Hue – Tet Mau Than 1968


Để Tưởng Niệm Các Nạn Nhân Của Cuộc Thảm Sát Tết Mậu Thân 1968 Tại Huế

Why ? – Tại sao ?
Map study with all details and info of longitude and latitude (Mr. TTAn)
Updated 1968 Hue Mau Than 28 mass grave sites to Google map 2020 based on studying longitude & latitude of the original map (done by Mr. TTAn)
The following 2 massacre victim lists 
are total about 5000 or more local persons, with name, sex, age, address.
They do not included extra/unknown victims from out-of-town family members 
or visitors that the local authority didn't have records.

Dưới đây là 2 Danh sách của các nạn nhân 
vào khoảng hơn 5000 dân địa phương với tên, tuổi, địa chỉ 
nhưng vẫn còn thiếu sót nhiểu nạn nhân đến từ xa về Huế 
thăm gia đình trong dịp Tết mà chính quyền không biết được.



Hue massacre victim’s body in shallow mass-grave found with tied cord: executed !
Hue Mau Than 1968 : Discovery of massacre victim bodies at one of the mass grave site (Larry Burrows)

In Loving Memory of Lieutenant Colonel Tu Ton Khan

Tâm Chánh is a daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Từ Tôn Khán,
Provincial Head of the Rural Development Cadre Program,
Thua Thien - Hue, in the late 1960s. 
Lieutenant Colonel Tu Ton Khan (image is from Ms. Tam Chanh)
Lieutenant Colonel Từ was captured and killed
by the Vietnamese Communists 
during Tet Offensive (Mau Than) in Hue.
At that time, Tâm Chánh was only nine years old.

I have the honor of knowing Ms. Tam Chanh personally. 
Her families are members of my "big-family".
Mr. Tu Ton Khan's mother (Tam Chanh's grandmother) is the sister of my grandfather.
During this Tet Mau Than, the Vietnamese Communists captured and killed my dad,
3 uncles and 2 cousins, we only able to recover 1 uncle's body.
All were old civilians from Saigon went to Hue to celebrate the new year.
Beyond any doubt that VC must have a pre-plan to capture & execute people 
and at least 28 mass graves sites were found over the entire Hue city

The next 2 internet links are her article in English and in Vietnamese:
"My Father's Eyes" /  “Ánh Mắt của Cha”

My Father's Eyes - by Tam Chanh

If I were granted a wish now, I would immediately ask for my father 
to reappear in our lives for just a single day, so that my Mom could 
feel their marital bliss once again before she leaves this world, 
and my children could meet their grandfather. I know that it is 
fanciful; nevertheless, I’ve never stopped dreaming… The blood-
thirsty Vietnamese Communist people robbed my father’s life at the 
young age of thirty- seven. My mother was barely thirty -two, 
supposedly the best period of a woman’s life, when my mother she was 
left desolate, and struggling struggled to fend for seven young 
children, including - her youngest child one was forming inside her. 
The year 2018 marks half a century since my father was taken away 
from us. However, the pain, the grief, and the sorrow inside me have 
never eased. ** Fifty years ago, my family home located at 174 Bach 
Dang Street, a very long street at the center of the Hue city, 
connected to the main downtown center of Hue city via Gia Hoi's 
bridge of the  Thua Thien town. Parallel with this street is Huynh 
Thuc Khang Street, a well-known place for delicatessens where people 
can find all flavors of sweet treats, especially mè xửng, Hue’s 
iconic candy. The two streets were separated by the Gia Hoi River, 
enlivened all year long with slender boats that gracefully brought 
passengers back and forth all year round. The family estate was an 
inheritance from my great grandparents. On the big lot stood three 
buildings. The Cẩn (Inlaid) House in the middle of the garden was 
mainly for ancestor wordship and big family gatherings. It was a 
handsome traditional structure with exquisitely carved gold-plated 
posts and furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl shells. The Tây 
(French) House, built in the French style, was on the left of the 
Cẩn House. Between the two houses was a green tea hedge, almost two 
meters tall, that had grown for generations. Behind the Cẩn house, 
across a garden of climbing roses, was the Mới (Modern) House built 
in modern style. We’d had a perfect childhood in our ancestral 
house. By then, my paternal grandparents no longer lived in Hue, but 
we were lovingly embraced by my maternal grandparents. My father was 
often away in military operations, but he gave us all his attention 
when he came home. He sat at the piano, sang beautiful romantic 
songs accompanied by music played by his long, talented fingers. 
Then he brought us to visit our maternal grandparents. At those 
times, we gathered around him, chirping happily like a hen and a 
bunch of chicks around a brave, fearless rooster. One day, my father 
returned from a military operation with a dog. He found the wounded, 
helpless animal along a road. He took care of the dog until it 
recovered. Since then, we welcomed a new family member, a big Berger 
dog. As expected, the dog was extremely attached to my father. The 
dog was ecstatic whenever my father entered the front gate and 
tagged behind my father with excessive attachment that, on 
occasions, became even bothersome to us. We thought life would keep 
flowing with such blissful happiness, but everything abruptly 
changed in early 1968. ** Tet offensive, the Mau Than year (1968) 
was an especially happy occasion. Both North and South Vietnam 
governments had announced a truce to celebrate the most sacred 
holiday in the Vietnamese culture. On GiaoThừa, the eve of Tet, we 
gathered at our grandparents’ place to greet families of our aunts 
and uncles from out of town. After a delectable dinner with 
traditional foods, everyone excitedly looked forward to the midnight 
ceremony to welcome the Year of the Monkey.

