Vietnam War Diary

The Case:

Marge Garner of Missouri brought the diary to History Detectives for her friend and Vietnam War veteran, Bob Frazure.

In 1966, after the battle “Operation Indiana,” Bob came upon the body of a North Vietnamese soldier. A small, red diary lay on the soldier’s chest. Inside, Bob found a photograph of two young women. With mixed emotions, he’s held onto the diary for 46 years. Marge and Bob ask Wes Cowan to find the soldier’s hometown and return the diary to his family. 

This History Detectives investigation became part of a profound international exchange, a first for History Detectives. In this case, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta returned the diary of a fallen North Vietnamese soldier to Vietnam’s Minister of Defense.



On September 21, 2012, the journey of Vu Dinh Doan’s diary was completed.

In his home town of Cay Village, Vietnam, Colonel Nguyen Xuan Nang, director of the Vietnam Defense History Museum presented the diary to Doan’s surviving children, Vu Dinh Son and Vu Thi Tuyen. Find out more and see images from the ceremony in our blogpost.

Vietnam's People's Army Newspaper devoted a five part series to the deeply personal story of the family's journey since their father died in 1966. Read the article here.

Discuss this story

Season 10, Episode 6

Wes Cowan Location:
Springfield, Missouri and Washington, DC

More Information

If you were a part of Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines 1965-1966, contact Captain Robert Prewitt (ret. Lt. Colonel).

Diary Excerpts


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