401. I was 7/5 Recon Company Leader, 7th Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. I had the privilege and honor serving under General Hieu while he was 5th Infantry Division Commander. Although a recon company of a regiment, it was only a few times that my unit got the chance to station in Lai Khe base camp (in order for the troops to rest while the other Recon Company, 5th, 8th and 9th took turn to conduct operation). I cherish a memory about General when our unit was operating in Bui Gia Map area (Phuong Long) and he came all the way down to the battlefield to visit the unit and to operate together with us. Around that time, the 7th Regiment Commander was LTC Pham Van Niem and Deputy Commander was LTC Ly Duc Quan. General Hieu talked to me lengthily and inquired about my welfare, "Do you need any assistance from the division?" I, with my spontaneity of a youngster, responded, "I only ask you to grant me a few weeks of R&R in Saigon and I would be satisfied." For me personally, as well as many soldiers in 5th Infantry Division, General Hieu was the most genuine hero symbol of an ARVN combatant. I did buy your book and kept it with reverence in my private library. (Nguyen Tuong Tuan)
402. I would congratulate you on the posts you have made available on the web since late last year. I will try to find the time to read them all, but the last two especially stand out, the CIA assessment briefs taken on the testimony of Dong and Hieu. The character differences between the two top officers and the contrasting portraits drawn are revealing. Let me say that if these two CIA reports are authentic, they especially corroborate your brother's superior view of complete army command, and Dong's nervous, uncertain legacy. (James Miguez)
403. Here is photo I believe to be BG Cao Hao Hon, Commander, 24th Special Tactical Zone, with headquarters in Kontum. Photo was taken in the Plei Me Special Forces camp after the October 1965 battle. The US Colonel with him is Archie D. Hyle, Senior Advisor to 24th STZ. Photo believed to be taken by Joseph D. Galloway and not available for reprint. The other photo was taken at Duc Co Special Forces Camp following the relief of the camp in August 1965. My source for both photos was Col. Edward B. Smith, Jr., now deceased, who was my boss in Pleiku. Hope these are helpful. (Sol Binzer)
404. The country appreciates him! I thank you - not knowing what to add more, "words" become unnecessary! I was very touched watching the video clip, Hero-Gallantry-Finesse!...very so a flavor of Hanoi (Thang Long)... Free Viet Nam Forever! (Unknown)
405. I visited the webpage mentioning the 5th Infantry Division and the evaluation of officers serving under General Hieu done by the American Advisors. If you still keep this document, would you be so kind as providing me a copy pertaining to Colonel Vu Dang Chong. (Vu Quoc Tuan)
406. Has anyone ever confronted you for telling bold face lies on your website? I cannot believe you are so proud of this.
"Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Minh suddenly asked: "Truong, did you already have a Third Class National Honor Medal?" Colonel [Mach Van] Truong answered: "Not yet, Sir." Lieutenant General Minh hastily picked up a Third Class National Honor Medal and passed it on to President Thieu to be pinned on to Colonel Truong."
Do you seriously think that Honor Medals are handed out like candy? Maybe you should be a little more discriminative when publishing other people's work. Especially when they have extremely biased opinions.
"If one were allowed to visit General Minh's weekend hideout, one would have noticed piles of bags containing gold leaves wrapped in Kim Thanh papers."
This is the one quote which proves to me that you have published flagrant lies. I can't believe you think this shit is true.
"On the contrary, Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Minh, who replaced General Do Cao Tri who died on a helicopter accident in Tay Ninh, treated an elder honest General who was well liked by the population, Major General Nguyen Van Hieu, former 5th Infantry Division Commander, with disrespect and contempt, just because the 8th Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel Bui Trach Dan in 1971 suffered heavy losses in the Snoul withdrawal back to Loc Ninh and Major General Hieu was immediately replaced by Colonel Le Van Hung. (The officer who was more qualified to command the 5th Infantry Division was Colonel Le Nguyen Vy, an honest officer, with many years of experience with the 5th Infantry Division in the 3rd Military Region)."
Also, your brother was treated badly and was replaced because he was asked to come with all his troops and assist Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Minh's men, men who were supposed to be relieved by a squadron of helicopters which were promised to General Tri which never came, during SNOUL. He however took three times, I repeat THREE TIMES as long as it should take to get there, don't ask me why, I wasn't there. He left the men to die. The men that he would have been left in charge of had General Tri promoted him, however he did not. I know that he was General Tri's protege and that he expected to gain that position and that he was very upset about it. I also know, however, that a man of valor does not tell lies about other people to make themselves look better.
The men who were actually there would never stoop to this level and bother to correct you, apparently, they hadn't for years, but I am not and I will not let you continue to believe your lies.
