Soldier who ended Vietnam War dies

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A file photo showing Bui Quang Than running to hoist the flag of the National Front for the Liberation of Southern Vietnam over the Sai Gon Presidential Palace (or Independence Palace), a move that officially ended the Vietnam War on April 30, 1975

Colonel Bui Quang Than, who raised the flag of the National Front for the Liberation of Southern Vietnam over the US-backed Saigon regime's headquarters to end the Vietnam War, died Sunday at the age of 64.

Than passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his house in the northern province of Thai Binh. The official cause of death has not yet been released.


Bui Quang Than in a file photo taken in April 2011

Than joined the army at the age of 18 in 1966. By the time he drove tank No. 843 into the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon on April 30, 1975, he was a 27-year-old lieutenant-captain.

When his tank got stuck, Than jumped out and rushed the flag to the top of the palace, where he flew it for all to see.

Than remained in the army until 2000, rising to the rank of colonel and commanding a tank brigade.

He had since been living a normal life, busying himself on his shrimp farm, earning just enough money to feed his family.

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