Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nguyễn Ngọc Loan

General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan was the Republic of Vietnam's Chief of National Police. Loan gained international infamy when he executed handcuffed prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém, a Viet Cong soldier, on February 1, 1968 in front of Vo Suu, an NBC cameraman, and Eddie Adams, an Associated Press photographer. The photo (captioned "General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon") and film would become two of the most famous images in journalism and started to change the American public's views on the Vietnam War.

In 1975, during the Fall of Saigon, Loan left South Vietnam. He moved to the United States, and opened a pizza restaurant at Rolling Valley Mall, in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Burke, Virginia. In 1991, Loan was forced into retirement when his identity was publicly disclosed.

Loan was married to Chinh Mai, with whom he had five children. He died of cancer on July 14, 1998 in Burke, Virginia.

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