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Ong Temple - a base for scouts, spies and commandos of Binh Duong

Update: 01-01-2021 | 10:00:22

Getting to Tan Uyen to learn about the historical and cultural values ​​of the locality, we were introduced to Ong Temple where reconnaissance, military intelligence, and provincial special forces were active in wartime. The site was marked by many events and had become the base for revolutionary operations in the two wars of resistance against France and the US of reconnaissance, military intelligence, and special mobilization.

Ong Temple was the site for reconnaissance, military intelligence, and special mobilization in Binh Duong province in wartime

Historical imprints

From Thu Dau Mot city to Tan Hiep gas station, take a left turn and be straight forward about 600m to reach Ong Temple. Ong Temple is located in Tan Long quarter, Tan Hiep ward, Tan Uyen town, next to Tan Long stream which flows to the war zone D. The place had favorable conditions for revolutionary reconnaissance, military intelligence and special forces soldiers to engage in revolutionary activities during the years of the resistance wars.

According to recorded documents, the Ong Temple was built in 1735 to serve as a place of worship and prayers for rain and peaceful life. Ong Temple had been chosen as the place to exchange information and grasp the situation of the enemy since the war against the French colonialists. However, until the time of the war against the US Army (specifically in 1961), the reconnaissance organization, military intelligence organization, and provincial commandos officially selected and arranged fixed mailboxes, officers, equipment, and secret vaults at Ong temple to operate their missions.

Binh Duong was identified as the gateway to Saigon - the headquarters of the enemy and a place to quickly grasp information and activities of the enemy. As a strategic position, the organization of reconnaissance, military intelligence, and provincial commandos decided to choose Ong Temple as the base of the organization as in this position the organization could operate at its best in terms of topography: Ong shrine, secret cellar, near the people, near the enemy, covered by forest, easy to connect and quickly transmit information to the organization.

During the resistance war against the French, reconnaissance, military intelligence and commandos contributed to the provincial armed forces in many daring battles, causing much damage to the enemy, especially, the battle that ambushed enemy forces transports on Highway 13 and burned down many vehicles; many enemies died on the spot in the area of ​​Truong Thom, Tan Dinh commune, Ben Cat. To the war against the US Army, activities and contributions of reconnaissance, military intelligence, and provincial commandos had significantly contributed to the struggle and national liberation and reunification.

After a period of monitoring and grasping the rules of the enemy's activities, on February 10, 1965, the special team of Thu Dau Mot town coordinated with the commando unit of Ben Cat district to organize an ambush at the Phu Cuong Work House ( the headquarter of the enemy government apparatus in the town) and the puppet Information Bureau (about 300 meters southeast of Phu Cuong Work House).  In just 10 minutes of fighting, the special forces of Thu Dau Mot town and the commandos of Ben Cat district knocked down a corner of the Phu Cuong Work House of 2 floors and the Information Bureau to eliminate 92 soldiers including 50 pacifiers, 25 police officers and 17 guards. The guard platoon guarding Information Bureau had only four men left.

From mid-1972, Thu Dau Mot reconnaissance, military intelligence and commando forces maintained the organization and combat activities until April 30, 1975. During the historic Ho Chi Minh Campaign, at the base, reconnaissance officers, military intelligence, and Thu Dau Mot commandos combined to fight and capture targets and mobilize the masses to rebel to liberate the provincial capital. At 9:40 am on April 30, 1975 on the way to escape to Saigon, Nguyen Van Cua (Thu Dau Mot provincial Chairman) with the same name as Colonel Deputy Commander of the 5th Infantry Division and some of his entourage officers were intercepted by reconnaissance, military intelligence and Thu Dau Mot commandos at Phu Van. The gateway to Saigon was opened, creating conditions for the armies of the liberation army to advance to liberate Saigon,

ending the war of invasion of the US Army in Vietnam.

A meaningful education destination

In 2013, the memorial monument for heroic martyrs of reconnaissance, military intelligence and commandos in Binh Duong province was built on the land that was the base area of ​​the unit in the wars. The temple is a place to worship 122 soldiers who were reconnaissance, military intelligence, and provincial commandos killed in their missions and is the place for the annual traditional gathering of those who are former scouts, military intelligence and commandos. It also is a traditionally revolutionary education place for teenagers of today and tomorrow generations.

The temple has a total area of ​​over 1,000 square meters, including temple grounds, the shrine and traditional rooms. Image of President Ho Chi Minh is in the main hall for worship. On the two sides are pictures of heroic martyrs, scouts, and soldiers killed in the wars. To the right of the temple is Ong Temple. To the left of the temple is a narrow water ditch of 5 meters deep, extending from the outside leading to the forest and the fields which also was the way to transport weapons, ammunition and food to the War Zone D. Behind the temple is the hall, built in 2013 as the meeting place of the Liaison Department of Reconnaissance, Military Intelligence and Special Forces in Binh Duong Province. On the right corner of the hall are 2 secret bunkers, where the units operated during the wars. These two tunnels were designed to connect to the forest and to the fields in case the enemy might discover. However, up to now, 2 secret bunkers have collapsed, only the mouth of the tunnel remains visible.

Coming to Ong Temple, beside commemorating the heroic martyrs and visiting the golden scallop tree and the fixed mailbox, we can also see artifacts such as the embroidery scarf of Le Thi Dac, a commando woman, fulfilled during her detention at Phu Loi Prison, the battle maps, belts and many other artifacts associated with reconnaissance, military intelligence and commandos in the province during the resistance wars. 45 years after the reunification of the country, the land of Tan Uyen now has a new coat of color and is on the way of developing day by day. Hidden in the flow of development is the heroic evidence of ancestors' generations in the process of building and defending the fatherland. Ong Temple a place for reconnaissance, military intelligence and special forces activities has become the destination for learning about traditions of the younger generation and also a place to recall the old memories.

The memorial of heroic reconnaissance martyrs, military warfare and commandos in Binh Duong province is a place to mark the heroic deeds of father's generations in heroic historical stories, documents and artifacts along with the  presence of living witnesses who were military cadres in the past is a great school that educates patriotism and national pride for younger generations of today and tomorrow. Thereon, the younger generation of today strives to study, work, and build up a rich and beautiful homeland to deserve the lofty sacrifice of the generations of their fathers.

Reported by Cam Ly - Translated by Vi Bao

Ong temple
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