I am a relative of Minh Van Nguyen. He is my grandfather and he is dead now, which is why I am writing you. I will not let you slander against him. He was always above even responding to you and would probably be upset that I am corresponding with you now, but I feel I am justified in doing so. I always asked him why he never wrote a book about the war and he always told me he would never write a book because he would want to tell the truth and in doing so, he would have to say bad things about people, which he never wanted to do. That's more than what can be said of you. And I am quite aware of the FACT that General Tri died prior to Snoul. I don't get fantasies and reality confused. These helicopters were promised to him prior to his death and were to come to my grandfather during this battle, but they never came. I personally have sat down with men who were there to ask them about what you have written, specifically to discuss these fallacies I have pointed out in your "factual" accounts because they upset me. I know that you were not there and they were. My whole family has lived in this villa you speak of and have never seen, heard, or even suspected a bag full of gold leaf. Maybe you should try and obtain a copy of the newly published Chien Thang An Loc 1972. I have one and I know these people didn't make stories up to make themselves look better. I am not trying to make you feel badly about any of this, I just want the truth to be known and for you to stop bad mouthing people you don't even know. (Tram Nguyen, defender of justice)
407. Prior to 1975, I was still a small boy and my Dad, Colonel Vu Dang Chong, was seldom at home. Afterwards he was imprisoned in the reeducation camps then passed away. Therefore I know very little about my Dad's military career. However, I heard from my father-in-law - a colonel from the Signal Unit - praising General Hieu been very honest. I admire generals like General Hieu, who were not corrupted by powers and material goods despite the country's situation at that time. (Vu Quoc Tuan)
408. I am a son of Mr. Tran Thanh Phong. I had read the article, "The Military Tandem Tri Hieu", in which you made mention of my father, and I wish to talk to you. Firstly, I would like to present my condolences to you and General Hieu's family and relatives. Secondly, I also like to have the permission to address you as uncle. And finally, I like to contribute to www.generalhieu.com a photo of my father in military attire along with his curriculum vitae, that is you grant me the permission.
My opinion about you: in pursuing to solve the mystery of General Hieu's death, you ought to have spent tremendous energy and pain. I admire you for that, undoubtedly your parents ought to be very satisfied about your work. If you have designed this web site on your own, then you are really superb. It has boosted up the morale of the Vietnamese refugees living far away their motherland. (Tony Tran)
409. Regarding the attached photo, two weeks ago Ministry of Interior people would not let me go to Duc Co, an area I came to know during 1966-67. Instead, I went to the next turnoff (Provincial Route 6C, I guess) and inspected Plei Me. I have been rereading the Plei Me data -- always so excellent -- on your website: www.generalhieu.com/pleime-2.htm. (Jim Michener)
410. I was reading through some comments forward by a Major Doleman and I would like to add a clarification. His comments regarding the lack of combat experience of the 5th Division Senior Advisors is wrong as it concerns LTC Roy Couch and also my father. My father, then LTC Robert Lott, was a Rifle Platoon Leader and later a Rifle Company Commander in the 3rd Infantry Division during the Korean War. I would sincerely and certainly appreciate adding the comment to the paragraph below. I would like to ensure the "record is straight" on my father's behalf.
Thank you for a wonderful website. You honor your brother's memory well. (Robert Lott)
411. I would like to contribute a correction pertaining to Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Vy: he graduated in 1940 from Tong Military Academy, "Ecole Militaire Interarmes d'Extreme Orient - Annexe St Cyr/St Maixent de TONG, Tonkin", which is: The Indochinse Inter-armies School - St Cyr Military Academy Branch/St Maixent in Indochina. (Nguyen Van Thang, Paris)
412. I'm a Vietnamese living in the US. It is my opinion that Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communist) can hardly be blamed for the death of General Hieu, because they consider themselves as having beaten the French and American armies, and would not have to resort to assassinate General Hieu. General Hieu's killer should have been someone with resentment toward him in the South Vietnam government or military milieu; whoever had killed General Hieu should now have the courage to confess his crime. Thanks for considering my idea. (L Tran in Pennsylvania)
413. Great site you have on General Hieu, with tons of articles on the RVNAF! I have a question maybe you can help me with, I'm trying to find which ARVN General was the Chief of the Joint General Staff before General Cao Van Vien, especially during the period March to October 1965. (Stéphane, France)
414. I just found your webpage; I really like its content, and truly respect and admire your brother general Hieu. My father is Tran van Than. He was colonel, Dai Ta Truong Phong Tong Quan Tri, bo Tong Tham Muu until Saigon fell, and had been missing since 4/29/75 at BTTM, Saigon. Will you update my father’s name to your list ? I believe you have lots of contact, and can verify the rank and name of my father. Thank you very much. (Tran Anh Tai)
