That article described LTC Bao as I recall him. He was a smart and cunning officer. I always felt there was an agenda going on behind his eyes that he did not show on his face. Many times I felt that he understood the depth of US support better than we did.
The existence of the 42nd ARVN in Tan Canh overshadowed the District. However, if it were not for the District forces to include its intel operations, I don't think the 42nd ARVN would have been much of a force. I had Montagnards working for me that were the same height as an M1 Garand-rifle which they dragged behind them. I never felt unsafe when I was with them, day or night. Yes, and there were a lot of nights in the villages seeing who could drink the most rice wine much to the joy of the Montagnards.
REFLECTIONS: I too have my rice wine stories but that's another time. The Montagnards were very special and many of us, especially those of us who served in the Highlands, had many occasions to observe them and often to serve with them. The work of Dr. Pat Smith in Kontum with her hospital and her absolute devotion to the Montagnards was well known. She believed that if the Montagnards were allowed to organize an army and were well equipped, they would have been a significant military force in the highlands. From what I understand, for mostly political reasons, that was never allowed to happen. Like many of you, I brought back trinkets and souvenirs from my tours, however, those things - few in number - that I was given by the Montagnards, are among my most precious items. I had the pleasure recently of having my twelve-year old grandson gather up my Montagnard "stuff" and take it to school for a show and tell- and the questions haven't stopped yet.