Part II. THE VC COMMANDOS WERE WIPED OUT FROM THE FIRST MOMENT.
Ladies and gentlemen,
- Until today, many of us still confused about the truth of Ban Me Thuot battlefield, because we have no exact document yet.
- In fact, the VC’s commandos could infiltrate the town of Ban Me Thuot in early days of the battle. But they were wiped out from the first moment in battle at “Phung Duc Airfield - B50 base”.
- In Ban Me Thuot battlefield the enemy force completely overwhelm our force. Our side at the time was only one battalion and the Commander of regiment 53rd while the enemy could participate 3 Divisions. (The rate of two sides was about 1%).
- But, the enemy could not breach our defensive line throughout 7 days and nights. However, in the last moments of battle, our leadership from the 2nd Corps Commander had abandoned us while we were fighting fiercely with the enemies.
- So we had no choice, the best way was to break the blockade of the enemy and into the jungle and then we have to overcome over 100 kilometers of forest roads to return to the land of freedom.
- The journey lasted 12 days and nights and we did not have any food. Finally, I returned with a wounded comrade, he was injured on his right arm. How we survived in hungry days? It was still a mystery till now. I believe that the Heaven saved our lives.
Ladies and gentlemen!
- On a day, a day I will never forget it, that was March 9, 1975. At about 4 pm, from the Security Board of Infantry Division 23rd, they called me on the intercom and let me know “The VC would attack tonight” because at the time I was Officer Chief Transmission and Security Board in Artillery Battalion 231st.
- Therefore, that evening about 7 pm, my direct Commander Major DAO DAC DAO he ordered Lt. NGUYEN CUU HOAT and I followed him into B50 base for duty there. (Phung Duc Airport and B50 base was side by side together). Because, the Tactical Operation Center (TOC) of Regiment stationed in there, and we were there ready to face for the battle.
- My job at the time was Fire Coordination Officer at TOC of Regimental Infantry 53rd.
- That night, about 3 am on Mach 10, 1975 while we were sleeping, a very loud explosion during the night “Am . . .”.That did wake up us.
- Followed that the enemy canons fired continuously into our position “Oanh, oanh, xit … oanh”, in the dark the artillery shells fell around us a lot, I could not count them, they like snowing in winter at Minnesota State. It was very horrible.
- We were endured about half an hour in that situation. Shortly, in the sky “Fire Dragon” appears. (Fire Dragon was aircraft dropping flares to illuminate for battlefield).
- When “Fire Dragon” appeared the VC’s anti-aircraft machine guns fired up and leave a glowing space like fireworks of Independent Day in the US. Horrible and horrible!
- In the dark, we have to stare at the scene around. Occasionally, a few black shapes run fast in front of us then disappeared into the night. We did not know who they are.
- We had to endure a few hours in that situation and then when the dawn sky, Lt. Colonel VO AN, he ordered to counterattack. (VO AN was regimental commander).
- He said on the radio: “All levels of military personnel where you are keep your position not moving. Only the platoon of Armored Personnel Carriers raids the targets of VC commandos”. The voice of regimental commander repeated several times.
- We were waiting for the result while a lot of gunshots of machine guns on the Armored Personnel Carriers shooting continuously. “Kong kong kong, kong kong kong . . . Kong kong kong, kong kong kong”.
- Shortly thereafter, our side was completely control the situation in the base. All VC commandos were killed, some VC bodies lying on concertina barbed wire they were shot on the run back to the forest.
- From that moment our side completely controlled the battlefield. That was a reality not controversy. For that, we were fighting throughout 7 days and nights, but the enemy never once breached the defensive lines of our side.
- Thank you.
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