Legend of the HCM Trail at Sea

(VOVWORLD) - During the anti-US war, unnumbered ships transporting weapons, ammunition, and food supplies from the north to the southern front through the HCM Trail at Sea have become a legend. The soldiers have been praised for their bravery, resilience, and sacrifices to fulfill their tasks.
Legend of the HCM Trail at Sea - ảnh 1Ship HQ 671 is now on display at the Navy Museum in Vietnam

60 years ago, on October 23, 1961, Mission 759 was established with unnumbered ships – the predecessor of today’s Naval Brigade 125 - to open an important strategic route to transport supplies to the southern front. The HCM Trail at Sea was a strategic route which changed the fighting tactics and force balance between Vietnam and the US.

From 1961 to 1975, more than 1,900 ships were mobilized to transport more than 152,000 tons of weapons, ammunitions, medicines, and 80,000 personnel from the north to the south. The ships sailed through hundreds of thousands of miles, weathered against more than 20 storms, shot down 5 planes, and burned many enemy ships.

At a meeting with veterans of the HCM Trail at Sea, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said, 'The heroic feats and noble sacrifices of soldiers on the HCM Trail at Sea are forever recorded in the national history. Their brave sacrifices have become immortal legends for succeeding generations to remember, admire, respect, and be proud of. The Vietnamese motherland and people will forever remember the great contributions of the soldiers on the HCM City Trail at Sea.'

Every voyage on the HCM Trail at Sea was a tense, harsh, brave campaign against the enemy and the weather. Le Xuan Kham of Hai Phong, a crewmember on the unnumbered ships, recalls a fierce battle against dozens of enemy ships in 1966 after he and his comrades delivered weapons to the liberation soldiers.

'The captain decided to strike at the enemy’s ship directly. The enemy was surprised. One of their ships turned around. We turned too and fired at the enemy. At that moment, the two ships were only 20 meters apart and we made a pre-emptive shot at the American ship. They were so surprised that they could not react. We fought for the whole afternoon, sunk 2 ships and damaged one enemy ship,' said Mr. Kham.

Ship HQ 671 is the only ship that remains of the unnumbered ships. During the war, the ship made 20 trips transporting nearly 400 tons of weapons and supplies. In 2018, the ship was recognized as a national treasure.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail at Sea will forever be a source of pride for the army and people of Vietnam, Deputy Minister of National Defence Le Huy Vinh said at a ceremony to mark the 60th year since the opening of the secret shipping route. He described it as a shining symbol of revolutionary heroism and the Vietnamese army’s intelligence, courage, and determination to liberate and unite the nation, and said it was an innovative strategic initiative of President Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party of Vietnam.