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  • John 8:41 am on July 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , vietnam   

    Dawn’s Father Was A Door Gunner in Vietnam 

    Dawn described her father a lot more in an interview that I saw about good parenting on YouTube. He was a door gunner on a Huey in the Pleiku region of Vietnam, and he did 2 or 3 tours. Coincidentally, I did a post about Pleiku last year, and included some rare photos. It’s a beautiful place.

    When her dad left the service, he had the PTSDs really bad, and would disappear for months or years. He could not cope with basic civilian or family life. He had to keep moving and traveling, partying in order to deal with his trauma. It was a textbook Vietnam vet tragedy. The whole family suffered.

    Whatever happened, dad was always their hero, even though he was not around much and rarely sent money. I think that most kids feel that way about their dad.

    Excerpt from “The Other Hollywood” by Legs McNeil.

    DAWN SCHILLER: After they arrested John, they drove me back to Louise’s house—the stripper—and I stayed there until I heard from my father. He called after he opened the paper and read, “John Holmes was arrested in Miami Beach.”
    He called and asked, “Where are you?”
    I told him where I was, and he came and picked me up and took me back to his place—he had a nice house in Pompano with a pool. My dad just cracked open a beer, and we sat down, and I told him my long, emotional story. He would just sit there and nod, and every once in a while he’d reach into his pocket and break a Quaalude in half, and just hand me one, and open me another beer.
    When I was done with the story, I got the spins, and I’m like, “Dad, I have to puke.”
    He says, “It’s all right, babe.” He walked me down the hall to the bathroom, and he held my hair while I just heaved my guts up.
    It was like the nicest thing my dad ever did for me—holding my hair when I puked.

     

     
    • localarts 10:12 am on July 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That explains a lot. Did Schillers dad know John Holmes was screwing his 15 yo daughter?

      • John 11:30 am on July 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes. And when she needed cash to go to Thailand, she worked at an exotic gentlemen’s club. Her dad didn’t have enough to buy her a plane ticket. In The Other Hollywood, she did her audition dance at the club for the manager, and her dad was at the bar with a friend watching. I’m serious.

        “I’ve got to audition.”
        My dad’s like, “Okay.”
        I was scared to death. I did three straight shots of whiskey and just bit
        the bullet. I had this purple dress on—and that comes off—and I think a
        G-string.
        So I go up there and dance to “Start Me Up” and “Another One Bites
        the Dust.”

        As Shirley Q. Liquor would say, “dats jus nastyy”. Tom Lange STILL had to track her down, Lange was non too happy about casing a strip joint and hanging out in the parking lot for 12 hours to find Dawn. This book is awesome!….

        “When I finished dancing, I put my clothes on and went and talked to the owner. He goes, “You can start tomorrow. . . .” I wanted to leave but my dad says, “Come here a minute. I’ve got to shake your hand. There’s no fucking way in hell I would ever take my clothes off in front of a bunch of people. You’ve got balls.” “

    • localarts 1:13 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thats sick. Vietman likley destroyed her dad’s mind but there is still a rational side as a parent that should kick in at some point.

    • Jill C. Nelson 1:29 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “Tom Lange STILL had to track her down, Lange was non too happy about casing a strip joint and hanging out in the parking lot for 12 hours to find Dawn. This book is awesome!….”

      Dawn neglected to mention any of this story in her own book, but as you’ve read, it’s out there. In her own book Dawn claimed she babysat for “Louise” the stripper — no mention of stripping herself. She also neglected to mention how she supported herself for the large part of seven years while in Thailand which is also detailed in Leg’s McNeil’s book by Dawn.

      Tom Lange and Frank Tomlinson waited in the parking lot together and then Tomlinson went into the club to identify Dawn. He doesn’t drink alcohol so he ordered a soda at the bar. Once they were positive it was her, they followed her after she left the club.

      • John W 3:55 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Jill. I was hoping you would chime in and help with this. I was getting the same conflicts in my head since I read her book. I had read parts of Other Hollywood but now I have the book. Enlightening!

