Looking for Blue Dragon Marine Vietnam Veterans
My name is Huong Ly, Vietnamese currently live and work for the British Broadcasting
Corporation in London, United Kingdom. I am writing to you with a personal request
after reaching out to Mr Kim Poong.
I am trying to locate some South Korean Marines of the Blue Dragon Brigade also called
2nd Marine Division, ROK, who were taking part in the Vietnam War and stationed near or
in Duy Xuyen district of Quang Nam province, central Vietnam, in early March 1969.
The reason I would like to look for them is because they might have some information
about what happened to my mother, Duong Thi Xuan Quy, a war journalist/writer for
North Vietnam, who was killed on the evening of 8 March, 1969, during a cordon and
search operation by the South Korean Blue Dragon Marine Brigade in Thi Thai hamlet of
Xuyen Tan village, Duy Xuyen district ( south of Da Nang).
According to the information we gathered after the war from local paramilitary and Viet Cong
personnel whom my mother was accompanying on 8 March, 1969, she had been in an
underground bunker with them for a few days hiding since the Blue Dragon Marines moved
into the area around 4 March 1969. They soon realised that it was a cordon and search
operation, and that the marines would stay for days, possibly weeks, assaulting and bulldozing
the area in order to find enemy arms cache and fighters. So between 8 and 9 pm on 8 March,
1969, the group, including my mother, decided to break out of their underground bunker,
attempting to escape.
We were told that one person in the group stumbled on an illumination mine, which exposed
them immediately. The South Korean Marines saw them and chased after them. My mother
with two Viet Congs jumped into a nearby dry well and then got shot from above.
She fell at the foot of one Viet Cong, who then lobbed a grenade to the marines to hold
them off. He then lifted the other Viet Cong who was injured, out of the well and escaped,
leaving my mother behind assuming that she was already dead. As a journalist, she was
unarmed. The only belonging she had with her was a blue colour notebook and a pen.
We understand that since she was with Vietcongs, it was not necessary that the Blue Dragon
Marines would be able to distinguish her as a journalist.
The Blue Dragons remained in the area for days and when they finally left, a local Viet Cong
paramilitary unit moved in. The head of the unit said he had received information of two people
killed there during the operation, one female journalist (my mother), and the other was a local
Viet Cong official. He and his unit found the grave of the local official straight away because
it was marked with a cross sign made of twigs. They assumed the South Korean marines had
buried the official by the way the grave was done and marked, and also there were no villagers
living in the area at the time. They then searched for my mother. After digging up an area
nearby where they saw human blood abuzz with flies, they found nothing.
Since the end of the war, my father, my mother’s family and I have come back to the area
numerous times and dug the whole area up with hope to find her remains but we have not
been successful. We have been trying to access the Northern Vietnamese Army archive but
were told no one knew where the local army archive is or indeed, if there is such a thing.
Therefore I am appealing to you for any infomation. If you know any Blue Drangon Marine
serving in Vietnam at that time ( March 1969), could you please introduce him to me.
I have also written to the US Vietnam War veteran organisations and am pursuing official
routes with the same request, in case anyone might know someone who holds the information
that would help me to establish what actually happened to my mother. Maybe it would also
help me to find her remains one day.
I know this task is extremely difficult and painstaking. And I might not be able ever to find out
the truth. But for now I just would like to give it my best try possible. I will exhaust all avenues
I can find as the doors to people’s memories become closed with time.
I thank you in advance for your help.
Senior Broadcast Journalist
New Broadcasting House Zone 3B 3rd Floor
Tel: + 44 203 614 1152▶김 풍: 글 올린 베트남 출신 영국 여성 후옹 리 씨는 BBC 방송기획 편집자로 활동 중이며
베트남 전쟁 당시 1969년 3월 8일에 행방불명된 어머니 두옹 티 쑤안 키 여사에 관하여
작은 단서라도 알기 원하여 이 곳을 찾았습니다.
그녀의 가족들은 장기간에 걸쳐 베트남 정부와 미군당국의 관계자들에게 문의하였지만
문서 기록에 전혀 나타나지 않고 마지막으로 직접 관련이 있는 한국군에게 문의 하기로
그분(모친)은 북베트남 편의 전쟁 취재 작가로서 활동했으며 1969년 3월 4일 부터 다낭 남쪽
광남성 두이 쑤엔 지방 쑤엔탄 마을 티 타이 부락에서 지역 차단 및 탐색 작전을 실시한 한국군
청룡에 의해 희생당한 것으로 조사되었읍니다.
며칠 간 지하 벙커에 베트콩들과 함께 숨어 지내던 일행은 3월 8일 밤 8시에서 9시 사이에
탏출을 시도했으나 조명불빛에 노출되어 추격당하던 중 마른 우물에 두명의 베트콩과 함께
말흔 우물에 피신 하였습니다,
그러나 총격을 받고 다른 한명과 그녀는 부상당하였으며 또 다른 한 베트콩은 수류탄을 던져
지연작전을 쓰면서 부상이 심한 어머니는 남겨두고 도망쳤습니다.
작전이 끝나서 한국군이 철수한 후에 베트콩 지역 조직의 조사에서 두명의 희생자가 나왔는데
하나는 지역 베트콩 임원이고 또 하나는 그녀(모친) 이었습니다.
그 베트콩 임원은 한국군이 매장하고 나뭇가지로 십자가 표시를 해 주어서 쉽게 시체를 찾았지만
그녀는 핏자국 외에는 흔적이 없었습니다.
알고 싶은 것은 한국군이 그 지역 어딘가에 매장해 주었는지 아니면 부상당한 몸으로 헤메다니다
어딘가 토굴에 묻혔는지 모두 궁금합니다.
상세한 내용을 한국군이 공식적으로 기록해 남기기는 어려웠겠지만 현장에 있었던 분은
개인적으로 기억을 할 수 있을 것 같습니다.
물론 베트콩들과 함께 있었던 여성이 취재 기자(작가)라고 생각했던 분은 없었을 것 같습니다.
이 가족의 불행이 어두운 전쟁의 한 단면을 보여 주어서 가슴이 아픕니다.
이제 화해의 시대에서 함께 살고 있으니 협조할 수 있으면 좋은 일이라고 생각됩니다.
혹시 당시 현장에서 직접 체험하신 전우나 비슷한 이야기를 들으신 전우가 계시면
010-7629-0275 (김풍)에게 연락 주시면 고맙겠습니다