415. I was extremely happy to hear that the remains of Gen. Hieu have been brought to the U. S. It sure is nice to hear that he is now with his family and in the same crypt as his beloved father! I thought of that possibility some time ago and I am just glad to know that he is now in the U. S. Thanks be to God. I have been meaning to write that article on the predictions Gen. Hieu made concerning the on-going Communist offensive of 1974-75, but for some reason have been delayed. Will get to it soon. Congratulations on the 1 million viewers! I know the general would be happy all-around. (James Miguez)
416. I have read your article "General Schwarzkopf's Naïveté in Ia Drang Battle". In my humble opinion, I am very proud of your article because it shows General Hieu's competency, as well as ARVN's value - in particular recon units'. Your article is magnificent in depicting this historical battle. I also congratulate you regarding the matter of General Hieu finding his peaceful rest in this free country. (Tran Van Thuong)
417. My name is Nguyen Vinh Duc. I have just visited the website of General Nguyen Van Hieu and I decided to contact you for your help. By chance, I saw the name of General Do Kien Nhieu from the list of ARVN's generals and I also know that he had already passed away in San Jose, California. Perhaps if you can help me since I try to contact any of his relatives in VN or overseas. The reason is General DKN has a niece and her name is Do Thi Bich. She was my 5th grade teacher at Hung Vuong elementary school in Saigon before 1975. Her father is an older (or younger) brother of General DKN. Please help me to find my teacher. Your assistant will be greatly appreciated. My contact phone number is (713)382-8747 or my email is email@example.com. (Nguyen Vinh Duc)
418. In all honesty I have to admit I did not know one bit about General Hieu. But after having read articles about the General and talked to a relative who is an ARVN vet, I greatly admire the spirit of those heroes such as Nguyen Van Hieu, Nguyen Khoa Nam, Le Van Hung, Pham Van Phu, Tran Van Hai, Le Nguyen Vy, Ho Ngoc Can and all those who had sacrificed their lives to defend freedom, prosperity, happiness of the people living in South Vietnam. It is unfortunate that these heroes had to live and work side by side with a group of irresponsible and immoral individuals in the Saigon governmental apparatus before 1975 (there is numerous information saying General Toan lived in debauchery and carried a bad reputation while in power). However, it is all bygones. I hope that as Vietnamese we have learned the lesson to allow the young generation to continue the work of the precedent generation in rebuilding the Vietnam house with plenty of Freedom, Prosperity, Happiness, Justice, Charity. Let's pray to those who had lied down their lives that they protect our Vietnamese people. (Nguyen Vinh Duc)
419. My name is Ho Xuan Thuan, currently residing in Houston, Texas. I came to the USA at the same as you and your family which was after the event of 4/30/75. I am very touched and admire General Hieu's patriotism and honesty which transpire through the documents you had collected; these documents gave me the opportunity to read and revere Nguyen Van Hieu, a hero of the Vietnamese who is a role model for every generation, for ancient and modern time. I wrote this letter to thank you for your efforts and to members of General Hieu's family for allowing you to post General Hieu's personal letters that he sent to his beloved wife. His words were genuinely sincere and his love for his wife and children stroke a cord in me. His words demonstrate the great sense of duty of a dedicated man reserves for his country. His honest life humbles me. These letters have taught me immensely. It's priceless. Please convey my appreciation to each member of General Hieu's family and may God comfort everybody; General Hieu's death has provided necessary lessons which allow the next generation to conduct a life worthy of a Jesus Christ's disciple. May God bless you and the entire family. (Ho Xuan Thuan)
420. When I was still attending St John's seminary in Danang either in 1970 or 1971 as a novice of a religious order, one day Major General Nguyen Van Hieu was invited to have lunch at the seminary. He was introduced as a friend of our rector, father Nguyen Binh Tinh (presently retired bishop of the diocese of Danang). For that reason, when I went in a Vietnamese website a couple of years ago, I got the chance to read some of your articles posted in the internet, and came to know one more revered General of Viet Nam. (Hoang Ngoc An)
421. It was a real pleasure to talk with you at the March VN symposium and to learn more about your brother MG Hieu.
I find your website to be very informative; scholars of the VN War will also find it valuable.
Concerning your pictures of VN generals, I found that I had a chart of generals' photos from the Diem period. I don't know if any of these will be of use to you, but I am forwarding them as .jpg attachments to the subsequent two messages.
At the March 2007 conference, I gave the keynote presentation on VN culture. You asked the last question of the session, but time expired and I did not answer your question. You pointed out that I omitted how the Communists had distorted VN history and culture to support their ideology. You are absolutely right. But I lack the language skill and detailed knowledge needed to show how the Communists did this. That is where people like you, Dr. Bich, Nghia Vo, and others can fill in. (James Burton)
422. I just finished reading the book General Hieu, A Hidden Military Gem. I admire you tremendously. You wrote very well; the book is well documented; and the fraternal love expressed in it tells me you are a good person at par with uncle Hieu.