    • Jill C. Nelson 4:15 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Very. 🙂

      • John W 1:07 pm on July 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        And I knew Frank was there… From court tesimony. It’s great that he was there, at that moment. He and Det. Lange are old school gum shoes. I have your book Jill, but it’s size intimidates me… And I will read it soon… Have only looked at the photos. Its like 800 pages! LOL

    • Jill C. Nelson 11:26 am on July 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, it was very good Frank was there. (One of the reasons it’s important that Frank is mentioned with respect to the Florida arrest is because in her book, Dawn wrote that Tom Lange and Tom Blake were the arresting officers in Florida which wasn’t the case. Blake was a vice cop, not a homicide detective.) As you’ll read, Frank was very instrumental in tracking Holmes down in Florida. Tomlinson hadn’t been involved in the L.A. part of the Wonderland investigation, but received permission to hunt John down after the case got cold and he was no where to be found. He started making a few phone calls and got the ball rolling and was able to track him in Florida. Indeed, Lange and Tomlinson made a very effective team.

      I’ll admit, “Inches” is a big book but it was tough to tell the Holmes story in anything less while allowing all of the participants to have a voice. 😉

  • John 12:40 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , vietnam   

    Drug Environment During And After Vietnam War 

    Thanks to reader, James, for sharing this info. Great stuff. Again, if you have not seen the posts on Ron’s Air Force military career, etc, please use the search button. Gracias!

    I am also trying to hook up an interview with one of Ron’s close relatives… stay tuned, kids!

    ************

    I have no empirical research other than historical military research that indicates that the drugs opium, heroin, amytal and seconal were readily available in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Ron served at the Ubon Airbase, the home of America’s major secret bombing campaign of 1966-67.
    “drugs were available to U.S. forces. In 1967 opium cost $1.00 while morphine went for $5.00 per vial. Tablets of Binoctal, an addictive drug consisting of Amytal and Seconal, were available in tablet form from Vietnamese children at from $1.00 to $5.00 for twenty tablets. Although technically a prescription drug, Binoctal was available over the counter at almost any Vietnamese pharmacy for about eight piasters for twenty tablets. Twenty tablets, consumed at once, was a fatal dose. One soldier had died from Binoctal use, and three near-fatalities had been reported. “O.J.’s” were opium joints.”
    The soldiers were affected by the drug differently in the US than in South East Asia. Why? Because in the US heroin was generally used in intravenously because it wasn’t “readily available” in the US. 20% of US GI’s came home having been regular users, 15% of that group quit upon coming home and an additional 3% ceased use with treatment. Ron was one of the 1%-2% that remained hooked upon return. He never received treatment because they were just becoming aware of the problem in 1966-67. In fact they ignored the drug problem over there largely until after 1967.

    Ron’s addiction changed radically when he returned home because it wasn’t so readily available in the US as it was in South East Asia and the drug is used intravenously in the US. There is a massive difference between smoking heroin VS intravenous drug use. If you smoke opium or heroin, you can kick easier than when you use heroin intravenously. So Ron was forced to steal and cross borders to keep his intensified intravenous addiction alive.

     
    • Jenn 7:32 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is a sad topic for me. My daddy was a marine in Vietnam. Mom said he came home all messed up. He had seen so many horrific things too and that effected him. He had a very bad heroin addiction. I am a bit confused because I didn’t see him use drugs as a kid but I knew of some of the crazy things that happened in our lives and even as a little girl, I had an inkling as to why. That being said, for the most part, he was a wonderful father to me. He wasn’t a good husband but he was always a good father. I believe now that even if he wasn’t getting crazy high off the heroin and sometimes coke, he needed it to even function normally. We were seperated from him when I was 6 and I didn’t see him again until 1995 when I was pregnant for my daughter. Then in 2002 he was dead. He od’d. I felt sad because then I knew I would never get to see him again (until later anyway) and mom said he died doing what he did and getting higher than high. I guess I believe in every addict there are good things. I guess I want to believe that about Ronnie and the rest of them had some good in them too. I remember the wonderful times I had with my daddy and all of the nice things he did and said.

      • John 12:26 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        My uncle was in Vietnam too. He would work from time to time but never recovered from it and did drugs until the day he died of a heart attack in 1990.

        • dreamweaverjenn 12:35 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink

          It’s sad. It doesn’t seem like they are doing anything more to help our veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan either. I’m sorry about your uncle.

