Blackhorse E-News – October 2010


Our friend Bill Haponski tells us of a must-see event at the upcoming annual convention of AUSA:

angelMeet the author by Geneviève de Galard, author of The Angel of Dien Bien Phu: The Sole French Woman at the Decisive Battle for Vietnam. A talk by the author and a book signing will be held at 3:00 on Monday, 25 October at the Convention Center, Washington DC, during the annual convention of Association of the United States Army (AUSA).

About Geneviève de Galard:

In the spring of 1954, with the Free World engaged in a global struggle to contain Communism, all eyes were on a French garrison in a remote northwestern corner of Vietnam: Dien Bien Phu. Fifteen thousand French Union forces were surrounded by a 35,000 man Viet Minh army, supported by a 300,000-strong supply and labor force. Hanoi was 180 air miles distant, and wounded and dying needed to be evacuated from the airstrip which was under almost constant artillery bombardment.

A young French flight nurse had flown through antiaircraft fire into and out of this hell many times. On 28 March 1954, her evacuation aircraft succeeded in landing in the dark, but ran into barbed wire which ruptured the oil tank. After daylight the disabled aircraft was spotted and destroyed by artillery. This was the last plane to land at Dien Bien Phu. She was trapped.

What follows is the story of an incredibly skillful, compassionate, courageous young woman who for 57 days, to include 17 as a prisoner of the enemy, gave treatment and hope to those men who with profound respect and affection called her "our Geneviève" and the American press named , "The Angel of Dien Bien Phu." After her release, President Eisenhower invited her to the United States where she received a tickertape parade up Broadway, a standing ovation in Congress, and the Medal of Freedom from the president at the White House.

I edited her story and added material. My introduction, maps, chronologies, and orders of battle provide an overview of the French Indochina conflict, 1865-1956.

Entry is free to most convention events 25-27 October but you need to register online to avoid potential long waits. To register, go to

The book is available in local bookstores and online at and other retailers.

Hope to see some of you there.
Bill Haponski


Former Trooper seeks friends in Central Missouri

From Association member Kirk Mitchell: "I would like to learn of Association members in the Central Missouri area, especially those who were stationed in Fulda during the draw-down and eventual closure of Downs Barracks. You can contact me at Thanks."

Not to Kirk: you should check out Lots of former Cav members are members there. It is free.

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