I was well aware of uncle Hieu's perfect personality since I have had several opportunities to meet and converse with him during the years of 1968-1974 and through the praises of other persons.
I usually pay very little attention to military issues and this is the first book I read dutifully from A to Z. The way you depicted the battles with abundant and stark details, in my humble opinion, can only be accomplished with uncle Hieu's guiding hand. I fully believe in the psychic pen phenomenon, because a person who lacks military experience, no matter with whatever amount of researches, can only write in generalities, rather superficially about a battle. It would be difficult for that person to describe the tactics with minute details, the way a military person who was present in, who actually commanded and actively took part in the battles that are narrated in the book. (Loan Hong Vu)
423. General Hieu's website is very interesting. It would be difficult to find all the information pertaining to a competent general of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Viet Nam without the convenience of www.generalhieu.com. Thank you very much for your efforts in gathering the information and for creating General Hieu's website! (Tri)
424. I would like to ask you to do me a favor; that is to post the Vietnamese version of Mrs. Pham Thi Kim Hoang's article about General Le Van Hung. Your website of General Hieu is very beneficial to the next generations who are still concerned and wish to know about our history in general and our nation's heroes such as General Hieu in particular. I sincerely appreciate your accomplishment. (Le Van Hung)
425. I just finished reading General Nguyen Van Hieu's website. I sincerely commend your family for establishing an excellent and elaborate website. In reading and viewing the pictures of the beloved ARVN, I was touched and was furthermore moved in seeing the filial piety General Hieu's children toward their father.
Sir, I have the following suggestion: in the contents pertaining to General Hieu's military career, there is a mention of him being a "su doan truong su doan 1 bo binh", I suggest that you make a correction to conform to the name usage of the ARVN, which is "quyen tu lenh su doan 1 bo binh"; at that time, nobody used the term "su doan truong"; only the VC used the term "su truong" to designate their division commanders. Thank you for this update.
During the time General Hieu was I Corps' Deputy Commander in the year of 1972, I lived in Da Nang. The Army gave me a residence in Phan Ke Binh camp, which was located right next to I Corps Headquarters, about only a few meters away. I was allowed to live with my dad in Da Nang. My dad was 1st Assault Task Force Commander (Loi Ho ?), Bureau of Liaison, garrisoned at the foothill of Non Nuoc's mountain. I was very touched in reading this website, because I was surprised of the amount of similarities between Genera Hieu and my dad, in particular the sudden death of both of them. More than 35 years had passed by … In 2005, we went back to VN and brought back our dad's ashes to France. (Madame Lefébre Thuy, maiden name Nguyen Thi Huong Thuy).
426. First and foremost, congratulations on an excellent and most informative web page. The South Vietnamese story has been shamefully neglected in the war's historiography, and if nothing else, your site provides a bit of redress to that imbalance. I am emailing today in regards to the Plei Me Campaign of 1965. Presently, I am engrossed in writing a manuscript detailing the Viet Cong's big unit military campaign against the United States from August of 1965 to August of 1966. Given the H-15 Main Force Battalion's participation in the early morning attack of Nov. 15th, I was naturally drawn to your site's extraordinary emphasis on extracting the truth from that period of time (October-November, 1965) in the Central Highlands. In particular, I would like to ask you about the shifting rationale for the NVA offensive. Like you, I have never believed the claim that the intent of the Plei Me siege, ambush of an ARVN relief force et al, was merely a ruse to draw American troops into a trap in the Ia Drang Valley. If so, why were the 66th Regiment's subordinate battalion commanders caught with their respective pants down when elements of the 1st Cavalry Division touched down beneath the Chu Pong massif? It doesn't make sense. There are number of other issues I would like to discuss with you as well.
About me: I am a junior member in the Center for Threat Awareness and a contributing writer to their website, www.threatswatch.org. Additionally, I have had works published in a number of other publications, including Cold War Times. Incidentally, Merle Pribbenow, whose article in Military review about the Ia Drang Valley fighting you re-publish on your site, has been assisting me in my work. (Warren Wilkins)
427. I have just read some of your information on my grandfather, Tran Quang Khoi. He now resides in South Riding, and has not been in Springfield for years. Just a minor detail in case you want to update your info on your website... Thank you for your time. (Tran Quang Phu)
428. I am looking for the address of General Nguyen Khanh, a cousin of my father who had passed away, in order to contact him; I had met him during his exile in Paris in 1972; thank you for your response, and applause for your site. (Yves Dang)
429. I am working on a story that concerns Gen. Dang van Quang. He lives in Sacramento now. I read the profile on Dang on your website, and I wondered how much more you might be able to tell me. (R.V. Scheide, Senior Staff Writer, Sacramento News & Review)
430. As an antique dealer and expert in military wards and medals, I take the liberty in contacting you regarding various awards belonging to general Tran Van Minh that you mention in your remarkable site. I want to be sure that I have described accurately the items in question et would like to have your opinion on this subject.