      • James DelCol 5:20 pm on October 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        They are doing way more for these vets now. I applaud whet the US Government has done for our vets. There is just only so much funding. They have access to a lot. In the Vietnam era the attack against the “establishment” that had become synonymous with the corrupt older generation or part of a tradition the new US Culture was trying to break out of. Women and Feminism won a huge victory during this era, racial barriers were crumbling and it freaked a lot of people out. I find it to be a fascinating and wonderful history. They gave the Vietnam Veterans a hand full of chump change and a cheese sandwich and sent them home where they were despised. The anti-war movement decided in their great wisdom that to attack the soldier would be very painful. They felt that it would stop the war if families hurt from their sons coming home “Not American Heroes”, but the “baby killer” of leftist propaganda. It was a nutty time. The country was just awakening to its consciousness in my opinion.
        We are still growing up. Equal pay for equal work. I still side with the woman’s movement and the left generally, but I wouldn’t spit on a veteran and act like a jackass. I might have petitioned a veteran during that period. There was a better way to provoke ending war other than spitting on the guy who is just doing a job. Soldiers don’t get to make these decisions. If we feel that our country needs to change, we have to take it upon ourselves to become active and write opinion. I’m too busy working, how about you? It is a scar on the American soul that we treated those men like that, but that war was all wrong. We killed 3 million Vietnamese. 58,000 American soldiers died fighting one of the most brutal wars ever. Guerilla war Vietnam style is no joke. They were prepared to fight forever to not have a colonial power over them. They felt they had been fighting this fight in one form or another for 1,000 years. It was China first then everyone else and then the French. I will say the French made Vietnamese culture become Chic, but they wanted sovereignty and they fuggin meant it because they kicked a 250k man army off their land for good. Walking away with tail between the legs. Get the F out!

        • John 7:28 am on October 14, 2013 Permalink

          My good friend is a benefits admin for the VA in Houston. He helps vets find work, find a place to live, with money etc. Sadly, many of them don’t get a lot of $$$ each month because they were not in direct combat. He’ll have guys traumatized from watching their buddies killed in a street bombing in Saigon or another large city, but without evidence, they can’t get more money or whatever. He explained it better but the bottom line was “unless a vet can provide an old letter or testimony to some murder or even fighting with VC, it’s hard to prove the guy was not just a cook on a base in Saigon or Da Nang, like his papers say.

    • Bobby 11:16 am on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      John, If you manage to hook up this interview with Ron’s relative see if you can get them to send you some photos of Ron in his later years. It may be too much to ask, but hey, you just never know eh? Sure would be cool to see something other than that 70’s mug shot and that horrid autopsy photo. Will be great to finally get some definitive info from somebody who actually knew this elusive and very intriguing fella. All the best with the interview man.. we can’t wait!

      • John 12:27 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I will! Yes, the only other photo I have of him is that darkened newspaper clipping that was likely a yearbook picture. He had that starchy thin hair that no amount of hairspray could hold in place!

      • John 1:07 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. I hope it works out. I had e-mailed with a few other relatives of Barbara once, but nothing panned out. They were her younger cousins. At 18, Barb was already going down the rocky road with drugs, biker type guys, etc. Sad tale. Her mother and grandma are still alive.

        • Bobby 9:31 am on May 18, 2013 Permalink

          This is a long shot but you just never know..
          Whilst reading the comments for the 2nd crime scene video -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paRSucZyQlc
          I came across this post by someone called “dekum6826”:
          “What’s disturbing to me is that my mom still has the pink chair from that place..It was given to my dad after the place was cleaned out..He was a friend of Billy’s and saw him a week before the murders”
          This person could just be a BS attention seeker but on the off chance that he’s legit it might be worth shooting him a message.

        • John 2:28 pm on May 20, 2013 Permalink

          Yes, Bobby… I will do that! Thanks.

  • John 1:09 pm on April 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ubon, vietnam,   

    Photos of Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base During Ronnie’s Tour 

    Below is a link to some interesting photos of the air base in Thailand where Ronnie Launius was stationed during the Vietnam War. For more on Ubon, you can go here.

