Wednesday , April 24 2024

US veteran returns Vietnam War notebook to late owner’s family

U.S. veteran Peter Mathews on Sunday morning returned the lost notebook of Vietnamese solider Cao Van Tuat to his family in Ky Anh District, Ha Tinh Province.

Matthews, who left the U.S. with his wife Christina, spent over 24 hours on a flight to Vietnam where he fought during the Vietnam War.

They arrived in Ky Anh District in the central province at 9 a.m. and was welcomed by the family of Ha Huy My, who is a relative to Cao Van Tuat.

U.S. veteran Peter Mathews pays tribute to late Vietnamese soldier Cao Van Tuat in Ha Tinh Province. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung

U.S. veteran Peter Mathews pays tribute to late Vietnamese soldier Cao Van Tuat in Ha Tinh Province, March 5, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung

Mathews found the notebook during a battle in Dak To in Kon Tum Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands in November 1967.

He did not give the notebook to his superior as he thought that the artistic drawings inside could not have contained military intel.

He decided to keep it and wanted to find out if the owner was alive. There was a period of 10 years where he did not even look at it, but he never considered it his belonging.

Last year, Mathews asked two Vietnamese-origin people to translate a few pages. He posted the details of the notebook on social media and started looking for the family of Tuat in January this year.

After the news spread, the chairman of the Ha Tinh Fatherland Front Committee Tran Nhat Tan eventually contacted Mathews regarding the notebook. Authorities then performed verification processes and determined that the owner of the notebook was Cao Van Tuat, the content written by Tuat and his comrades.

Vietnam Airlines gave Mathews and his wife two-way tickets to Vietnam.

Tuat, born in 1942, enlisted in the army in 1963 and died in 1967.

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