11. NGO THI NGA

Testimony

My name is Ngo Thi Nga, I am Vietnamese, born on 23 June 1944 in the village of An Lac, Dinh Hoa district, Bac Thai province: I am a fourth-form instructor for the school of general studies of the first degree of the town of Cam Pha, Quang Yen province [North Vietnam]; I am the daughter of Mr Ngo Van Thieu, fifty-four years old and of Mrs Ngeyem Thi Thin, fifty-one years old; both of them are rice-growers and are still alive.
     Since August 1964, because of the numerous raids of the American air force against Cam Pha, my school had to be evacuated to the village of Quang Linh, an agricultural village which is densely populated. The older pupils lived in the homes of the villagers, and the younger ones in the school building itself, together with the instructors.
     On 22 October 1966, around midnight, at the very moment when fifteen boarding students, a school worker and myself were sleeping, American planes came very quickly. Some bombs exploded, and a burning smell came forth, causing us very unpleasant sensations. I jumped out of bed, and began to lead my pupils towards shelters, but it was already too late. The children cried, while shouting: `Mademoiselle! Papa! Mama! Save us! Save us!'
     At that moment, my colleagues from the neighbouring houses rushed to the place where we were staying. When the bombing stopped, I saw little Luu Thi Hoa writhing in pain on her bed - her neck covered with blood. At that moment, I felt a shivering in the nape of my neck. Putting my hand there, I saw blood but, involved in rescuing my pupils, I paid no attention to my wound. And when I had finished leading my pupils to the shelters, I felt a shock in my head, and I fainted. People started to dress the wounds of two of the pupils and my own, and then had us taken to a hospital two kilometres from the school. My head ached more and more. I couldn't sleep, and I vomited all that I was given to eat. From the hospital's diagnosis, I was wounded by a steel pellet {144} in the head: the X-ray showed that the pellet was still there. Considering the seriousness of my injury, the regional hospital decided to send me for treatment to the surgery section of Viet Duc hospital in Hanoi. Little Luu Thi Hoa, six years old and a kindergarten pupil, and Vo Thi Binh, nine years old and a pupil in the second form, both of them very good pupils, died due to the gravity of their wounds.
     On 17 November, I was told that I had to have head surgery. Some days after the operation, the wound was healing, but the steel pellet of the American aggressor was still deeply lodged in my head, causing me innumerable pains. My sight was failing and I couldn't see anything from certain angles. When there is a change in temperature, I have a tremendous pain in the head, and I am unable to do anything. I am longing to be able to return to my school very soon with my pupils, but till now the steel pellet of the American aggressor forces me to continue treatment.
 

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