    Ronnie joined the Air Force right after high school. After basic training he was stationed at bases in California and Texas. He was eventually stationed at Ubon, Thailand from Dec. 66 to Nov. 67, as part of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, before his final assignment at Beale AFB in California. He got promoted and worked as an “Inventory Mgmt. Specialist” under Logistics Command. According to news articles upon his death, Ron served 6 months detention at some point before his honorable discharge and this penalty probably occurred at Beale AFB in California. Therefore, it is not known why he was tossed in the stockade. Was this drug related… I mean was Ronnie caught with drugs? Who knows, but his final rank in the USAF was Staff Sergeant. He was honorably discharged after serving almost 10 years. A year after his discharge, he married Susan A. Murphy in 1971 in Carson City, Nevada. Susan was either 15 or 19 years old (probably the latter), depending on news articles from the murders. I don’t have her date of birth. Since Ron was in Thailand during the war, it is hard to believe that he was exposed to Agent Orange during his service there. I have trouble believing that story. He also did not smuggle drugs back into the USA inside the coffins of dead American soldiers. That is hog wash and there is no proof at all of that happening…

    For the pictures of Ubon RTAFB taken by a service member, go here. They are pretty cool, or I would not waste your time.

    Long live Wonderland!

     

     
    • John W 11:27 am on April 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Tactical herbicides like Agent Orange were not used to kill vegetation on the perimeters of airbases in Thailand. Practical or commercial herbicides were used. However, recently… Enhanced VA Benefits have been allowed to veterans who served on security and perimeter patrols at bases in Thailand during the war. Just a heads up.

      • Jeff Joseph 10:39 pm on March 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Wrong Agent Orange was used at all RTAFB during VN conflict.

    • localarts 7:49 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I agree, I belive the story about Launius smuggling drugs via dead soldiers was made up by Roger Jacobs to help sell his book Long time money. While I did enjoy the book some things are beyond belief with regards to Ronnie. You know first it was 37 murders he was thought to be responsible for then it was 27 murders including wiping out a biker gang and robbing a bank then it was said he was in the marines. which we all know was BS and of course Jacobs said the movie who’ll stop the rain character Ray Hicks was based on Launius. All Big Time BS in my opinion.

    • James DelCol 3:17 pm on April 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The air force was conducting massive defoliation campaign during Ron Launius’ tour. Most of those missions were out of Ubon. I would have to see his medical records to really understand if he may have been exposed, but I know that Ubon was a place they used Agent Orange to defoliate the perimeter. I would imagine that the airmen were loading the chemical into the planes and then caring for the planes when they came back from missions. This would lead to residue being all over the airbase.

      http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/residue-c123-aircraft.asp

      Even after Vietnam some of the war planes were found to have Agent Orange residue years after the war.

      http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/thailand.asp

      Do you think Ron Launius was at the base for 11 months and never walked the perimeter or was near a plane landing in Ubon?

      Agent Orange Symptoms and Effects
      The most distinguishing effects of dioxin poisoning are:

      a. chloracne
      b. liver dysfunction
      c. severe personality disorders
      d. cancers
      e. birth defects

      The following is a list of reported Agent Orange symptoms and effects:

      1. Gastrointestinal:
      loss of appetite (anorexia)
      nausea
      vomiting
      diarrhea
      constipation
      yellowing of eyes, skin, and urine (Jaundice)
      liver inflammation (Hepatitis)
      vomiting blood (Hematemesis)
      abdominal pain
      gastric hyperplasia
      gastric ulcers

      2. Genitourinary:
      stones
      burning
      bloody urine (Hermaturia)
      dribbling
      brown urine
      bladder discomfort
      kidney pain

      3. Neurological:
      tingling
      numbness
      dizziness
      headaches
      twitching, fidgeting, etc. (Automatic dyscontrol)
      Suspension of breath (sleep apnea)
      incoordination
      unnaturally
      drowsy (Hypersomnolence)
      loss of sensation in extremities

      4. Psychiatric:
      violent
      irritable
      angry
      severe depression
      suicide
      frenzied (Manic)
      tremulous
      memory loss
      loss of concentration
      severe personality changes

      5. Metabolic:
      fatigue
      rapid weight loss
      spontaneous fever
      chills

      6. Cardiovascular:
      elevated blood pressure
      blood deficiency

      7. Skin:
      chloracne
      rash
      increased sensitivity (heat)
      increased sensitivity (sun)
      altered skin color
      loss of hair
      brittle nails

      8. Cancer:
      tumors
      liver
      lung
      testicular
      ear duct

      9. Family:
      miscarriages child’s deaths—birth defects
      a. cleft palates b. open eye
      c. kidney abnormalities d. enlarged liver
      e. enlarged head f. club foot
      g. intestinal hemmorage h. missing or abnormal fingers, toes
      i. missing or abnormal reproductive organs
      j. missing, abnormal, or displaced body parts

