Vietnamese helmet returned 46 years later

2014-01-14 16:55
An image of a dove scratched onto the inner rim of a dented helmet belonging to Bui Duc Hung, a slain North Vietnamese soldier who died during the Vietnam War. (Tran Van Minh, AP)

An image of a dove scratched onto the inner rim of a dented helmet belonging to Bui Duc Hung, a slain North Vietnamese soldier who died during the Vietnam War. (Tran Van Minh, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Vietnam
    Learn about the legacy of the Vietnam War; and why America deployed large numbers of troops in... Now R460.00
    buy now

Huong Non - In 1968, young American soldier John Wast was scouring a battlefield in central Vietnam for weapons and intelligence when an enemy helmet with an image of a dove scratched onto it caught his eye. He tied it to his rucksack, and five months later took it home as a war souvenir, where for 46 years it had sat on a shelf.

When a US veterans' charity approached him asking whether he would like to see the helmet returned to the family of its onetime owner, he said yes, so long as it didn't cause them any more pain.

The group, the Development of Vietnam Endeavours Fund, located the family of the soldier, Bui Duc Hung, who was killed in the war, his remains never recovered.

On Tuesday, four US veterans returned the helmet in a ceremony in the Hung's family's village 70km northwest of Hanoi that stressed the need for peace and reconciliation.

"This is a very sacred moment for my extended family," said Bui Duc Duc, the 52-year-old nephew of the slain solider.

Duc wept as the helmet was placed in front of a family altar in his house. The Americans, along with around 100 villagers and local officials gathered for the ceremony, looked on.

A bust of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's victorious war time leader was also in the room.

"We consider this helmet as part of him and we will keep as a reminder for our family's future generations," he said.

Up to 3 million Vietnamese were killed in the war, which the United States undertook to stop the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia.

Wast, a 67-year-old from Toledo, Ohio, didn't travel back to Vietnam. But in a statement that was read out at the ceremony, Wast said that Hung had "fought with skill and courage".

"The time has now come for me to return this helmet to those who knew and cared for Bui Duc Hung," he said. "I do this with thoughts of love and peace to you all."

- AP
Read more on:    us  |  vietnam
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

This is why you should install iOS 8

Check out this video to see what iOS 8 has in store for you!

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.