Here is the page where these items are posted: http://jpalthey.free.fr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=663&Itemid=44
Thanking you in advance and standing by at your disposition in case you need more information. (Nicolas Botta-Kouznetzoff)
431. I stumbled into the list of ARVN generals in generalhieu; I would like to contribute a comment: Rear Admiral Tran Van Chon's C.V. indicated he was born in 1929. Although I do not know which year he was born, but I know he was the fourth child in the family. His eldest sister was born in 1916 and his ninth brother in 1924 (?) or 1925 (?); which, in my humble opinion, places Rear Admiral Chon's birth date in 1918 or 1929 but not 1929.(Ngo thuy Hoang Mai) 1
432. I'm trying to get in touch with the Vietnamese generals Le Minh Dao and Tran Quang Khoi. I know they are living somewhere in the United States, but sadly I was not able to track them down with the help of the US telephone book. Is it perhaps possible that you have their addresses, and could help me out? I am trying to send those two a letter, asking some questions about their time in South Vietnam and for an autograph, as they're both very important for everybody who is interested in Asian history. Thank you so very much for your time and effort, I am really looking forward to hearing from you! Best wishes for the rest of the week, and many greetings from Germany! (André Eickelmann)
433. It was not until recently that I had the chance to read the website that you have painstakingly created for many years. Having the same opinion as the other readers, I would like to express my admiration and sorrow toward General Nguyen Van Hieu, one of competent and virtuous generals of the ARVN of the Second Republic of South Vietnam, before April 30, 1975.
Through the documents presented on the web as well as related details mentioned in the books you had published, the readers in general have the following two understandings regarding the main purpose of the author:
(i) to pay tribute to General Nguyen Van Hieu, who is also your brother, in relating the life and the terrific career of General Hieu, that were imprinted at battlefields spread out in almost all of the 4 military regions.
(ii) to raise questions marks around General Hieu's death. A death shrouded in mystery that occurred right at the critical point of the military and political situation of South Vietnam.
You have spent enormous time and efforts to achieve a wonderful website named generalhieu.com as witnessed by the readers nowadays. I personally admire your determination and persistence. Your work has allowed me to revisit the military events of the last some more than three decades, which lead the readers to assess you to be a military historian of high caliber. Furthermore, the readers also appreciate your democratic mind as shown on your website. You respect the readers' opinions and posted even emails expressing different and opposite views. These opinions, however, only represent one percent when compared with overwhelming appreciative emails of readers coming from all over the world. Among the one percent opinions, I single out the following two:
(i) the comments of Huy Phuong, a military writer, in the book's presentation event, introducing the 'essay' of Nguyen Van Tin writing about General Hieu, organized at San Jose.
(ii) the email of a young reader Tram Nguyen (chien si cong ly), criticizing you for writing "untruthfully", leading to misunderstanding and slandering when General Nguyen Van Minh, former III Corps Commander(also Capitol Special Military Zone Commander and Saigon-Giadinh Governor), was mentioned by the author. General Nguyen Van Minh was assigned III Corps Commander, in replacement of General Do Cao Tri, died in a helicopter accident at Tay Ninh East airport, at Trang Lon, Tay Ninh, in the morning of February 23, 1971.
I cannot remain silent after reading the email, in the "readers' comments", of Tram Nguyen, General Minh's grand daughter, a third generation in the Vietnamese refugee's community after April 1975. Furthermore, I was an Aide to General Nguyen Van Minh for five years until the Communists took over South Vietnam.
As General Minh's aide, I had close and frequent contacts with both Division and Corps Commanders, in all meetings, official with the presence of the General Staff, as well as regular conversations between the two commanders. In those encounters, I befriended Lt. Lien (General Hieu's attache). Consequently, when everybody was shocked by the news of General Hieu's accidental death in his office, I wondered immediately:
(1) Why did General Hieu remain at III Corps to be the assistant of someone he had personnally investigated for and accused of corruption, not long before?
(2) Why General Hieu's family members did not contact his attache to get more information? (I deemed Lt Lien was still his attache, and I had also tried hard to hear directly from him what really happened; unfortunately, I did not succeed in that attempt).
