Duong Long Sang:
While I was in the north I heard that the inhabitants of the south were killed in droves, among them were members of my family. Therefore, I was very worried and my heart ached terribly. Hence, I went to my superiors and volunteered to go back to the south to fight in any circumstances and with any means. My superiors said that if you volunteered, then it was possible for you to go. So I and about 10 other brothers went back to this area. The highland people took us south. When we got here, the first person we met was Comrade Tran Hai Phung, who is now the major general commanding the armed forces in the city.
We also met with Comrade Nguyen Duc Hung, alias Tu Du, who was the commander of the Special Forces inside the city at that time. When these two comrades found out that I was a Saigonese and knew the city very well, they let me join the Special Forces to fight inside the city. We used Cu Chi as our training base and launch area. We recruited people from Saigon
and trained them in Cu Chi. Then we sent these people back to Saigon
to operate there.
They would lead normal lives as young people, as workers and as servicemen and women. We organized people from the city, took them out to Cu Chi for training and then sent them back to Saigon
. As far as I was concerned, when I arrived here I used faked papers which I made myself. These papers looked exactly like the papers, issued by the enemy.
This was to enable me to travel around in full public view and before the eyes of the enemy. When we operated in the city, each section of our organization had people who specialized in producing false papers. Whenever the enemy produced any kind of paper, we could always obtain the sample and produce exact replicas. Sometimes we produced these papers inside Saigon
itself. Sometimes we produced them in our base area.
This was because in Saigon
while the enemy appeared to control the population, in reality the people were secretly supportive of the revolution. Hence, there were many people who were eager to support the revolution, each to his or her ability. Whenever we came to the city, the people put us up in their houses, fed us and protected us so as to enable us to carry out our activities.
On the road, the enemy's checkpoints and patrol cars always stopped us and asked for our papers. But these policemen were people who were mindful of their own personal security and, in addition, we had the protection of the population along the road. And so we traveled from Saigon
to Cu Chi or to other places without many difficulties at all. This was how we operated.
We relied mainly on the patriotism of the Saigon
inhabitants in order to build up our forces, to survive and to travel around. And the male and female soldiers from Saigon
were brought to Cu Chi and trained in the tunnels. We had to train them in the tunnels so as to instill in them a certain degree of political consciousness and certain technical and tactical skills to enable them to fight.
This was especially when they had big jobs such as attacking large enemy hotels when they had to use automobiles, Honda motorcycles and small arms which required you to hit the enemy with only a single bullet. Therefore, we had to bring these people out here to Cu Chi to train them. It was impossible to give them this kind of training in Saigon
. Our training in Saigon
was very simple: producing explosives and operating simple weapons.
But when the fighting became more complex, we had to bring people out here for training. And when we brought people out here to Cu Chi, it was very difficult to keep them undetected above ground. Hence, we had to take people down to the tunnels and kept people separate from each other so that they could not know each other's identity. Then we trained them.
These people also did not know our faces. And we also tried to change our voices so that they would not be able to identify us. Therefore, the trainees had no way to know who their commanders were. And the trainers themselves also did not know the faces of their trainees. They only knew these people through their unit leaders.