Suddenly, at around 10 pm, we heard explosions. At first, we thought 
someone started firecrackers early, but my father immediately 
realized those were the sounds of gun fires. His eyes darkened and 
his face turned solemn. A few minutes later, he received a telegraph 
directing all officers to be readily available and exercise utmost 
caution. My father asked for my grandparents’ permission to bring us 
home since he must report to work. Everyone tried to persuade my 
father to stay as if they already sensed some danger, but he 
consistently refused. He simply said, as a leader, he could not 
violate military orders. When we just reached home, the dog ran out, 
barking loudly and kept pulling at the hem of my father’s trousers. 
My father was completely occupied with thoughts and struggling to 
reach his commanders on the phone, so he ignored the dog’s strange 
behaviors. All the while, the dog continued his incessant barking 
and persistently pulled at my father’s hems. Occupied and tense, my 
father yelled at the dog and angrily shoved him away. Startled, the 
dog sprinted outside and disappeared into the dark garden. The next 
day, many helpers tried to look for the dog but no one could find 
him. On the night of the first day of Tet, the Vietnamese Communist 
force (Vietcong) struck. A day later, they seized control of Hue. ** 
My father sent all of us to hide in a bunker under a neighbor’s 
house, five doors away. He stayed back at home, the only place in 
the neighborhood with a phone line, and he continued to talk and 
work with his commanders. We huddled in the bunker for several days 
and heard nothing from my father. Each day, my mother grew more and 
more anxious. Finally, in the wee hours of February 10, 1968, my 
mother asked Miss Lan, the family helper, to go back and find out 
about my father’s situation. As mother was busy feeding my infant 
not-yet-one-year-old sister, I sneaked out and followed Miss Lan. 
Miss Lan had just crawled a short distance away from the bunker when 
she noticed my presence. Though concerned that my mother would be 
upset, she actually felt glad to have a company in the gloomy and 
eerily quiet neighborhood. It was around 5 am. Bitter cold winter 
weather continued lingering in the air and darkness still covered 
everything. It took us a lot of effort to crawl through holes in the 
hedges around the neighbors’ backyards to our garden. We startled at 
the sight of strangers crowded in the front yard. Miss Lan quickly 
pulled me to the ground. We lay behind the big tea bush between the 
Cẩn House and the Tây House. From our hiding place, I strained my 
eyes to see through the darkness. When I could make things out, my 
body went limp with fear. My father and his bodyguards were kneeling 
on the front porch of the Tây House, their arms tied behind their 
backs. The strangers were interrogating the guards, Mr. Mang, Mr. 
Phan, and Mr. Truat. They repeatedly threatened “If you guys want 
mercy from us, tell us what Major Khan is hiding. If you disobey, 
don’t complain that we’re too harsh.” Hearing what they said, Miss 
Lan and I prayed that the guards wouldn’t tell, even though at that 
young age we had no idea what information the Vietcong wanted to 
extract. They began to beat the guards. The banging and shouting 
pierced into my brain. Suddenly, I heard my father’s voice “Ask me 
what you want to know. My soldiers did nothing wrong, don’t hurt 
them!” There was a dry, wicked laugh, then one man sneered “Don’t 
worry, Major. We will ‘consult’ you soon.” That remark was followed 
by a pause as they were discussing something in very low voices. 
Miss Lan and I were shaken from fear and the chilly weather; our 
teeth chattered uncontrollably. The clapping noise seemed so loud 
that I felt that they could hear us from the distance. We squeezed 
our bodies even tighter and pressed ourselves closer to the cold 
ground. As daylight arrived, we changed to crouching so that the 
thick leaves covered us better. From that position, I could see the 
front porch. The Vietcong appeared to be a mixed force; some of them 
wore uniforms, some were in civil shirts and trousers, but they all 
displayed a red band on their forearms. Besides long guns in their 
hands and rounds of bullets around their hips, some of them were 
also holding grenades. Among that ferocious crowd was a woman in an 
all-black outfit, holding a short gun. They were encircling my 
father, shouting, grilling him about his work. My father replied “I 
have my ideals, you have yours. I won’t say anything. I won’t tell 
you about my comrades.” They cursed and grumbled like a pack of 
wolves, then they bludgeoned him nonstop with their gun stocks. One 
man shouted “The fate of your whole family is in your hands! Tell us 
all you know then we’ll let you go and won’t send someone to get 
your wife and children!” My father panted in pain, but his answer 
was still unaltered “Do whatever you must. I would rather lose my 
family than be a coward. I won’t tell you.” The woman shrieked “Beat 
him up! Beat him more!” They continued hitting my father. One guy 
pulled over a big metal chain. They chained my father and the guards 
together. They continued the assault with their gun stocks. My 
father’s arms were flashing up and down as they pounded on his back, 
his chest, and his head.) My tears rolled down profusely as pain 
punched through my chest with each muffled groan from my father… ** 
Dad! To my Dad, I have much left to be said. Fifty years have 
passed, but I still remember that time vividly. I will never forget 
that terrifying moment, the moment that no word can describe. If he 
could hear me, I would say:

