According to war veterans of the Vietnam Traditional Association of Truong Son - Ho Chi Minh Trail, Xuan Son ferry terminal was responsible for ensuring the transport of personnel, vehicles, weapons, food, and military equipment across the Son River, providing support to all directions on the battlefield. In this site, Company 16 of Military Station 14 under Truong Son Corps was tasked with the mission.

The last ferry at Xuan Son ferry terminal before Xuan Son bridge was inaugurated in 2005

With the motto of “Cave is home; ferry terminal is battlefield,” the officers and soldiers of Company 16 built a pontoon bridge to cross the river in early evening and dismantled it in early morning the next day and hid the pontoon bridge’s parts in Phong Nha Cave.

With its important position, the ferry terminal was the target of the enemy. It was considered one of the “bomb bags” of Truong Son. Many troops sacrificed their lives to ensure the safe crossing of vehicles over Son River. One of them was Vo The Chon. To destroy the magnetic bombs and torpedoes densely dropped on the river bed by the enemy, Chon made a proposal and volunteered to drive a 90 horsepower canoe on Son River.

On May 7, 1968, Company 16 held a memorial service for Vo The Chon while he was still alive before he performed this dangerous mission. After the memorial service, Chon steered the canoe to the sites of enemy magnetic bombs and torpedoes where scouts reported. Whenever the canoe crossed one of those sites, a series of explosions occurred, forming columns of water rising high in the riverbed. The canoe was still safely operational. As a result, the traffic at Xuan Son ferry terminal resumed smooth. On the night of May 7, more than 300 vehicles safely crossed the Son River, heading for the Southern theater.

The place which used to be Xuan Son ferry terminal

On December 9, 2013, the Prime Minister signed Decision No.2383/QD-TTg recognizing the Truong Son - Ho Chi Minh Trail system, including Xuan Son ferry terminal, as a special national relic site.

Today, the stele of Xuan Son ferry terminal historical relic placed on a Son River bank is a “red address” to educate people and tourists about the national tradition, especially the tradition of the Truong Son - Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Translated by Hoang Anh