Bernard B. Fall
  • Bernard B. Fall

  • Date of birth: November 19, 1926
  • Died: February 21, 1967
  • Born: in Vienna, Austria.

  • Description: Bernard B. Fall was a prominent war correspondent, historian, political scientist, and expert on Indochina during the 1950s and 1960s. Born in Austria, he moved with his family to France as a child after Germany's annexation, where he started fighting with the French Resistance at age 16, and later the French Army during World War II.

    In 1950 he first came to the United States for graduate studies at Syracuse University and Johns Hopkins University, returning and making his residence there. He taught at Howard University for most of his career and made regular trips to Southeast Asia to learn about changes and the societies. He predicted the failures of France and the United States in the wars in Vietnam because of their tactics and lack of understanding of the societies.

    On 21 February 1967, while accompanying a company of the 1st Battalion 9th Marines on Operation Chinook II in the Street Without Joy , Thua Thien Province, Fall stepped on a Bouncing Betty land mine and was killed. He was dictating notes into a tape recorder, which captured his last words: "We've reached one of our phase lines after the fire fight and it smells bad- meaning it's a little bit suspicious... Could be an amb--".Fall was survived by his wife and three daughters.

Topics