General Note / OCR
(PAVN) Bui Tin joined the Viet Minh in 1945 and served as one of Ho Chi Minh's bodyguards for a time and fought against the French in the First Indochinese War in the 1951 battles in the Red River Delta. He also took part in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. In 1963, the leadership of North Vietnam sent him on foot down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to survey the political, economic, military, and social situation in South Vietnam. He took part in the war against the United States, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel. He also covered the final PAVN capture of South Vietnam in 1975 as a newspaper correspondent. In April 1975, Colonel Tin rode a tank onto the grounds of the Presidential Palace and, as ranking officer on the scene, accepted the surrender of the Republic of South Vietnam from President Duong Van 'Big' Minh. After the war, he served as Deputy Editor of the Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People's Army) newspaper. Also, writing under the pseudonym of Thanh Tin, COL Tin criticized the direction the Vietnamese Communist Party took in the 1970s and 1980s, especially with the Viet Kieu, the overseas Vietnamese community. He eventually moved to Paris and published his memoirs Snowdrop (1991) and The Real Face (1993). COL Tin also wrote Following Ho Chi Minh: The Memoirs of a North Vietnamese Colonel (1995) and From Enemy to Friend: A North Vietnamese Perspective on the War (2002). This interview was conducted in Vietnamese. The transcript has been translated into English.