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Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum – Notebook and Image Gallery

Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum

Here are a handful of shots taken at the Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum (Bao Tàng Phòng Không – Không Quân), which sits on the eastern edges of Hanoi. A google translation of the sign above: All for the protection of the skies of our Vietnamese Fatherland.

With the remains of some 25 planes and various support vehicles neatly spread out over the unused Bach Mai airfield, there’s a lot here that will be of interest to aircraft and history buffs, particularly the many downright odd-looking Soviet-made copters. In that sense, the museum did have a certain appeal, a freeze frame of warplane technology from the 1960s and 1970s.

Training plane Vietnam People's Air Force Museum
Training plane, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum
Mil Mi-6 helicopter - Hanoi
Mil Mi-6 helicopter
Mil Mi-4 helicopter Hanoi
Mil Mi-4 helicopter
Mil Mi 4 Helicopt er plaque
Mil Mi 4 Helicopt er plaque
MiG-17 Hanoi
MiG-17, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum
Antonov An-2 Hanoi
Antonov An-2

 

But what I mainly saw when looking at the tons upon tons of metal rusting and rotting in the heat and smog of Hanoi was yet another reminder of the insane amounts of money and resources man insists on wasting to wreak havoc upon his fellow man. And no – I’m not making light of the sacrifices young soldiers were forced to make –in this case both (and mainly) Vietnamese, who were defending their homeland against outside aggression, and troops sent by France and the US to fight unjust and unwinnable battles. It was simply an observation, scribbled into my notebook, about how resources devoted to making war always far outweigh those that are invested in making peace.

Below, a downed US plane.

Wreckage from an F-4 Phantom II B
Wreckage from an F-4 Phantom II B, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum

Wreckage from an F-4 Phantom II B Air Force Museum Hanoi Wreckage from an F-4 Phantom II B - Hanoi

The airfield, built by the French in 1917, provides ample room for what is mostly a vast junkyard, one brimming with historical and patriotic symbolism. The planes take up much of the space and attention, but I found myself more drawn to the plethora of rusted support and ground vehicles. And to their awkward and colorful descriptions, like the one describing the bulldozer below:

Bulldoger No UL-269 – This bulldoger used by 28th air field engineer battalion in building head quarters, missile, radar, shelling fighting battle fiellds, in building secret airfields participating in our airfare and air defense glorieus victories.

Bulldozer Vietnam People's Air force museum
Bulldozer, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum
AM Anti-aircraft gun vehicle, Soviet-made
Soviet-made AM mobile anti-aircraft gun
Mobile Radio vehicle
Mobile Radio vehicle, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum

Mobile radio vehicle, hanoi

Old truck Vietnam Peoples Air Force Museum

Radar vehicle

Radar vehicle Vietnam People's Air Force Museum
Radar vehicle, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum
Support vehicle, Vietnam People's Air Force Museum
Support vehicle
Mobile radar Vietnam People's Air Force Museum
Mobile radar
Mobile radar Vietnam People's Air Force Museum Hanoi
Mobile radar, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum
Mobile radar vehicle Vietnam People's Air Force Museum
Mobile radar vehicle, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum

 

I arrived quite late in the day –just after a visit the Thanhxuan Peace Village— and had less than 30 minutes to rush through the museum building itself. The majority of the exhibits focused on the Second Indochina War –the “American War” to the Vietnamese and “The Vietnam War” in the US– and included a good stock of artifacts collected before and after the victory. Here are some introduced by the subheading, ‘Objects Collected From US-Puppet Bases in the South on Liberation Day’.

Objects Collected From US-Puppet Bases in the South on Liberation Day
‘Objects Collected From US-Puppet Bases in the South on Liberation Day’, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum
Teleprinter Vietnam People's Air Force Museum
Teleprinter Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum

 

A few more images from the museum building, including its wall of honor, the landing hold for Soyuz 37 which included Vietnamese pilot Pham Tuan, the first Asian in space, and photos and a statue of Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.

Wall of honour Vietnam People's Air Force Museum
Wall of honor, Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum
Landing hold for Soyuz 37
Landing hold for Soyuz 37

Vietnam People's Air Force Museum, Hanoi

Photograph of Ho Chi Minh Vietnam Peoples Air Force Museum
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Peoples Air Force Museum

Vietnam People's Air Force Museum

Ho Chi Minh Vietnam Peoples Air Force Museum 2

Ho Chi Minh statue Vietnam Peoples Air Force Museum

 

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  • Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum /Bao Tàng Phòng Không – Không Quân
  • No. 171 and 179, Truong Chinh Street, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi.
  • 8-11am and 1:30-4:30pm Tuesday through Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday.

 

Note: photos taken during a visit in October 2010. A recent photo request called for a stock update.

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  1. paula graham says

    Madness, all wars , madness…man made madness. SAD

  2. Playamart - Zeebra Designs says

    I especially liked that ‘radar vehicle.’ nice shot.

    yes, pondering how mankind seems to stay in some sort of conflict / seeing these images – opens a wound of sadness. wars and conflicts represent so much destruction and negative energy —- will we ever rise above that or forever be caught in a loop?

Thoughts?

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