- Feb 20, 2020
Some will be shocked to find out that the United States and Ho Chi Minh, our nemesis for much of the Vietnam War, were once allies. Indeed, during the last year of World War II, American spies in Indochina found themselves working closely with Ho Chi Minh
In 1945, members of the American "Deer Team," part of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services CIA predecessor), worked with Vietnamese guerrilla fighters to throw Japanese troops out of Indochina. As the war ended, the people of Vietnam looked to the United States to support their dreams of independence.
Members of the Deer Team and Viet Minh at training camp. Allison Thomas stands in the center and is flanked on his left by Vo Nguyen Giap and on his right by Ho Chi Minh. Photo by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Members of the Deer Team providing instruction to the Vietnamese on use of the M-1 carbine, August 16, 1945. Photo by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Allison Thomas standing alongside members of the Viet Minh preparing for the march toward Hanoi, August 1945. Photo by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Archimedes Patti and Vo Nguyen Giap (both front center) saluting the Allied and Vietnamese flags as the Star Spangled Banner and Vietnamese national anthem played. Photo courtesy of the Archimedes L. Patti Collection, University of Central Florida.
Peaceful demonstrations in Hanoi advocating independence for Vietnam, August 1945. Photo courtesy of the Archimedes L. Patti Collection, University of Central Florida.