March 31, 2013

Red Hill - 1983

Easter Day 30 years ago...April 3, 1983

We evacuated to Red Hill. Here we were free from the Khmer Rouge guard. Very few pictures exist at this location.

This photo is sent anonymously to our blog.
It says the photographer is Patrick Chauvel, a famous French war journalist,

taken on April 10, 1983, one week after we arrived at Red Hill

Below are a few more rare photos, courtesy of Vu Hoang Quan

In front of a tent just set up after the evacuation from the border
Quan and Marie Claude of MSF.
Dũng and Bình looked on in the back ground

This picture is probably taken in Red Hill, (but could be in Nong Samet)
 Marie Claude, anh Đài, Quân, Trọng, and others

This photo was taken just before  we rode on the open back of the yellow truck to the border,  to bring back the field hospital tent for the MSF (Medicine Sans Frontières) , early April, 1983

The MSF white tent served as field hospital had been left at the border when everyone was ordered to evacuate to Red Hill. The tent was close to the anti-tank ditch, and right in front of the mine field where dozen Cambodian refugees had been lying death,  blown apart by exploding mines, for quite sometime. Their bodies were bloating under the intense heat, and nobody dared to come in and retrieved the bodies for burial, even their relatives, for fear of live  mines still around. (the relatives eventually hired some "chú cùi", the defecting "bộ đội" , or PAVN- People Army of Vietnam, who came in and dug the hole right next to the body and buried the death, for 100 Baht a body)

Several days after evacuating to Red Hill, MSF nurses, Marie Claude and those in the picture, asked if we could send some volunteers to ride with them back to the border, to take apart the tent and get back to Red Hill as quickly as we could, to avoid being targeted by Bo Doi artillery. We all knew the risk then, but we volunteered anyway. I guess we could not say no to  all their kindness and generosity.

The picture was taken just before we rode to the border. Not everyone in the picture rode back though.  I only remember Thach Khe Mara and me, with two or three Khmers, and probably one or two of us rode in the cab with one of the nurses. I am pretty sure there were more than 4, but do not remember who ...(Hung)


Post a Comment

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Best WordPress Themes