Brothers in War and Peace
“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 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.