On the night of December 27, 1972 during the “Hanoi-Dien Bien Phu in the air” campaign, an American B-52 bomber was shot down by Vietnamese soldiers and part of it landed where it still remains today in Huu Tiep Lake in Ngoc Ha Ward, Ba Dinh District.
Ms. Doan Thi Hien, a local who was a witness of the plane crash, said Battalion 72 of Regiment 285 of Hai Phong Air Defense shot down the B-52 bomber.
The B-52 bomber, after being shot down by rockets, crumbled into Huu Tiep Lake.
The wreckage of the B-52 bomber is viewed as a symbol of victory of the “Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu in the air” in 1972.
Out of the plane wheels grows moss and mold.
Hien recalled: “After things cooled off that night, everyone rushed out from bunkers to the lake. What happened kept us up all night. The part of the engine that fell into the lake caught fire, glowing bright in the entire region.”
Even though it has been in the lake for 50 years, the fuselage shows no signs of rust. What is special about this B-52 bomber is that it was shot down before it had dropped any bomb. “There were around 47 bombs collected from the wreck. Some sank deep into the ground while others lay on the village roads. Army soldiers were sent to help people clear the mines and it took a week to clean up. “If the bombs had been dropped, I would probably not be here sharing this story now,” Ms. Hien said.
The site of the wreckage is now recognized as a historic site which attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.
A few years ago, on the fuselage, unexpectedly sprouted a Barringtonia acutangula.
Despite unfavorable conditions, the tree has grown quite well. The trunk is thriving through the plane rift, possibly thanks to the dampness and moisture the lake offers.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the “Ha Noi – Dien Bien Phu in the air ” campaign in 2012, the Hanoi People’s Committee restored eight historic monument markers where B-52 bombers were shot down in the city.Huu Tiep Lake was once stagnant with loads of rubbish and leaves, causing severe pollution. Measures were taken, including deep dredging, and public awareness was raised with frequent reminders to residents living nearby. The situation has improved now, according to Ms. Hien.
Mr. Pham Van Thuan, a local Party official, said that households discharging garbage into the lake will face fines from environmental inspectors. “The residential area also proposed embellishing and upgrading the monument. Specifically, a concrete pedestal construction in the middle of the lake will make it easier for storage and preservation of the wreckage,” he said.
Ms. Hien and Mr. Thuan (striped) and others gathered after visits some veteran families in Ngoc Ha Ward on the occasion of the Day of Invalids and Martyrs (July 27).
The United States Air Force dispatched a series of B-52 bombers targeting North Vietnam constantly from 18 to 30 December, 1972 in the strategic bombing campaign LINEBACKER II, known as the “Eleven-Day War” which was officially ordered by US President Nixon on December 17 1972. The Vietnamese people named it the “Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu in the air”.The B-52 plane, dubbed the “Flying Fortress”, is famous for carpet bombing and its tremendous destructive power.The Paris Peace Accords, officially titled the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam, was signed on January 27, 1973, a few weeks after the end of Linebacker II. The wreckage of the B-52 Flying Fortress in Huu Tiep lake belongs to one from this campaign.The Vietnamese army and people shot down a total of 34 B-52 bombers, eight of which were located in Hanoi, after 12 days and nights of the “Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu in the air”.
I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn.
I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law.
I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam.
In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship.
Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam.
I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN.
I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net).
I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries.
In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống).
In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success".
I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.
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