Nguyễn Chánh Thi
Nguyễn Chánh Thi (23 February 1923 – 23 June 2007) was an officer in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. He is best known for being involved in frequent coups in the 1960s. He was a key member of various juntas that ruled South Vietnam from 1964 until 1966. He died of a heart attack in 2007 at the age of 89.
About Nguyễn Chánh Thi in brief
Nguyễn Chánh Thi (23 February 1923 – 23 June 2007) was an officer in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. He is best known for being involved in frequent coups in the 1960s. He was a key member of various juntas that ruled South Vietnam from 1964 until 1966. Known for his flamboyant style and hostility to U. S. advice, Thi’s ouster was supported by the American leadership, who backed Kỳ’s pro-U.S. regime. Thi fled into exile in Cambodia, but returned after Diệm was deposed and executed in November 1963. After three months of virtual secession, he emigrated to the U.S., where he lived for the rest of his life. He died of a heart attack in 2007 at the age of 89. He leaves behind a wife and three children. He also leaves a son and a daughter. He never had any children of his own, and was never a married father or a stepfather. He had no known grandchildren or great-grandchildren. He served in the French Army and was captured by Japan during World War II. He later transferred to the Vietnamese National Army and became a paratrooper. He fought for then-Prime Minister Ngô Đình Di Vietnamese in the 1955 Battle for Saigon. In November 1960, he led the paratroopers in a coup against Di Vietnamese, citing political interference in the military. In September 1964, he helped rescue Khánh from a coup attempt by two disgruntled Catholic generals, Lâm Văn Phát and Dương Vĉn Đức.
He became the deputy commander of I Corps under Nguyᝅn Khanh, and helped his superior to overthrow Di Vietnamese’s subjugators three months later. In January 1965, he help Khánn depose the junta-appointed civilian Prime Minister Trần Vĝn Hư�ng. In early 1966, feeling more confident about his hold on power, he announced that Thi would be going to the US for medical treatment, but in reality Thi refused to go along with the false story and wanted to stay in Vietnam. The disquiet escalated into open rebellion by pro-junta military units, allied to Buddhist activist movements in his region, traditionally a Buddhist stronghold. He declined an opportunity to serve as prime minister after being nominated by his fellow officers following the resignation of civilian Phan Huy Quát. He wanted to let a rival take the job and then step in after he had failed, but he never received a second opportunity. In March 1966, he was prominent in shutting down a junta,appointed civilian advisory body after they disapproved of a plan by younger officers to compulsorily retire old generals. He helped to force KhánH’s resignation at the same time. In February 1965 he helped defeat a coup attempts by PháT and Phạm Ngọc Thảo.