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21 June 2012

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steve g

Great story Basilisk! I still remember
the pix of Cao Ky. Handsome with a thick
mustache which was very unusual for a
Vietnamese. Was the head of ARVN Air Force
and then Prime Minister. The last line
encapsulates Cao Ky and many of the political
heirarchy in Viet Nam at that time. No doubt
needed for survival. Manichean advocates or
the opposite? I see he made it until 80yrs.

turcopolier

steveG

Nguyen Cao Ky was a great VNAF pilot and a very brave man. He flew H-34 helicopters among other things. He would do things like come in to a tiny hilltop to extract a recon team and put two wheels on the hilltop on one side so the team could climb on board under fire. don't believe the mythhic c--p about VN. pl

steve g

Col Lang
My interpretation of the story was
Cowboys survival instincts. Cao Ky's
life was IMO emblematic of this. A
true warrior patriot to his cause. He
did what he had to do to survive
under the catastrophe of war.

turcopolier

SteveG

Fine, except I don't know of Ky having been treacherous with anyone but Diem. pl

mike

I agree with Colonel Lang on the Kit Carson Scouts - they were pure American assets and my experience was that they were looked down upon by the ARVN and were never trusted by ARVN units. On the other hand the NVA and their Front in the south had a few high quality agents and sympathizers both in the ARVN and in Thieu's administration, and BTW one or two working for the western media.

Basilisks story reminds me of the true story of South Vietnamese Air Force Pilot Nguyen Thanh Trung - in reality a communist spy - who bombed Doc Lap Palace just three weeks before the fall of Saigon.

Ky was brave enough although I was not a fan of his leaving country after having just a few days before reportedly sworn to a group of 400 SVN officers that he would never leave. Or not- - - maybe that was NVA propaganda? And perhaps I would have made the same decision if I had been in his shoes. General Dao, who defended to the end and then after the surrender turned himself in to the communist cadre, ended up spending 17 years in a re-education camp before finally emigrating to America. But I always felt that guys like Dao, and General Khoi, and Big Minh were better men for staying.

turcopolier

mike

Yes, NVA intelligence was very good at running penetrants into our side. I dug up s few and someone else then buried them again. As you say, this has nothing to do with the KCSs. We had a few other units like them. pl

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