Hero: Vietnamese Colonel Le Ba Binh

By | March 5, 2019

[March 5, 2019] The Vietnam War was one of the least understood conflicts of the 20th Century. Like other wars, it also brought out the best and the worst of men. Today I will highlight the heroism of South Vietnamese Marine Colonel Le Ba Binh (Trung Tá LÊ BÁ BÌNH). His courage under fire and moral standing in the face of a determined Communist army brought him and his men forever the honor they greatly deserve.

The immense suffering of the Vietnamese people under Communist rule is consistently ignored. Fortunately, there were military leaders on the ground in Vietnam that served to remedy the horror inflicted upon them. Le Ba Binh was one of them. His actions late in the war, with the help of U.S. Marine advisors, would help set the tone for the future of the Vietnamese peoples.

In March of 1972, the North Vietnamese kicked off its largest and most destructive offensive. Dubbed the “Easter Offensive,” it began with attacks across the DMZ. For the south, men like Le Ba Binh resisted the attacks with élan, valor, and gritty determination.

Binh’s battalion held the ground defending the only major bridge across the Cua Viet River near Dong Ha. The bridge was strategic in that it was the only one that would allow tanks to cross. Binh and his men held their ground in spite of overwhelming odds. His training and leadership is what kept the unit together as his men fought for their lives.1

“It is rumored that Dong Ha has fallen…My orders are to hold the enemy in Dong Ha.  We will fight in Dong Ha.  We will die in Dong Ha.  We will not leave.  As long as one Marine draws a breath of life, Dong Ha will belong to us.” – Lieutenant Colonel Le Ba Binh

Two U.S. Marine advisors, Lieutenant Colonel John Ripley and Colonel Josh Dorsey were also key players in helping hold the Communist army. The stories of these three heroes are in Rich Botkin’s book; Ride to Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph, a 2009 history of the war.

Colonel Le Ba Binh and his men deserve our greatest respect for what they did during the war to defend against an enemy intent of domination of the lives of the citizens in South Vietnam.


  1. https://modernamericanheroes.wordpress.com/tag/colonel-le-ba-binh/


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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

19 thoughts on “Hero: Vietnamese Colonel Le Ba Binh

  1. Ronny Fisher

    Colonel Le Ba Binh is a true hero. Thank you Gen. Satterfield for this posting today. I had no idea. That is also why I keep coming back to your leadership blog.

    1. Greg Heyman

      Same here. Great stuff as well as entertaining and short.

  2. Martin Shiell

    I really like your mini-series on Heroes. It gives me a calmness to know that there are still people in the world that are willing to step up and fight for what is good. Too bad so many of our young have been indoctrinated by the infection of communism.

  3. Eric Coda

    We often overuse the term “hero” in our conversations with others. But Vietnamese Colonel Le Ba Binh was truly one of them. He shows both moral and physical courage when called upon. Nothing more can be asked of people like him. I’m glad he survived the war (although having to go thru ‘reeducation camp”) but managed to get to the USA where there is still freedom.

  4. Max Foster

    Often, when we think of courage, we think of it as shown here by Vietnamese Colonel Le Ba Binh. But there is much more; moral courage. He also showed moral courage in his fight against the tyranny of North Vietnamese aggression and its horrible effect on the lives of his countrymen. North Vietnam was a puppet state of the Soviet Union. And those who deny the deaths of 10s of millions of Russians at the hands of Communism, ignore the very core of that ideology to their peril.

    1. Gil Johnson

      Our youth who attend school in America are constantly hit with the socialist ideology and yet the downside is never discussed with them. The beginning of accepting socialism/communism (and yes they are not that different) is to also explain why this ideology was directly responsible (and the men who adhered to it) to more than 100 million deaths in the 20th century. This number excludes those who were killed in any war.

    2. Dale Paul Fox

      The mini-socialist are everywhere because they believe they are morally superior. So, what are we as average citizens who know better, do about it? Well, we can calmly explain that socialism/communism (the same that Le Ba Binh fought) is an evil ideology that always destroys. And there are plenty of examples.

    3. José Luis Rodriguez

      Max, as usual great comment.

    4. Bryan Lee

      Excellent comment as we see from you Max. What so many people miss is that communism and socialism are tribal ideologies. The growth of humanity was based on moving away from tribalism because it is a destructive way of existance.

  5. Army Captain

    As a Lieutenant, I read the book about Le Ba Binh and the two US Marine Colonels who were also major players in the heroism in Vietnam. I’m so glad that there are men like this in the world. They help show the way.

    1. Joe the Aussie

      There will never be enough like these men. It requires courage, hard work, knowledge of the difference in good and evil, and high motivation. That is too much for the average person. Especially true of Americans who are generally lazy and privileged. This is no insult to my American friends. Cheers!

      1. Wilson Cox

        Yes, I was wondering if you were taking an unnecessary swipe at Americans but I see your point. We do encourage laziness (both physical and intellectual). In fact, Gen Satterfield has also written about it.

  6. Janna Faulkner

    I saw the movie, which was okay but not that great. My brother gave me the book which was truly a gem in the rough. Loved how the author was able to make it clear that it was US politicians and their moral cowardice that led to the Communist takeover in Vietnam.

    1. Albert Ayer

      … and as we all know, moral cowardice can do long-lasting damage. That was the case in Vietnam and still occurs today, especially those who are puppets of Communism.

      1. lydia truman

        Thanks Albert. You are correct. What to do about it, is our duty to lead people to goodness and not to faux-goodness that is really evil.

    2. Maureen S. Sullivan

      On target comment, Janna. You go girl.

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