“Brothers in War and Peace” is a story of two officers who never knew each other before, who came together from many differences; different countries, culture, customs, origins, religion, ethnic background, different Armed forces: one from South Vietnam (SVN) Navy, the other from US Armor. The main thing they had in common, they both fought for their beliefs in duty that included leadership and responsibility, the honor of officers and in the idealism for Freedom and Democracy for all mankind regardless of who they are. They met one another at the patriotic environment at the right moment of a destiny that already was planned for the future friendship with special ties for the rest of their lives. They had become “Brothers in War and Peace.”
Brothers are usually defined as people of a same family with siblings and parents. But, Brothers in War are bonded with loyalties that come from fighting alongside of each other and becoming friends. They are always ready to help each other at any circumstance that might happen to others.
The duty of a warrior is to defend his country against the enemy and to safeguard the security and the safety of his family. Thus, the love for the family and to fulfill the responsibility for the country was the task and honor for a warrior...
Section I - My Childhood Story
Section II - Go To War
Section III - The Vietnamese Military Academy (1972-1973)
Section IV - The Fall Of South Vietnam
Section V - The New Life
Section VI - My Family Today
Section VII - Memories Of Vietnam War
About The Author
LÊ BÁ FAMILY
The legendary LÊ BÁ family carries on the tradition of fighting for their freedom, idealism, loyalty to their country, as well as always defending their homeland against enemies. This tradition is told and carried on throughout the generations, along with Vietnamese history, specifically in 1527, at the bloody war between Trịnh and Nguyễn during the Lê, Mạc Dynasty. The war was won by King Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (King Gia Long). The Nguyễn Dynasty reigned from Chúa Vơ - King Nguyễn Phúc Khoát 1738 until 1956 with King Bảo Đại, the last King of Nguyễn Dynasty. For generations, we seized opportunities that made it possible to overcome difficult situations, and do something good to survive and to progress for the better—for our country and for our people. This is how the Commanding Legacy of the famous and courageous LÊ BÁ Family began:
The First Generation
(The General of Lord Nguyễn Hoàng, first King of Nguyễn Dynasty)
Mạc Đăng Dung, was a former fisherman, a boxing champion and a very strong military officer under the King Lê Uy Mục. He got more promotions from King Lê Tương Dực and then became a Lord under King Lê Chiêu Tông of the Lê Dynasty.
In 1527, Mạc Đăng Dung killed King Lê Cung Hoàng and overthrew the Lê Dynasty and proclaimed that he was the new King of the Mạc Dynasty.
King Mạc Đăng Dung faced opposition from the people, especially the Lê dynasty loyal warriors. People disrespected for his authority, fought against his regime and hid in jungles to recruit others for rebellion. Fighters,scholars and soldiers waited for the appropriate time to rise up and to retake the Kingdom for the Lê Dynasty.
Lord Nguyễn Kim who was a loyalist of the Lê Dynasty, sent out the recruit leaflets to find any of King's Lê relatives to crown as the reigning monarch of the Lê Dynasty.
He found a poor man of the Royal Family who had escaped to the country of Lào, named Lê Duy Ninh (Chúa Chỗm). He became King Lê Trang Tông and defeated the Mạc Dynasty later.
Lê Kỳ was a warrior among of Lord Nguyễn Kim's followers who helped him to retake the Lê Dynasty...
Lord Nguyễn Kim had two sons: Nguyễn Uông and Nguyễn Hoàng and a girl who married to Trịnh Kiễm, a very powerful top official who controlled all of King Lê's government affairs
After Lord Nguyễn Kim died, Trịnh Kiễm become more powerful and he poisoned Lord Nguyễn Uông and murdered Nguyễn Uông, his trong competition then.
Lord Nguyễn Hoàng who was scared of being hurt by his brother-in-law, asked for advices from Mr Trạng Tŕnh, a very wise philosopher who told him to evacuate to the Thuận Hoá territory to survive. Thuận Hóa was an area in the south that had not been developed. It was a jungle with wild animals, a poisonous climate all year round... and not many habitants living there yet.
Nguyễn Hoàng then asked his sister, Trịnh Kiễm's wife for a request. Trịnh Kiễm wished to terminate his future opposition at this bad environment with no human activity, therefore he approved for Nguyễn Hoàng to move to Thuận Hóa and organized government there.