      10.Endocrine:
      enlarged male mammary glands (Gynecomastia)
      excessive milk flow from nipples (Galactorrhea)
      decreased sexual drive
      difficulty maintaining and erection

      11. Visual:
      blurring
      burning

      12. Hearing Loss

      13.Respiratory:
      difficulty or painful breath (Dyspenea)
      shortness of breath

      • John 5:14 pm on April 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Great points, for many things which I was not aware of. Thanks for posting here with your insights! It makes sense now, and those chemicals where dangerous. The side effects were not known at the time.

    • Philip Woods 9:17 pm on July 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I served in the Army at Ubon RTAFB with Det J of the 7th RRFS. We were located on the other side of the runway in a compound. After returning in 1974 I noticed growths on my back and side. I had them checked out by the surgeon on my ets physical. Since then My wife had two miscarriages, two children with cancer one who died from a brain tumor. I am wondering if I was exposed to Agent Orange or something similar. I am now almost 61 years of age.

      • James DelCol 3:58 pm on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        How quickly we forget. History has to be brought up and re-examined over and over again due to propagandizing from all kinds of sources confusing issues and facts. Check out Oliver Stone’s “untold history of the united states”. That is excellent scholarship.
        I am so sorry for your pain Philip. You and all the vets that were poisoned in America’s wars deserve more than some medal with ribbon to mark your sacrifice. I do know that if you were exposed, the link I provided can possibly lead to your family being compensated. Click on the link. It is to a public health website that is connected to the military. There are reparations available for vets who suffered as you did.

      • leonard diggs 7:38 pm on December 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Philip,
        I was at DET-J from oct,1971 to march 1972. at the 7th rrfs jan 1971 to oct 1971. got a claim going now. give me a buzz.

      • Joe McLane 12:02 pm on March 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I was there at the same time. Harve Howard (Chief) and I were the last two to be sent from the 7th down there. 2lt Seth Notingham was det cmdr. I have all kinds of ailments now–high BP, type 2 diabetes, severe periferal neuropathy. Our compound was near the perimeter fence over in no man’s land.

    • Ed 7:31 pm on July 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ubon was never an Ranchhands base – that was Phan Rang, RVN. I do know that the perimeter was defoliated with something. I worked flightline in the 16SOS area Nov ’69 to Nov ’70.

    • charles burroughs 6:58 pm on December 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I was station in ubon 71_73 directly on the flightline in the air crash and rescue and repair hangar .I orderd and delivered part and tool to machanic, working on aircraft on a dailey basis I applied for benefits in 2011 for sleep apnea, narcoleptic systems, heart problem and high blood pressure and was denied.What do I go from here?

    • Gary Stimmel. 7:37 pm on February 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I was stationed at Ubon from 01/67 to 01/68. Just got done with agent orange screenings with all results
      I remember my tour fondly under Robin Olds & The wolf Pack. Please respond.

      • John 1:13 pm on February 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for that Gary. From the old photos it looked like a tough job with some fun mixed in too.

    • Michael Courtney 2:58 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I`ve been dealing with the VA c on right year on the agent orange for years. Theyou lost my orders twice Then told me try order wasn’t official orders. So when I got my copy of the orders that I sent to them twice the TDY orders was not with them, what did they pitch them. I am not going to quit.

  • John 12:08 pm on July 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: vietnam   

    The Saga of Hoang Van Cuong – Vietnam War Photographer 

    Hoang Van Cuong was an idealistic young photographer, eager to be where the action was. He saw photography as his opportunity to help his countrymen – to capture images that would chronicle and speak out against the horrors he witnessed during the Vietnam War. When “peace” finally came in 1975, Cuong thought the country could finally heal. Instead he and over 300,000 of his South Vietnamese countrymen were subjected to further pain and humiliation by the newly installed communist regime.

    This video tells his story:

     
  • John 7:58 am on July 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: organized crime, saigon, vietnam,   

    Showdown between South Vietnam and the Gangsters 

    The showdown began at siesta time on a warm, summery day in April, 1955. Premier Ngo Dinh Diem was sitting down to a late lunch at Freedom Palace when nine 81-mm. mortar shells thumped down around the grounds, killing a civilian and wounding a couple of soldiers. The Premier rushed to the phone. “The palace is being shelled,” he told French Commissioner-General Paul Ely, his voice disrupted on the line by adjacent explosions.

