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Ly Tong Ba

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Ly Tong Ba was an Armor officer of the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN), who rose from company to division commander, and spent 12 years in Communist camps after the war. He emigrated to the United States.

As a captain, he commanded the first ARVN mechanized infantry company of M113 armored personnel carriers in 1962.[1]

John Paul Vann, who had cursed him as not aggressive enough at Ap Bac, recognized him as an honest and competent officer, who had risen to colonel without political influence. He commanded the 23rd Division in 1972, which successfully defended Kontum.[2] Ba received a battlefield commission to brigadier general[3]

Commanding the 25th Division at the fall of South Vietnam, he put up one of the last fights at Cu Chi, 12 miles outside Saigon. [4] He spent 12 years in a Communist re-education camp after his surrender. [5]


  1. Sheehan, Neil. (1988), A bright shining lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, New Random House, pp. 229-234
  2. Starry, Donn A., Chapter VIII: The Enemy Spring Offensive of 1972, Vietnam Studies: Mounted Combat in Vietnam, Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army, pp. 212-217
  3. Sheehan, pp. 780-785
  4. Church, George J. et al. (April 24, 1995), "Saigon", Time
  5. "Ly Tong Ba", Magnum Photos, January 1, 1988