Conflict & Justice

History Detectives Help Return Soldiers Diary To Vietnamese Family

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A tiny red diary and an ID card figure in our Geo Quiz.

The red diary in question is a battlefield diary kept by a fallen North Vietnamese soldier. A US Marine came across it in 1966 and kept it ever he returned home from the war in Vietnam.

It took awhile but that personal diary has now been returned to the Vietnamese soldier's family in a small village outside Vietnam's capital.

You can hear our interview with a history detective about how that reunion came to be but first: name the city that became Vietnam's capital in 1976.

This 1,000 year old city is located on the banks of the Red River.

Can you name it?

The soldier's diary that's at the heart of an upcoming episode of the PBS television series History Detectives was a personal battlefield diary of fallen North Vietnamese soldier Vu Dinh Doan.

His family lives in Cay village outside Hanoi, Vietnam's capital. Now 46 years after he died in action, Vu Dinh Doan's battle diary has been returned. Wes Cowan, the lead investigator for History Detectives who helped make possible the return of the soldier's diary, says the simple act of returning this battle diary marks an important diplomatic achievement.

  • cay1-e1348854640561.jpg

    A diary, bank notes, a souvenir photo and an I.D. card that belonged to Vietnamese soldier Vu Dinh Doan, which were originally taken from Doan's body by U.S. Marine Robert Frazure following Operation Indiana in 1966, rest on a table during a handover ceremony at his home in Cay village, outside Hanoi, September 21, 2012. Vietnam's Defence Ministry returned the diary, which U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta presented to Vietnam's Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh during their meeting on June 4, to Doan's family at his home on Friday. REUTERS/Kham (VIETNAM - Tags: MILITARY SOCIETY)



  • cay2-e1348854679300.jpg

    Vu Dinh Son (L), receives his late father Vu Dinh Doan's personal documents including a frayed diary, handed over by Colonel Nguyen Xuan Nang, director of the Vietnamese War Museum during a ceremony held at his village in northern province of Hai Duong on September 21, 2012. A Vietnamese soldier's frayed diary, returned to Hanoi by US defence secretary Leon Panetta earlier this year, was presented to his family at a ceremony, 46 years after he was killed in action in Southern Vietnam . AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam (Photo credit should read HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/GettyImages)


    AFP/Getty Images

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    (Left to Right) Marge Garner with US Veteran Robert 'Ira' Frazure and History Detectives host Wes Cowan. (Photo: History Detectives)

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Tagged: HanoiVietnamAsiaSoutheast AsiaHistory DetectivesVu Dinh Doanlawethicshistorycrime.