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Hoan Vu

In April of 1975 I was a captain of the boat 7706 at the Navy base in Long Xyteb in South Vietnam. The situation was bad everywhere in my country. On April 27th the Hoa Hao religion took over the Navy base. They were strong enemies of the Communists because their leader, Huynh Phu So, had been killed by Communists. So they asked if we wanted to join them to fight the Communists or leave the base. I decided to leave.

 So my colleague and I used telephone code to connect with the U.S. Navy fleet to help us. At midnight, my friends and I went secretly to the pier and got a boat. We all got in and at first I didn't start the engine, but just moved smoothly along with the current. When the boat was far from the pier, I started the engine and went toward the sea. The boat moved slowly along the river for several hours. Suddenly at 5:30 AM I saw two Communist boats on the horizon. I told my colleague to get his gun and be ready to fight. Then the women and children from the cabin below rushed out and cried in panic and my colleague took out his gun and committed suicide.

 After that I brought the boat to shore, but the Communists kept shooting at us. I had to raise the white flag and bring our boat over to the Communist boat so they could check everything. They released the women and children, but they kept me.

 They investigated me for three days about the Navy base at Long Xuyen, but I told them nothing. On April 30, they received the high command that all Communists had to attack Saigon so they took everything that belonged to me except my underwear and released me.

 When I came home, I found out my father had burned up everything that belonged to me because he thought I might be dead. He was scared the Communists knew I was involved with the Republic government.

 I tried to get to Saigon many times, but I was unlucky, so I stayed home for a month and then I was forced to go to a concentration camp for three and a half years.