Laotian Hmong immigrants honour CIA 'secret war' pilot





More than 600 people paid their respects yesterday to captain David Harold Kouba, an Iowa man whose dangerous life led him from crop-dusting in Mississippi and Australia to flying missions from 1968 to 1975 during the Central Intelligence Agency's "secret war" in Laos.

It was Kouba who flew general Vang Pao, the CIA's top Hmong leader, out of the agency's embattled headquarters at Long Cheng. A program distributed with services explained:

"On May 14, 1975, among few of the remaining American civilian pilots in south-east Asia, Kouba and chopper pilot Jack Knotts flew the last 'up-country' special assignment to evacuate Jerry Daniels (Hog), who was a CIA case officer, and major general Vang Pao."



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