Two so-called “war horses”, GAZ63 with the number plateBA 4130 and ZIL157 with the number plate BA 2608, driven by hero Doan Minh Nguyet in the war against the American imperialists, have been refurbished and presented by the Technology General Department under the Ministry of Defence and Military Zone 4’s Motorbike Department to Dong Loc T-juction Youth Volunteer Relics Area.
Hello Lam Hong girls!
At the age of 77 years old now, hero Doan Minh Nguyet is still brisk getting into GAZ63 and performing what happened on the day going to the front.
He passionately recalled, “After August 5, 1964, Americans furiously bombed North Vietnam At that time, I was in my thirties. I drove this Car on Highway 1A to carry goods from Military Zone 4 to the South Lao front. In 1966, all bridges on Highway 1A from Ben Thuy (Nghe An) to Ngang Pass were completely destroyed by American bombardments.
“Ha Tinh had to open Road 18 on the other side of Hong Linh mountain to Treo Vot T-junction and other roads going along Dong Loc and Khe Giao villages to Road 21 under Thach Ha district to reach Cam Xuyen and Road 22 in Ky Anh district and Road 12 in Quang Binh.
“With GAZ63, I went through Dong Loc T-juction many times under heavy bombardments by the Americans. During rainy season, the road turned mushy. Female volunteers carried stones and leaves to repair the road. Sitting in the truck, I felt excited as singing the song, “Hello Lam Hong girls”.
“For nearly four years (from autumn 1965 to spring 1968), GAZ63 was with me. GAZ63 was able to carry only two tonnes, but it still ran fast when sometimes loaded with three tonnes of goods.
“After the Mau Than 1968 Campaign, invaders strongly attacked Dong Loc T-juction. Routes were always cut off while there were high demands for transported goods. GAZ63 could not meet the task; therefore, I returned it to Military Zone 4.”
“I” am ZIL “ba cau”
“In early 1968, I was assigned to drive ZIL157 with the assistance of Nguyen Van loi from Thanh Hoa. That car was so strong that it could drive on any bad road.
“Normally, it can carry four tonnes of goods or 40 people with weapons, war supplies. But for a campaign, the truck carried 61 people or 6 tonnes of goods.
“Many times at the key Dong Loc T-junction when the road was muddy, girl volunteers helped us.
“In mid-July 1968, I still saw girl volunteers in Dong Loc T-juction singing joyfully. When I heard of the news that 10 girls died in an evening filling up crater, I felt very sorry and had great admiration for them.”
Doan Minh Nguyet drove the two war horses for five years. In February 1970, Nguyet got married and in August, he was conferred the title “Hero of Armed Forces”.
Nguyet then served for the General Offensive to liberate the South of Vietnam to unify the nation.
In 1983, he retired from military service and settled down in Nghi Phong commune, Nghi Loc district, Nghe An province, his wife’s home town.
More than 40 years ago, the two trucks, despite fierce bombings and shellings, excellently fulfilled their tasks. They are now kept in Dong Loc T-juction relics area as historical remnants that help the young generation understand more about the nation’s fight against invaders.
Tag: Ha Tinh , Quang Binh , Vietnam
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