As the only French woman among some 11,000 defenders at Dien Bien Phu, Geneviève de Galard had a unique perspective of the siege and fall of the French fortress. This memoir about her years as a flight nurse for the French air force offers previously unknown details about their defeat. De Galard was on the flights that evacuated casualties from the battle, often landing in the midst of Vietminh artillery barrages. After a French air force C-47 with de Galard on board was seriously damaged, she tended to the wounded and dying in a field hospital. Her efforts won her the Knight"s Cross and the Croix de Guerre, and from the American press the name "Angel of Dien Bien Phu." Following a tickertape parade in New York, President Eisenhower awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1954. Now, Americans can learn the full story.
Geneviève de Galard lives in Paris, where she served as a councilwoman for nearly twenty years. Her memoir was published in France in 2003, and six book club editions followed.
45 b/w photographs