(HBO) – In 1965, when its special warfare strategy failed disastrously, the US sent large numbers of troops to the south of Vietnam while extending the war to the north and conducting sabotage. In Hoa Binh, which was viewed as one of the important localities for providing support for the Lao battlefield, during only a short period of time, the US conducted 69 bombings to destroy local residential areas, economic premises and roads.

Bui Van Kenh, a resident in Tha hamlet of Thu Phong commune, who directly commanded the fight as deputy head of the commune’s militia force.

In particular, it launched continual attacks on locations across the province from early 1966. To cope with new plots and ruses of the US imperialists, the province ordered its communes to make plans for dealing with the war of sabotage, instruct locals how to take shelter from air raids, dig tunnels, build lookout towers, and stay ready to shoot down low-altitude fighters.

One of the most successful battles of the militia of Thu Phong commune was the downing of an F105 fighter of the US on July 20, 1966.

Recalling the battle, Bui Van Kenh, a resident in Tha hamlet of Thu Phong commune, who directly commanded the fight as deputy head of the commune’s militia force, said he was on guard at the commune’s administrative committee at about 3pm on July 20, 1966 when two F105 fighters flew in from the northwest. Above Cun Slope on Road 12B, they dived and fired at an automobile of the Hoa Binh transport company that was parking on the top of the slope. Kenh immediately called on militias to move to the trench behind a warehouse of the Nam Son Cooperative to ready the combat formation.

Observing the enemy fighters’ direction, Kenh ordered the first volley to be fired, but the bullets missed their targets. The militia team shortly learned from this and waited for the two aircraft to lower to focus their attack on the front one. Braving a rain of bullets from the enemy fighters, the militias still calmly waited for the planes to come within the suitable range.

When the leading fighter just entered the right range, under Kenh’s command, the team focused firing on it. Being hit by bullets, the fighter burst into flames and crashed onto Cun Slope, causing a big explosion that shook the entire mountain and forest, Doan Duc Tinh, a member of the then Nam Son Cooperative’s militia team, recounted.

Not only being heroes in combat, the populace of Thu Phong also helped safeguard many central agencies that evacuated to the commune while actively working to ensure livelihoods and support the "great front” in the south.

In peacetime, they have worked hard to develop economy and enrich the homeland. In 2019, the local per capita income approximated 31 million VND (over 1,300 USD at the current exchange rate), and the household poverty rate was brought down to 3.9 percent. The commune has met all criteria for a new-style rural area while people’s cultural and spiritual life has also been improved continually./.


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