The Full Story
His holy name is Ignatius.
His rank was First Lieutenant.
He completed his undergraduate pilot training from US Air Force.
As a young fighter pilot, he accomplished 500 combat missions. After the fall of South Vietnam, he re-settled in the US thru the sponsorship of Congressman Charles Stenholm (already retired from Congress).
One of the most memorable and fierce battles was the one in Thuong Đức where his future father-in-law was the commander on the ground- Special armed force Lieutenant colonel Bui with an honored name of a war hero: “Thần Hù” which means the commander who blocked the Vietcong’s attack and he brought the victory by his powerful commanding voice. That’s the separate battlefield.
In this battle involving his future father in-law, which Ca had no idea who the commander was, Vietcong were numerous in number surrounded the South Vietnamese troops. The ground troops needed air support and the Air Force dispatched a young pilot, that was Ca. When he reached the target, he received an order from the ground commander:
“This is commander #1, order you to drop that bomb on my head now.”
Pilot Ca answered, “Sir, but I will kill you.”
The commander gave the same order the 2nd time, Ca replied, “but I will kill you, sir.”
The 3rd time, the ground commander said, “this is military order. Drop that bomb on my head now.”
The young pilot obeyed and bombed the target.
After the mission was complete, Ca returned to the base emotionally upset thinking he killed all of the friendly troops on the ground. But he was not aware that during the conversation between the ground commander and Ca, the pilot, it was on the radio channel where both friends and enemies could hear. So, the enemies stay still to allow the young pilot to bomb on the commander’s head, but actually, it was the heads of the enemies that bombs were dropped, because the commander and his troops already moved out of the target area.
During the confusion, everyone assumed that the ground commander was killed. Ca himself went to visit the commander’s wife to offer condolences. That’s when he spotted his future wife for the first time and fell in love without her knowing about it.
A week passed, nobody knew whereabouts of the commander assuming he was killed and could not find his body.
One early morning, he reached the foot of the hill of an army base and waved his white handkerchief. They realized that was the missing commander and they sent a helicopter and flew him back to his headquarters.