A Vietnamese Fighter Pilot in an American War by Hoi B. Tran | Books in Review

You can get a good idea about the what Hoi B. Tran’s memoir, A Vietnamese Fighter Pilot in an American War (Xlibris, 440 pp., $34.99, hardcover; $23.99, paper) from its title and by its dedication: “To my ill-fated father and my unfortunate mother. My beloved parents, my birth country and millions upon millions of innocent Vietnamese were victims of the traitorous, egocentric demon Ho Chi Minh.”

The book, the author explains, is “a reminiscence of my seventy-six years of life, ” and “an unwritten journal in my mind, a recollection of a Vietnamese boy born to a middle-class family in Hanoi, North Viet Nam, growing up through WWII, the Cold War, a long internecine conflict, and, finally, ending up living in exile.”

Among other things, Hoi B. Tran—a close associate of former South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Cao Ky—writes that “South Vietnam was a free, non-Communist country” under Ngo Dinh Diem, and that Walter Cronkite’s famed post-Tet 1968 TV report that the war was “mired in stalemate” was “slanted, biased, and distorted, ” and was “destructive to the United States” and South Vietnam, “while it offered the North Vietnamese communists a huge morale boost!” He also writes that the “ragtag” NVA was led by “mediocre generals.”

The author’s website is http://www.vnfighterpilotatwar.com/

—Marc Leepson

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