the Vietnam war has searched for 30 years for the paintings her father made for the U.S. Air Force aviators who trained him.
About three months ago, Erika Colligan's search led her to one of Phan Khoi's former instructors and one of the paintings he made. The painting gave her the first tangible sliver of the father she never got the chance to know.
The San Diego software consultant drove to Texas to meet her father's former Air Force instructor and hold one of Khoi's paintings for the first time. She says she cradled it for 30 minutes and cried.
She has now found more paintings on a journey that has connected with the people in Khoi's life.