Ceaselessly, the guns were raised up then whipped down. They 
tormented you; they flogged you incessantly. From behind the tea 
bush, I stood up. Miss Lan desperately pulled me down but I shoved 
her off. I sprinted out, got on my hands and knees, and begged them 
to spare you and the guards. You’d raised your head and spotted me. 
You were stunned for a moment. Then with a deep voice, you comforted 
me. You asked me to be brave and not to waste my breath beseeching 
in vain. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain on my head. One guy grabbed 
my hair, twisted it fiercely while shoving my face down on the 
ground right in front of you. They screamed that they would blow my 
brains out if you still refused to cooperate. I was beside myself 
with fear, my whole body convulsed uncontrollably. I thought you 
would surrender, but then I heard your voice “Kill my daughter if 
you must, but I can’t comply.” I sobbed so hard that I choked in my 
tears. I gasped as if my breath was ceasing. Heartfelt Jabbered 
pleas to you were mixed with desperate begging to them. Then, our 
eyes met. The look in your eyes was so determined but also exuded 
heart-wrenching commiseration and lamentation. That look alleviated 
my suffering and strengthened me. I calmed down and was able to 
focus on your last words. You told me to take care of Mom and my 
sisters in your absence. That moment only lasted a few minutes, but 
the power from your eyes and your parting advice have been a source 
of strength for me until today. Suddenly, a Vietcong soldier rushed 
in. The guards left us to huddle with him, and they urgently 
discussed something. In that moment, you looked intensely into my 
eyes as if to transmit your livelihood to me then mouthed the words 
“Run away!” Then, suddenly, you shouted “Everybody attack!” 
Startled, the Vietcong lined up, facing the main gate with their gun 
pointed. At the instant, I darted through the tea bush and ran for 
my life out of the garden. ** After twenty- six days of fighting, 
the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) retook Hue. Grandpa and 
Mom allowed me to accompany them. and Mr. Bon, the chauffeur, in our 
immediately searched for my dad. We departed at 4 am on the 27th day 
in the first month of Mau Than (Feb 24th, 1968). The sky was still 
dark, but wailing was heard along every road, at every corner. From 
the Dong Ba bridge to the Gia Hoi Bridge, dead bodies were scattered 
everywhere. When we reached the Gia Hoi Elementary school, search 
groups were excavating mass graves right under the schoolyard. Some 
unearthed victims still had heartbeats; but as soon as they were 
lifted onto the ground, blood oozed from their mouths and noses, and 
they stopped breathing. We repeatedly felt near-fainting by the 
stench of decaying bodies, but we kept looking at every corpse, 
half-yearning to find Dad, half-wishing not to see him in those 
graves. Around 2 pm, after searching through all the graves, Mom was 
completely exhausted because, unknown to her then, she was pregnant. 
Grandpa proposed for us to go home and resume searching the next 
day. He consoled Mom that my dad could still be in Vietcong’s 
capture somewhere. Mr. Bon agreed, so the four of us staggered 
toward home. We just passed the Gia Hoi Bridge when my dad’s dog 
suddenly appeared. Before we could gather ourselves from the 
surprise, the dog howled mournfully.

