51 years ago in December 1972, the US launched strategic air raids on Hanoi and major cities in the North with the hope of crushing the will of the Vietnamese people and forcing them to accept US conditions at the Paris Peace Talks. Over 12 days and nights the North Vietnamese army and people fought with determination to win the battle of the air. The victory "Hanoi - Dien Bien Phu in the air" forced the US government to declare a stop to bombing the North and sign the Paris Peace Accords.

On the evening of December 18 1972, the US mobilized 90 B52 strategic bombers and 135 tactical aircraft (F4, F8, F111, A6, A7) to fly three bombing raids over Hanoi and surrounding areas including Hanoi, Dong Anh, Yen Vien, Duc Giang, Me Tri and airports. In the following nights, the US increased air strikes and attacked Bach Mai hospital and other areas: Kham Thien, Hai Ba Trung, Giap Bat, Thuong Dinh, Dong Anh. All were severely damaged by the B52s. In one day on December 26, in Kham Thien, 278 people were killed, 290 injured and 2,000 houses collapsed.

The destruction caused by B52s in Kham Thien is clearly seen through the tragedy of Ms. Nguyen Thi Nguyet's family at house number 3, group 2 and block 46, Kham Thien Street. Ms. Nguyen Thi Nguyet was born in 1937 and from 1956-1972 she worked as a storekeeper at the General Corporation of Grocery Enterprises under the Ministry of Foreign Trade. During her work, she was very active; so many times she received certificates of merit for being an advanced worker.

Mr. Ngo Ba Quy and Ms. Nguyen Thi Nguyet got married in 1964, but because of illness, she did not give birth to her first child Ngo Minh Thu until July 7, 1970. Having their first child, the couple is very happy and excited. The family always lived in harmony, solidarity, loved each other and helped each other in life and work.

Photos of a happy family: photos of Mr. Quy and Ms. Nguyet; photo of Ms. Nguyet holding Thu; photos of Ms. Nguyet and Thu.


At the beginning of December 1972, at the government evacuation centre, the family happily welcomed the birth of their second child, Ngo Minh Ha.

Towels, diapers, hats and socks are items of Ngo Minh Ha when she was born.

The family's pain was extreme when on the night of December 26, 1972; a B52 bomb killed her and her two children, Ngo Minh Thu (2 years old), Ngo Minh Ha (19 days old) at her home.

The wife and children were gone forever leaving in the heart of the husband and father an inconsolable pain. He had only memorabilia to remember his wife and children by. Those memorabilia were presented by Mr. Ngo Ba Quy to the Hanoi Museum for storage, preservation and display. Ngo Ba Quy's memento is the story of a family experiencing ups and downs of happiness and pain to the extreme. But love and nostalgia will be the driving force to help Ngo Ba Quy live and live better for the deceased.

Clothes and toys of Ngo Minh Thu

The war has receded, but the pain is still with those who are still alive. The memorabilia of Mr. Quy's family are treasured and preserved at the Hanoi Museum. They will be displayed and introduced to the public. This is a testament to the fierce destruction of the 12 day-and-night battle of Dien Bien Phu in the air in Hanoi in 1972.


Bùi Thị Hương