Long-hair drivers on legendary Truong Son Trail hinh anh 1Female drivers reunite at Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi. (Photo: Minh Thu/Vietnam+)

Hanoi (VNA) - During the resistance war, many women in the North volunteered to drive along the Truong Son trail, braving difficulty and danger to transport supplies to the South.

Through two long and arduous resistance wars, the world has recognized Vietnam as a small but heroic nation. Until now, wartime memories from historical witnesses have always inspired the Vietnamese generations.

When Vu Thi Kim Dung, 75, opens an album of old photos, her eyes shine brightly. She recalls her time serving the Army as a truck driver on the Truong Son Mountains route.

There are few words that can explain how hard those days were. However, she still feels proud of being part of a female driver platoon, the only one of its kind formed during the anti-American war.

Between 1966 and 1967, the US and Sai Gon armed forces increased their attacks against the liberation forces in the South. The US-Sai Gon air forces also tried to disrupt the supplies and reinforcements from the North to the South.

The need for transporting army supplies and personnel for the southern battlefield became more urgent than ever. That’s the reason why the Female Drivers Unit was founded officially under the name of army heroine Nguyen Thi Hanh in 1968.

The female drivers were given the task of transporting goods, soldiers and the wounded. They made history as a heroic platoon. They often suicidally crossed many dangerous places, heavily bombed by US air force, that male drivers were scared of – Dong Loc road junction in Ha Tinh Province, High Point 050, and Heaven’s Gate Pass in Quang Binh Province. 

Dung was born to a poor family in the northern province of Hung Yen. She was the oldest among five sisters. Her father died when they were young. The family burden was put on her shoulders.

When the Anti-American Youth Volunteer Brigade was established, many young people in the North enthusiastically volunteered to go to war.

In 1967, there was a call for young people to go to the battlefield in the central province of Quang Binh. Dung registered without her mother's knowledge. 

A day before enlisting, she was unable to hide the news from her mother and confessed everything. She hadn't seen her mother cry so much since her father passed away. Mother and daughter kept hugging each other and crying because the battlefield was so dangerous. Her mother didn’t want to let the young girl go.

Long-hair drivers on legendary Truong Son Trail hinh anh 2Vu Thi Kim Dung looks at war memorabilia displayed at the Hoa Lo Prison. She joined the team of female drivers when she was very young. (Photo: Minh Thu/Vietnam+)

Duong Thi The joined the female driver team at the age of 20. She had a boyfriend and wanted to marry him, but she was determined to leave for the sake of the country. She registered to join the army under the name of her older sister. Her parents knew about this decision.

“When I got on the train to the battlefield, I saw my father run after the train. He was angry and threw a rock at the carriage. Seeing that scene, my tears poured out of pity for my father, he did not want me to go into the way of the bombs,” The recalled.

Le Thi Hai Nhi joined the female driver team at the age of 17. She was an orphan so she felt free to join the army. Because she was too young to register, she cut her fingers, using blood to write a letter expressing her strong will to go.

The girls then gathered to join a training course lasting 45 days. They learned to drive and fix the large military trucks. Many of them hadn't even seen a real car because they lived in rural areas. So driving a truck made them scared and excited at the same time. 

Even 50 years later, they regularly meet up to recall the old stories that stay forever in the minds of the heroic drivers.

Long-hair drivers on legendary Truong Son Trail hinh anh 3A female driver on the Truong Son Trail. (File photo)

 “We reunite every year. I am very happy that we all still respect each other. We have passed along the edge of life and death together,” said Dung.

The female drivers sacrificed their youth to the nation. Today, they hope that young people will contribute more to society and respect the value of peace./.