He bit the hem of Mom’s pants and pulled her along. Grandpa’s face 
turned pale as he immediately sensed something tragic. He grabbed my 
hand and we quickly followed the dog. When we approached the 
entrance to the Citadel, at the foot of the moss covered tall wall 
was a hastily concealed mound of dirt. The dog stopped, raised his 
head toward the sky, and barked nonstop. People from nearby houses 
ran out, and they told Grandpa that they were the ones who buried 
Dad. They had seen the Vietcong led by Nguyen thi Doan Trinh and 
Hoang Phu Ngoc Phan drag Dad there. They had witnessed those people 
devilishly beat Dad but still couldn’t extract any information from 
him. At dawn on February 11th, 1968, several gun shots rung; later 
on, they found my Dad crumbled by the bottom of the wall. They all 
recognized him; however, fearing punishment from the Vietcong, they 
waited until the nightfall then rushed over to bury him. When Mr. 
Bon dug the grave up, my mom fainted at the first sight of my dad. 
He lay in a shallow pit, barely four-feet-deep. His face with the 
straight nose still bore the familiar resolute look even with his 
eyes closed. I bent down and touched his face with shaking hands. 
Through streams of tears, I still could detect streaks of black 
dried blood from the wounds on his cheeks and temples. ** Dearest 
Daddy! I had stood there watching Uncle Nhuong scrub the dried blood 
off your body with a washcloth soaked in white wine. There were 
several bullet-sized holes in the front of the black sweater that 
Mom knitted for you, so I knew that you were shot repeatedly in the 
chest. Through the holes, I even saw your identification card 
peeking out from the pocket of the white shirt underneath. Tears 
flooded my eyes, but I managed to see your soldiers build your 
coffin because the only coffin left in the entire city of Hue was 
too short for you. The soldiers were crying while they pounded on 
the nails. The sounds of hammers banging, people talking, dog 
howling… encapsulated me in a horrifying trance. After that, Mr. Bon 
and other soldiers brought you home.

They put you in the middle of the Tây house. At that exact place, 
just two months ago, Mom and we had gathered around you, submerged 
in laughter and joy. Now, we were in bleak white mourning clothes, 
lost in grief, weeping in front of your portrait. Between sobs, I 
called to you, “Dad please talk to me; don’t keep staring at me in 
silence like that.” In the flicking candlelight, your eyes seemed to 
follow each of us. Grandpa said we shouldn’t go far as local 
Vietcong could still be hidden among villagers. The soldiers dug 
your grave right in the garden on the left of the Tây house. The 
monks, still fear-stricken, only dared to stay and pray for one hour 
before you were brought to the pit. Before the coffin was moved out 
of the house, we walked in a circle around you one last time. Pain 
pierced through my chest as if I was stabbed by hundreds of knives. 
I silently cursed myself for running away, leaving you with the 
devil. I was furious at myself for failing to figure out a plan to 
save you and the guards. Then we had to throw dirt down on your 
grave as the final farewell. Lumps of black dirt made thudding 
sounds as they landed on the coffin. The excruciating pain in me was 
absolutely beyond words, Daddy! ** My beloved Daddy! Fifty years 
have flown by, but your image and the look in your eyes during our 
parting minutes had forever etched in my mind. Fate had chosen me to 
sneak out and go back to our home so that we could meet and talk for 
one last time. Fate had given me the chance to see the courageous 
look in your eyes while you were tortured by the blood-thirsty 
devils. The soul-touching love from your eyes had comforted me when 
I suffered from depression following your passing and helped me up 
countless times when I collapsed during the lonesome years 