    “I can’t understand you,” said the Frenchman. “The palace is being shelled?”

    ***********************************************************
    The Battle for Saigon was a month-long battle between the Vietnamese National Army of the State of Vietnam (later to become the Army of the Republic of Vietnam of the Republic of Vietnam) and the private army of the Binh Xuyen organised crime syndicate. At the time, the Binh Xuyen was licensed with controlling the national police by Emperor Bảo Đại, and Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem issued an ultimatum for them to surrender and come under state control. The battle started on April 27, 1955 and the VNA had largely crushed the Binh Xuyen within a week. Fighting was mostly concentrated in the inner city Chinese business district of Cholon. The densely crowded area saw some 500-1000 deaths and up to 20,000 civilians made homeless in the cross-fire. In the end, the Binh Xuyen were decisively defeated, their army disbanded and their vice operations collapsed.

    South Vietnamese soldier takes cover

    On the midnight of 29–30 March, explosions rocked Saigon as the Binh Xuyen responded to Diem’s removal of its police chief. 200 Binh Xuyen troops launched an attack on VNA headquarters. The clashes were inconclusive, with the VNA suffering six deaths to their opponents’ 10, but by sunrise, the bodies of civilians littered the sidewalk.

    Soldiers congratulated by civilians

    The final battle between Diem’s VNA and the Binh Xuyen began on April 27 at mid-day. After initial small arms fire and mortar exchanges, the VNA resorted to the heaviest artillery in its arsenal. This coincided with growing calls from within the Eisenhower administration to oust him, who believed that he was unable to subdue the Binh Xuyen and unify the country. By evening, a large part of the inner city was engulfed with street to street fighting. By the morning of April 28, multiple explosions and house to house combat had driven thousands of civilians onto the streets. A square mile of the city, around the densely populated inner city Chinese district of Cholon where the Binh Xuyen had a stronghold, became a free fire zone. Artillery and mortars levelled the poor districts of the city, killing five hundred civilians and leaving twenty thousand homeless. Observers described that fighting from both sides as lacking strategy and relying on brute force attrition tactics. One of the few manoeuvres that were considered tactical was an attempt by the VNA to cut off Binh Xuyen reinforcements by demolishing the bridge across the Saigon-Cholon canal. This was made moot when the Binh Xuyen threw pontoon bridges across the canal. It appeared that the conflict would be determined by the side which was able to absorb the greater number of losses. Approximately 300 combatants were killed in the first day of fighting.

    On the morning of April 28, John Foster Dulles, the US Secretary of State phoned J. Lawton Collins to suspend moves aimed at replacing Diem. Eisenhower had determined that these were to be put on hold pending the outcome of the VNA operation. Collins and Dulles clashed in the National Security Council meeting, with Collins vehemently calling for Diem to be removed. Collins continued to argue that the attempt to destroy the Binh Xuyen by force would produce a civil war. The NSC endorsed Dulles’ position.

    Victory Parade. The Gangsters are defeated.

    After 48 hours of combat, the VNA began to gain the upper hand. Le Grande Monde, previously Bay Vien‘s largest gambling establishment, and temporarily serving as a Binh Xuyen citadel, was overrun by Diem’s paratroopers after a struggle which caused heavy losses on both sides. The VNA then stormed one of the Binh Xuyen’s most heavily fortified strongholds, the Petrus Ky High School in Cholon. By the time Collins had arrived back in South Vietnam on May 2, the battle was almost won. The Binh Xuyen forces were broken and in retreat and their command posts were levelled. Bay Vien’s headquarters was battered and his tigers, pythons and crocodiles inside had been killed by mortar attacks and shelling.

    Bay Vien escaped to Paris to live out his life on the profits of his criminal ventures, and the VNA pursued the Binh Xuyen remnants into the Mekong Delta near the Cambodian border.

    Jubilant crowds gathered outside Diem’s residence shouting “Da Dao Bao Dai” (meaning “Down with Bao Dai”).

    Sources:

    Wikipedia & Time Magazine

     

     

     

     
  • John 1:29 pm on April 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: vietnam   

    Rare Images of Vietnam, Before and After the War 

    Pleiku 1967

     
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