Sir, I would not guarantee the following, but I promise I will make contribution to your website with detail pertaining to General Nguyen Van Hieu. Obviously, I cannot avoid making mention about my Master, my Superior, who was General Nguyen Van Minh. As for these two generals, I found in them similar traits that I should emulate, if I wanted to advance in my military career. I will gradually sent to you the following detail:
- III Corps and MR3 after General Do Cao Tri's death.
- Cross-border Operation, the retreat from Snoul.
- Additional thoughts regarding General Nguyen Van Hieu's death.
(Please post the following message: I need to contact urgently Nguyen Minh Tuan and family - please email to Nguyen Ngoc Tung, firstname.lastname@example.org; thank you) (Nguyen Ngoc Tung)
434. I hope the package of three lists of ARVN Graduates of US C&GSC was a suitable Christmas present for your site!! I knew that I had these lists, but could not find them on my bookshelves. I thought that they were lost during one of our moves. My wife and I were cleaning out the basement of storage boxes and there they were. I am happy to share these with the readers of your site. (Adam Sadowski)
435. I had the honor and privilege of serving as Senior Advisor to the 3d Bn, 9th Regiment for approximately four months in 1964. It was probably the most rewarding assignment of my Army career. Is there any sort of group or association for veterans and advisors of the 5th Division? If so, I would very much like to become a member. (Robert B. Church - LtCol (Retired), US Army)
436. For quite a long while, I have stopped communicate with you. However, I and many other veterans have been visiting frequently General Hieu's website. I would like to share with you some of our opinions regarding the time General Hieu served at 1st Division.
One very accurate document that can help you verify what Mr. Duong Dien Nghi wrote to you is the Military Curriculum Vitae of Lieutenant General Tran Thanh Phong, which is posted in the section of generals in generalhieu.com maintained by you. This document was established by the General Office of Personnel and recorded in detail the military career of each individual military personnel, and was issued to General Phong's family after his accidental death.
In this document, there is the following information: on 11/3/1965, Colonel Phong was assigned 1st Division Commander (two days after the 11/1 coup). The transfer order was signed on 11/11/1963. Therefore, immediately after the coup, Colonel Phong became 1st Division Commander. I interviewed General Phong during the time he was 5th Division Commander (1965) in Binh Duong; I was a battlefield reporter for the newspaper Chanh Dao, and had not joined the army yet. General Phong mentioned that immediately after the coup, Lieutenant General Don (his brother-in-law) appointed him 1st Division Commander in replacement of General Tri who was concurrently corps commander.
In the book Viec Tung Ngay of Doan Them, it was clearly indicted that the date Colonel Tri was promoted to Major General was on 7/12/1963 (page 354, Hai Muoi Nam Qua, 1945-1964 Viec Tung Ngay). Pertaining to the replacement of General Le Van Nghiem by General Tri, the events unfolded as following:
In 9/1963, President Diem appointed General Tri 1st Division to hold concurrently the position of interim I Corps Commander (General Nghiem was dismissed from his position because he was a Buddhist and sided with the Buddhist movement). In 10/1963, General Tri officially held concurrently the positions of 1st Division and I Corps Commander. In the interim period, Lieutenant Colonel Hieu, Chief of Staff assumed the command of 1st Division.
General Hieu was promoted to functional Lieutenant Colonel before the 11/1/1963 coup. Many 1st Division former officers confirmed this fact. On 11/1, he was made colonel de facto.
There are many other details pertaining to the article Mr. Nghi wrote to you that many among us think he made up; in this letter, I only touched upon what pertains to General Hieu, in his role and position in reference to General Tri and General Phong, which are facts that could verify the veracity of what Mr. Nghi wrote to you. You only need to go to the site of General Phong in your website, where you can find the military curriculum vitae of General Phong for that. May I note to you that this military curriculum vitae is the product of the General Office of Personnel, which could not have make mistake.
Those are a few thoughts I would like to share with you. And as I had suggested before, you should summarize the epic life of General Hieu in order to write a small size book like other memoirs for easy diffusion. I personally have written several articles about General Hieu, posted in a few newspapers. Unfortunately, due to house moving, they were lost. (Vương Hồng Anh)
437. Please accept my compliments for your great website about your brother and your great country. I'm a student from Germany and I'm very interested in the Vietnamese history. Last month I was in contact with Mr. Nguyen Cao Ky in California, he is a very kind man. I want to ask you if you know more Former Leaders of South Vietnam like Nguyen Van Loc, Tran Thien Khiem or Nguyen Ba Can still residing in the states. Kind regards from Germany. (Marc)
438. My name is Vu Thien Co, son of Mr. and Mrs. Vu Van Xuong. I was lead to reading Uncle Hieu while I was searching information on Di Linh Leprosarium, where I had sent some charity money. From there I ventured into generalhieu.com website. I devoured in the articles you wrote about Uncle Hieu in two days. All of a sudden a multitude of memories about the Uncle that knew and respected prior to my departure for studies to the United States rushed back to my mind. I still remember the time I met Uncle Hieu when I attend an anniversary gathering at my maternal grandmother in Thi Nghe. Uncle Hieu's face expression was engaging, and his voice was so soft. I still remember that Uncle Hieu was genuinely inquiring about in my well-being … When Uncle Hieu died, I learned from my parents that his was killed by General Toan.
