Le Xuan Vy, the first builder of Vinh Moc Tunnel

Le Xuan Vy, the first builder of Vinh Moc Tunnel - ảnh 1
LE Xuan Vy, first builder of Vinh Moc Tunnel
(VOVworld) – Vinh Moc Tunnel, an underground miniature village, in Quang Tri province’s Vinh Linh district, is a famous national historical site. During the Vietnam War, the tunnel was a safe shelter for thousands of people. In today’s program, VOV introduces Le Xuan Vy, the first builder of Vinh Moc Tunnel, who left school after the fourth grade.

During the 1960s, the Vinh Linh area suffered severe bombardments by the US and South Vietnam forces. The construction of the Vinh Moc Tunnels in Vinh Linh District began in 1966 when Vy was the chief of police in Cua Tung near the Ben Hai River, which separated North and South Vietnam. It was in that year Vy thought of building underground tunnels in Vinh Giang, Vinh Moc, and Son Ha to safeguard soldiers and locals. Vy recalls: "The bamboo fences surrounding our village were not strong enough to protect us from the enemy so we thought of digging A and U shaped underground tunnels. We often joked that we could not provide our people with armor, but we could use tunnels as our armor."  

Vy, who is now in his 80s, recalled the time he and his comrades built the Vinh Moc Tunnel using just rudimentary tools like hoes and shovels. The most modern tool they had for the construction of the tunnel was an old compass. The construction continued underground even during the most severe bombardments by the enemy. Vy told VOV: "We were nervous in the beginning because we were afraid we were not capable of completing this huge task. We had two rows of bamboo trees covering the U-shaped tunnel we dug. All calculations were meticulously made to connect all exits of the tunnel. In the tunnel, the air intakes are 50 m from each other." 

Le Xuan Vy, the first builder of Vinh Moc Tunnel - ảnh 2

50 years have passed. Vy said he’ll never forget a single day he and his comrades spent digging the tunnels: "It was our strong determination that helped us reduce work accidents and keep our work on track. We had 3 teams of 5 people that took turns digging the tunnels. They took a rest after 25 minutes of digging."

Le Xuan Hoa, Le Xuan Vy’s son, said he was amazed when he visited the tunnels for the first time: "My father told me how he and his comrades built the tunnels, including how they measured everything and created air intakes. They planted bamboo trees on top of the tunnels to avoid detection. I could not imagine how they could accurately dig tunnels that all ended at one point."

Vy said he was very happy that his first son was born in 1967 in the tunnel which saved thousands of lives during the war.