In 1558, Lord Nguyễn Hoàng took his family along with his personal intimate Generals. Among them was General Lê Kỳ who won many battles against Mạc Đăng Dung's Army. They evacuated to Thuận Hóa area to be free from Trịnh Kiễm, his brother-in-law, who controlled the Lê's Dynasty in the North, They left the Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh provinces and crossed the Giang River to reach to Thuận Hóa (Huế) city.
Nguyễn Hoàng entered Ái Tử (Quảng Trị) and stationed there to recruit warriors, patriots, soldiers and good people and cultivated land, built bases and developed the territory. He ordered to cut tax for his people and organized goverment for two cities Quăng Trị and Thuận Hóa, along with local administrations for Dạ Lê and Thanh Tuyền district.
General Lê Kỳ accompanied Lord Nguyễn Hoàng and stationed at Thuận Hóa (Huế) city. General Lê Kỳ and his family then setled at Thanh Tuyền district and they started raising the Lê Bá Family at their new country... He was later promoted to Senior General - Lord Hoằng Cung (Phụ Quốc Thượng Tướng quân - Hoằng Cung Hầu)
The Twelfth Generation
LÊ BÁ LAO
Admiral, Nguyễn Dynasty
(Commanding Admiral of Fort Thuận An, southeast of Huế City)
Admiral LÊ BÁ LAO was a renowned top official under King TỰ ĐỨC, born to a traditional military and political family. He was also the commander the King's Elephants force. He was buried at the edge of the Elephant Mountain (núi Voi), next to Độn Sầm, a jungle, home to tigers and other wild animals. It is located west of his native village, làng Thanh Thủy Thượng, 5 kilometers south of Huế City.
The Fifteenth Generation
LÊ BÁ THÔNG
(Commander, South Vietnam Navy)
Commander Le Ba Thong attended the South Vietnamese Naval Academy as a class 10 naval officer in Nha Trang, graduating in 1962 as valedictorian of his class. During the graduation ceremony of class 10, he received the Sword of Leadership personally presented by President Ngo Dinh Diem, witnessed by Captain Ho Tan Quyen, Chief Naval Officer (CNO) of the Republic of Vietnam Navy.He was then sent to the United States to receive Landing Ship Mechanized (LSM)- Hai Van Ham Hau Giang HQ 406 - in Seattle, USA in 1963. Back in Vietnam, he continued his naval career, serving as executive officer of Mine Sweeper Coastal (MSC)- HQ 116 in 1964, only two years after his graduation. This was an achievement that only a few naval officers could accomplish.
In 1965, he abandoned the safety of serving on a ship at sea and volunteered to join the Coastal Security Service (CSS), a covert special naval operations unit of the Strategic specialists conducting covert operations north of the 17th parallel. There, he was appointed as Captain of PTF-6 which was a new and modern Patrol Torpedo Fast (PTF) at the time.
He continued to serve in the Coastal Security Service until he was appointed Commander of Task Group "Sea Tiger" operating in the Cua Dai, Thu Bon river, Hoi An. It was a very heavy and dangerous task because they were required to use small gunboats to patrol and protect many waterways controlled by the enemy. In 1970, he served as commanding officer of Da Nang naval base. In 1972, he was appointed Deputy Commandant of the Military Instruction Directory of the National Military Academy in Dalat. This position was particularly important in the training of cadets to become great leaders of the nation in the future. As a naval officer, he held a military position normally assigned to army officers, at the military college known as Dalat Army Military Academy; he showed great talent and an especially high capacity for this job. He then held many key positions such as Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations at the Sea Operations Command in Cam Ranh bay; Commanding Officer 32nd Coastal Assault Group in Hue ; Commanding Officer Cua Viet Naval Base; Commander Task Group 231.1 in Thuan An. He fought until the last minutes in Nha Be Naval Support Base, his last unit at which he served as Deputy Commander. He escaped with his family to the United States on the afternoon of April 30, 1975.
The Sixteenth Generation
LÊ BÁ DŨNG
Fleet Lieutenant, United States Navy
Engineering Duty Officer (EDO)
LÊ BÁ HÙNG
Captain, United States Navy
Commanding Officer of USS LASSEN, DDG 82 (2009 - 2010)
Commodore Destroyer Squadron Seven (2014 - 2017)