February 27

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Feb 27, 1962:

Diem survives coup attempt

South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem survives another coup attempt when Republic of Vietnam Air Force pilots Lieutenants Pham Phu Quoc and Nguyen Van Cu try to kill him and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu by bombing and strafing the presidential palace.

Lieutenant Quoc was arrested after his fighter-bomber crash-landed near Saigon. Lieutenant Cu fled to Cambodia, where he remained until November 1963. The attack confirmed Diem's conviction that his main adversaries were domestic. As a result, he retreated deeper into himself, delegating more authority to his brother Nhu, who set about eradicating dissidents--dozens of Diem political opponents disappeared, and thousands more were sent to prison camps. Diem and his brother were killed during a coup in November 1963.

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