Fate also gave me a chance to identify your killers, even though, in 
the past fifty years, I haven’t gathered enough courage to look up 
the names told to us by the witnesses. In early 2018, Aunt C. sent 
me a link to the interview of Hoang Phu Ngoc Phan about the Tet Mau 
Than Offensive. I almost dropped the Ipad when I saw his face. Fifty 
years ago, on February 10th, 1968, this exact man had threatened to 
murder our whole family. This evil and his gang had raised their 
riffles and cudgeled lashed down continuously on you and the guards. 
Dearest Dad! Until now, I’m still in awe of your wit and bravery 
while in the enemy’s hands. You knew they would never spare you 
regardless of how much you submit to their interrogation. Hence, you 
accepted that we could die together, but you never faltered in your 
determination to protect your comrades and their families. Since 
that horrible spring, I have always regretted that I would never 
hear your advice again. That is our biggest loss. My youngest sister 
has never experienced hearing your voice and seeing you in real 
life. I often think of Mom’s loneliness, and I have been crying all 
those years, especially when my husband’s comforting embraces 
brought back the vivid images of you holding Mom during the heavenly 
happy period of our lives. I burst into tears again like the little 
girl of 1968. Dearest Dad! I have grown up, succeeded, and kept my 
promise to you. I have accomplished the responsibility that you 
entrusted to me. All your children and grandchildren have become 
good people. Although, you had no son, this daughter of yours gave 
you a grandson, and he then gave you a little great-grandson. Who 
had robbed you of the chance to get to know them? Who had forced you 
to break your promise of always being there for Mom? I write these 
lines for you while my tears are falling. The tears would keep 
flowing whenever I thought about you, my beloved Dad who left this 
earth too young. Forever, I’m proud to be a daughter of a 
compassionate father, a selfless and courageous man who exemplified 
the conduct and reputation of officers from The National Military 
Academy of the Republic of Vietnam. I miss you, always and forever.

Your tearful daughter.
Tam Chanh

Giải khăn sô cho Huế (1969) – Nhã Ca

Mourning Headband for Hue – Nha Ca – Indiana University Press

Tết Mậu-Thân tại Huế – The 1968 Hue massacre in my eyes (Mr. Nguyen Ly Tuong at Texas Tech University)

In his 2002 memoir, From Enemy to Friend, former NVA Colonel Bui Tin shared his insights into the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Present at the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu and once a guard for Ho Chi Minh, Tin served as a frontline commander who, on April 25, 1975, rode a tank onto the Presidential Palace grounds in Saigon to accept the South Vietnamese surrender. About Hue, Tin acknowledged that some executions of civilians did occur. (James H. Willbanks)

The Hue Massacre: A Study of Communist Policies and Tactics in Vietnam (Paul Schmehl) Note: a very detail study in Jan-2015

The Persistence of Memory Four decades after covering the communist Tet Offensive in Vietnam, a veteran correspondent explores the new Saigon in California – and remembers – By Uwe Siemon-Netto (2008)

In Loving Memory of my father : Mr. Ton That Nguyen and all the victims / Persistence of Memory

Nobody else could ever know
The part of me that can't let go
I would give everything I own
Just to touch you once again
(Everything I Own / Bread)
The song was written in memory of a father who died before the son achieved his success. https:/

/ http:/


Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto and Mr. Darryl Webb (2018 – the 50th year of memorial service in California)
Mr. Darryl Webb – US Marine at Hue 1968-1970