I honestly do not have sufficient time and knowledge in order to find out more about the battles described on your website, and thus I only read the links pertaining to Uncle Hieu's mysterious death. In my way of thinking, Uncle Hieu ought to be under the threat of two people. It could be that one pointed his gun from behind while the other stood in front holding a gun on his right hand, pressed his gun on Uncle Hieu's right side chin and released the trigger. One individual alone could not be able to come close to him and pointed and shoot the gun that easily. I think that at the moment Uncle Hieu thought that he was under threat simply, and did not think he would be shot to dead. That was why, he allowed the assassin to come close and press the gun at his chin, and shoot the bullet up his head.(Vu Thien Co)
439. I served with HHC 1st Airborne Infantry Brigade 1st Cavalry Division(Airmobile) in the Republic of Vietnam, as a Combat Medic and a Grenadier (after I returned from the hospital in Japan) 1965 - 1967. I will try to find your book about this great man and General, at Barnes and Nobles. Maybe someday the entire country of Vietnam will see what a Gem they had. I have read both books by General Moore, and I sure would like to be able to read yours. I work with a Doctor Nguyen here at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. (Michael J. Cahalan)
440. I am a history major here at the Air Force Academy, recently I started researching on my family’s perspective of the Vietnam war and ran into the book the Twenty Five Year Century by General Lam Quang Thi, I grew up hearing stories about the refugee situation but recently I started learning about the large role and success of the South Vietnamese military, I grown to be very proud of that legacy from what I’ve learn from the book and what I’ve heard from officers here who served in Vietnam. If possible do you know how I could get my copy signed by General Lam Quang Thi I would very much appreciate it thank you. (C2C Timothy Truong, United States Air Force Academy, CS-11 Rebels, C-1 Element Leader)
441. You have obviously put a lot of work into the website and obviously know a great deal about the 22nd ARVN Division. I have some questions for you: What battalions comprised the 4 battalions of the 47th Regiment in 1966? the three in Tuy Hoa and the one in Phu Bon. Can you put me in contact with any of the commanders for the 47th Regiment and its battalions for 1966? I am researching the "Rice Wars" in Phu Yen Province in 1966 which included the following units: 47th ARVN Regiment - Phu Yen RF and PF forces - 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division - 2nd ROK Marine Brigade/26th ROK Regiment, Capital Division - 4th Infantry Division (November/December 1966 only) - 1st Air Calvary Division (June 20 - July 1 1966 only). I would like to include accounts from the 47th Regiment if possible. Thanking you in advance for any assistance you can give me. It was a very good thing you did on your site about General Hieu. I recently help Dr. Andrew Weist with his recent book "Saigon's Forgotten Army." It is important that the history be written. (Courtney Frobenius, Olympia, WA)
442. I just read Pleime Battle's Diary. It's absolutely fascinating. Lucky that I was there (Pleime) 18 months ago. I could follow your brother's account quite easily. It was interesting to read your brother speak about there having been what you might call a dress rehearsal at Duc Co. That makes a lot of sense, especially in light of what would follow: Pleime and Ia Drang. (James Michener)
443. I have enjoyed your wonderful website. My sincere thanks for your labor. One thing I have noticed in my researching of ARVN is a general lack of information relating to the ARVN units. Information such as what units (regiments, battalions and companies) made up an ARVN division and their equipment is very hard to find. Can you direct me to where this information might be available. Thank you. (Carl Rugenstein)
444. I am Colonel Nguyen Xuan Mai's son, former 5th Infantry Division, based on my research through books and newspapers and information of close relatives. I oftentimes visit General Hieu's website and admire greatly General Hieu. If every soldiers in the ARVN were like General Hieu then Viet Nam probably would not fall into the Communists' hands because of corruption, decadence and partisanship ... I will buy your book about General Hieu. The purpose of my writing to you is to make contact with my dad's former friends, like Colonel D.D. Chinh and Colonel Huy who had served at 5th Infantry Division. (Nguyen Xuan Quang, email@example.com)
445. If there is no problem, I would like you to give me Dung's email address (General Hieu's son). We were classmates of class 773 of Thu Duc Infantry School, same 24th company, 2nd bataillon (purple neckerchief). (Thach)
446. I am Binh, Nguyen Thanh Banh's son, class 16 Dalat. While searching Google, and stumbled into Genereal Nguyen Van Hieu's website. I have read several articles; but one article talks about "The Pleime Battle"; in B group, it was mentioned that Lieutenant Nguyen Thanh Banh if class 15 Dalat was a company leader. Since I don't know if is a case of same names, or a mistake of classes, I allow myself to bother you in order to get more information about my father. (Truong Nguyen Thanh Binh, firstname.lastname@example.org)
447. The honor should be restored for the military and official personnel of South Vietnam. The ARVN had been stabbed on the back, which caused the South to lose to the VC:
I call upon the authorities to solve a criminal case that occurred 34 years ago, in order to help General Nguyen Van Hieu's family come to grip with an important issue. General Hieu was a beloved ARVN competent general officer. He was honest and clever, dedicated in every function. For justice's sake, the entire body of military and civilian authorities must joint forces to find the perpetrator who had cowardly assassinated General Nguyen Van Hieu. General Hieu's soul would only rest in peace when we are able to put shackle on the assassin's hands.
