Friday, April 28, 1972

Refugees: Down the Road to Nowhere

by Spec. 4 JIM SMITH
S&S Staff Correspondent

KONTUM, Vietnam
--Mrs. Ngo Thi Bu is seven months pregnant and she fell several times on the road while fleeing from North Vietnamese Army troops who captured Tan Canh village.

"I had to help her get up," Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hue said. "We couldn't stop walking. We walked two days and most of one night to Vo Dinh (north of Kontum). We don't know where our husbands are. We think they're dead."

Mrs. Hue, 31, whose husband worked for an American contractor at [sic] Can Thanh command post, said she last saw him Saturday afternoon. She said she and all the other women and children in Tan Canh village began fleeing south Saturday. Her husband was inside the base when it was overrun.

"The VC didn't kill any civilians or fire at them," she said, "But they took 30 or 40 of the men prisoner and marched them away."

During the long walk to Vo Dinh, Mrs. Hue said, "Many small children died because they could not keep walking and had no food or water."

But she said the refugees kept moving because they were afraid of the Communists. She said she knew they were North Vietnamese because of the dialect they spoke.

Mrs. Bu, 25, said her husband was a lieutenant with the 42nd Regt. Stationed inside Tan Canh. She said she last saw him late Saturday. She feared that NVA soldiers killed him Sunday night.

The only possessions the women had were the clothes they wore--- blue shower shoes, black pants and faded blouses.

"Refugees: Down the Road to Nowhere", by Spec. 4 JIM SMITH S&S Staff Correspondent KONTUM, Vietnam, published in the Pacific Stars and Stripes on Friday, April 28, 1972 and reprinted from European and Pacific Stars and Stripes, a Department of Defense publication copyright, 2002 European and Pacific Stars and Stripes.
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