Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates
Bac Thi Pham Eaton was born on June 18, 1953 in Bai Cham, An Long, Vietnam. Her family suffered heavy losses and was politically divided during the Vietnam (American) war. As a young woman working in a sick bay for the U.S Navy, she met and learned English from her husband, Sam Eaton. In 1975 Bac and Sam, along with their two small children fled to the U.S. and settled in Los Angeles, CA. Bac became a U.S. citizen in 1980. In 1981 the Eatons moved their family to Krum, Texas, where Bac grew and sold produce while caring for their growing family. Bac and Sam eventually went into the diamond business. The Eatons now split their time between Denton, TX and Lien Houng, Vietnam. In Lien Houng Bac enjoys her fish farm and raising fruit trees, and spending time with and employing family members whom she had been separated from for nearly twenty years. Sam and Bac both suffer effects from exposure to agent orange. Bac’s interview is now available online.
As part of their American History TV Oral Histories series, C-SPAN3 will be airing a number of interviews conducted and filmed at the Pleiku-Ia Drang Veterans 40th Anniversary Commemoration held in Washington, DC, in November 2005. The first interview in the series to be aired will be Part One of the interview with Lt. General Hal Moore, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment during the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965, and co-author of We Were Soldiers Once…And Young.
The interview will air on C-SPAN3 at 8am (ET) on Saturday, March 3rd, and again at 3pm (ET) on Sunday, March 4th, as well as at 4am (ET) on Monday, March 5th. Part Two of the General Hal More interview will air the following weekend at 9am (ET) on Saturday, March 10th. More interviews from the Commemoration will air over the next few months. For a complete schedule see http://www.c-span.org/history/. The interviews will also be available on the C-Span American History TV website after they air.
After her life was tragically affected by the war in Vietnam, Khuc, a woman of great heart and determination, dedicated herself to helping others begin a new life, as she did, in the United States. It took over a decade for her to win the release and resettlement of Vietnamese reeducation camp prisoners. An achievement that is a testament to her inner strength and courage. As a child she had been called a boy because of her strong will, but it was her determination to not give up, no matter the obstacles before her, no matter how long it took, that enabled her to win the long battle in aiding and freeing Vietnamese political prisoners and their families.
Born in 1939 in Sadec, a small village near Saigon, Khuc witnessed numerous traumatic events and lost many loved ones to the violence of the Vietnam War, including, her father, stepmother, and her husband, Nguyen Dinh Phuc. At only twenty-three years old and five months pregnant with her third child, Khuc became a young widow dedicated to helping and comforting other widows and family members of fallen South Vietnamese soldiers by assisting them in obtaining funding for their funerals, which neither the families or the government could afford.
Separated from her children during the fall of Saigon in 1975, Khuc anxiously awaited news of her family. She soon learned that her second husband, Nguyen Van Be, a colonel in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, along with two of her brothers, had been sentenced to reeducation. Khuc’s husband would spend thirteen years in the reeducation centers and they would never be reunited.
November is Aviation Month! To celebrate this occasion we have created a new exhibit that explores the duties and lives of the Dustoff crews. This exhibit is available online and is accessable from this blog post or the home page.
The head of the Vietnam Center and Archive’s Oral History Project, Dr. Kelly Crager, has an article in the August 2009 newsletter of the Society of American Archivists Oral History Section newsletter, Dialogue. Featured articles in this month’s newsletter focus on oral history projects in Texas. Dr. Crager’s article highlights the Vietnam Center and Archive’s Oral History Project.
Photo Courtesy of Victoria Lovelady, Senior Editor
Left to Right (Ambassador Sichan Siv, Ann Mallett, and Martha Pattillo Siv)
I was especially honored to meet Col. Bud Day, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, who also led the “Misty” FACs (those flying F-100 jets) before being shot down over North Vietnam in 1967. Colonel Day spent the remainder of the war as a POW in various prison camps, and was awarded the Medal of Honor after returning home in 1973. Colonel Day is the most heavily decorated living veteran in the United States.