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The 9th Infantry Division in VietnamUnparalleled and Unequaled$

Ira A. Hunt

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813126470

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813126470.001.0001

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(p.175) Appendix E Reflection of a Prisoner

(p.175) Appendix E Reflection of a Prisoner

The 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam
University Press of Kentucky

Prisoner Phan Xuan Quy, the former secretary of the 261 B Battalion, wrote the following reflections at midnight on 30 April 1969 while in the 9th Infantry Division POW compound.

Night is falling deeper and deeper, the breeze is colder and colder, the wind is blowing into my prison camp. Perhaps today is the 19th day of my life staying in the prison. At this time it is 12 o’clock midnight. There are two soldiers standing guard at the door of my prison camp. They wear the letters “M.P.” on their sleeves. I feel they are well trained to stand guard awake. Outside at this time some jeeps pass by in a hurry out on the road, plus the roar of artillery is heard out going from this Binh Duc Base Camp (Dong Tam). The dew drops are falling thicker and thicker, the wind is blowing harder. All of this gives me a feeling of indifference. I could not fall asleep. I sat up to light my cigarette and think deeply of my life about “what could happen to me in the future.” I was feeling that my future is very dark. While being a soldier, I had been wounded 5 times and about 10 times escaped out of death. I don’t have any grief, but this time I worry about it. I am a young man, but somehow I always find myself in trouble. As I look back and remember the day I was captured and turned into the prison camp of the Americans. Before I got in here I always thought that I would be kept in a completely dark jail in which I could not see any rays of sunlight fall into my prison and lie in handcuffs. But, everything is the opposite. This prison camp is a large area. It contains 6 barracks, all of which are covered by canvas, and very clean area. I receive three meals a day. Some bystanders passing on the road outside just think that is a workers’ sleeping barracks. The few days that have passed, I (p.176) have been given good treatment. They have given me cigarettes and anything I need. Each time they brought me in for interrogation, it was a narration of mine for them, no more and no less. I simply sat down, talking friendly. Before I got here, my thinking was about the pressure and misery I would have to endure at a prison camp. Now my bad impression is replaced by the highest opinions of Americans.

Note: This ref ection is taken from Maj. Clyde A. Turner III, Letter: Reflection of a Prisoner of War 1 May 1969. 9th Military Intelligence Detachment, Republic of Vietnam.