I have never join the army; I did not know General Nguyen Van Hieu. But based on two facts: 1) General Hieu's military feats and his anti-corruption endeavors; 2) the amounts of researches realized by General Hieu's brother about his military career, I think that it is the duty of whoever considers himself to be a Vietnamese citizen to contribute in the efforts of discovering General Hieu's assassin, in order to bring some solace to relatives (which is the least that one can do).
Updated document: Nghị Án/NVH/Tướng Hiếu chết chưa hay chiều (Bui Nhu Hung)
448. I have read the article written by General Tran Quang Khoi Chân dung người chiến sĩ thiết giáp kỵ binh và biệt động quân trong hai năm cuối của cuộc chiến tranh Việt Nam (1974-1975) - Trận Đức Huệ. After numerous failed attempts to find General Khoi's address, I found your site with your email address with the hope of contacting General Khoi.
I am a friend of LTC Cao Huu Nhuan's son, who was 46th Regiment Commander/25th Division ARVN. I have seen proofs that show General Khoi did not have his correct name. He wrote: "Sau đó quân địch pháo kích tập trung hỏa lực thẳng vào căn cứ Phước Chỉ bằng hỏa tiễn 107 ly và 122 ly, khiến Trung Tá Cao Xuân Nhuận, trung đoàn trưởng Trung đoàn 46/SĐ25BB bị tử thương.". The correct name is Cao Huu Nhuan. I have the following backup proofs: death's notification issued by the 25th Division, newspaper obituary clips well preserved, he was posthumously promoted to colonel and awarded the National Medal/3rd degree, Valor Medal/bronze. All these objects are still well kept by his family. His tomb is still at the Bien Hoa Military Cemetery.
The purpose of my email is to hope that the name of my friend's father can be corrected because it is part of the history. If it is not within your control, then please forward this email to General Tran Quang Khoi. (Vuong Nhan)
449. I am a British military historian based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. I have a long-term interest in the Vietnam War. I have friends who served in the ARVN and I have been to Vietnam a couple of times. I am currently researching a book on the Western Highlands Campaign of 1965 (in which your brother played a distinguished part) for Kansas University Press, and have recently obtained a copy of your book about him. I have already conducted quite a lot of primary research in the US archives. I have seen reference in your material on the web to a history of the ARVN II Corps or an ARVN II Corps history of the campaign in the Western Highlands in 1965 (I was not quite clear on this). If such a history is still existent (or if fragments of it still exist) I would be extremely interested. It is, as you know, very difficult for historians to get good material on the war from the South Vietnamese viewpoint. I would also be most interested in getting in touch with any ARVN officers or enlisted men of your acquaintance who served in the Highlands in the 1956-65 period or in any histories, diaries or letters of this period and this theatre of operations written by ARVN, RVNAF or South Vietnamese government personnel. (Paul Harris)
450. I enjoyed reading the conversation between you and former Major- General Lê Minh Dao (I followed the link from the Wikipedia entry on General Dao). Your English is very good: there are certainly less errors in that translated transcript than there would be in an text of the same length written in Vietnamese by me. However, I wondered if you would like to see a suggestion on how that text could be written in more natural English. If so, I've pasted it in below. If not, please ignore this email. Thank you for the effort you have put into making accurate information available online. Please accept my sympathy for the death of your brother.
I found General Hieu's Page very informative, and preferred its personal touch to the impersonal histories and political statements. You make it so much more real to those of us who remember those times, and maybe also to those who are too young to remember. And for everyone who lost a member of their family in the war, your page is a lasting memorial, a reminder that their loved ones aren't forgotten. (Clytie Siddall)
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