BRIGADIER GENERAL TRAN QUANG KHOI
Brigadier General Trần Quang Khôi was a General of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. He commanded the ARVN III Armor Brigade and III Corps Assault Task Force (ATF) throughout III Corps Tactical Zone and in defense of the City of Bien Hoa against the final Communist Ho Chi Minh Campaign offensive in South Viet Nam.
Vietnamese National Military Academy
French Cavalry School
United States Army Armor School
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
He served with the ARVN 5th Cavalry to Xuan Loc.
His combined-arms Task Force 318 spearheaded the Cambodian Campaign.
He organized and trained III Armor Brigade and commanded it in Cambodia.
Tran was captured at the end of the battle and spent 17 years in a re-education camp. In 1992, he was released and in 1993, he received political asylum from the United States.
I was most sorry for the outcome of the war, but I had done my best. I let my troops execute the President's final order for themselves: I had nothing more to say. But deep in my heart, I silently thanked all of them for their courage, sacrifice, and dedication until the very last minute of the war. Together, we had fulfilled our obligation and oath of allegiance.
I shall never repent having done what I did, nor complain about the consequences of my captivity. If history were to repeat itself, I would choose the same path. By so doing, I know from experience that I would lose everything but HONOR.
"Brigadier General Tran Quang Khoi graduated from the Vietnamese National Military Academy at Dalat in 1952, the French Cavalry School at Saumur in 1955, and the U.S. Army Armor School at Fort Knox in 1959.
As senior advisor to the Vietnamese Chief of Armor, I first met him in 1966 when he deployed the ARVN 5th Cavalry to Xuan Loc. I accompanied him on several operations to reconnoiter for the impending arrival of the U.S. 11th ACR.
In May of 1966, he provided his 1/5 tank troop (M41A3) for airlift to Da Nang ("when Tanks Took Wings," ARMOR, May-June 1994).
In early 1970, his combined-arms Task Force 318 spearheaded the U.S./VN incursion into Cambodia, earning his Corps Commanding General the sobriquet "The Patton of the Parrot's Beak."
In November 1970, he organized and trained III Armor Brigade and commanded it in Cambodia, both before and after attending the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in 1972-73.
In 1971-72, I frequently met him in places like An Loc and Loc Ninh as his brigade raced between flash points in Cambodia.
Released from "Re-education Camp" after 17 years, he now resides in Springfield.VA.
He is one of the finest Armor leaders I ever met: bold and daring, but not foolhardy, he knew full well how to use mobility and firepower to produce shock even in terrain like Viet Nam's. He also had the imagination and flexibility to task-organize in such a way as to get the most from his available assets. Had Khoi been a tank battalion commander in Third Army during World War II, General Patton would have acknowledged two peers: Creighton Abrams and Tran Quang Khoi.
Raymond R. Battreall
Col., Armor (Ret)
(Armor, March-April 1996)