Allied Countries - Taiwan ( Republic of China, ROC )
Taiwan Military & Other Assistance to RVN
Source:, Taiwan's Cold War Southeast Asia
Wang Sheng made his name as a prominent anticommunist in the Cold War’s Asian theater when he was slated to export and transplant Taiwan’s political warfare system to South Vietnam. In early 1961, at the request of Ngo Dinh Diem, the president of South Vietnam, Wang led seven Chinese Nationalist officers in inaugurating a series of anticommunist political and psychological training programs in Saigon to strengthen anticommunist ideology and consciousness among South Vietnamese forces. The officer corps soon became actively engaged in reforming South Vietnamese military education, training, intelligence, propaganda, and psychological warfare.
At this juncture, Taipei had also quietly begun providing Saigon with self-made military ammunition and materiel. Discussions about jointly producing small arms and light weapons were also underway.3 The program, which subsequently became an official military advisory group, signified the beginning of what Chiang Kai-shek described as an interdependent anticommunist alliance between Taiwan and South Vietnam.
In the spring of 1975, as Saigon was about to be captured by the North Vietnamese, Taiwan was the only country in the world still having an unofficial military advisory group there to assist the hapless and beleaguered South Vietnamese government in its doomed defense against the North.4
Excerpt Footnotes (Numbers from Source Document):
3. Report from Li Xiaoyao (ROC military attaché in Saigon) to ROC Ministry of National Defense, May 16, 1962, Wang Sheng Papers, Box 13, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University; Memorandum by the Department of Political Warfare, ROC Ministry of National Defense, July 24, 1962, ibid; Report from Wang Sheng to Chiang Ching-kuo, November 24, 1962, ibid.
4. Jie Chen, Foreign Policy of the New Taiwan: Pragmatic Diplomacy in Southeast Asia (Cheltenham, England: Edward Elgar, 2002), pp. 168-170.

Source: Edwin E. Moise, Tonking Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 1996, pp. 3 - 14. [Chapter 1. Covert Operations]
On May 11, 1961, President Kennedy approved National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 52, directiing an increase in covert paramilitary operations against North Vietnam [DRV], and an expansion in the forces available for such operations. The United States wanted to send not just lone spies but heavily armed teams, many of which were to be airdropped into the mountainous interior of the DRV. South Vietnamese air force personnel under Colonel (later General and Prime Minister) Nguyen Cao Ky flew the planes for the first such missions; 3 Chinese pilots brought in from Taiwan flew some later [missions].
Like many covert operations of the period, this program was supposed to remain concealed from the American people even if it could not be concealed from Hanoi. Colby later commented "In order to provide a 'plausible denial'...I set up an alleged Vietnamese private air-transport corporation --VIAT-- and arranged that it contract with some experienced pilots from the Agency's old friends on Taiwan."4
"Plausible denial" was compromised when one of the planes was shot down in Ninh Binh Province of North Vietnam on July 1, 1961, and the Hanoi press published confessions by men who had been aboard stating that they had been trained by Americans and sent by the RVN.5
The airdropping of teams into North Vietnam began in the first half of 1961, and occurred sporadically thereafter. An incomplete U.S. government listing shows three drops totaling eleven men in May and June 1961, and then little activity for eight months; three drops totaling nineteen men from April to June of 1962, and then none for nine months; sixteen drops totaling ninety-five men from April to early December 1963, then none for four and a half months; and ten drops totaling sixty-seven men from late April through July of 1964. From 1961 onward almost all the men involved were captured promptly after they landed.6
The United States was not the only government providing training and assistance. The RVN sent eighteen men to Taiwan for training in underwater operations in August 1960, and then in February 1961, Ngp Dinh Can (brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem) went to Taiwan and arranged for Chaing Kai-shek's government to send twenty instructors to [South] Vietnam to conduct training at Danang and Vung Tau. The Lien Doi Nguoi Nhai (LDNN, literally "frogman unit") was formerly established in July 1961; the successful students from among the group sent to Taiwan for training in 1960 formed the nucleus for the LDNN.7 By mid-1964, the CIA reported that there were "several hunddred military and paramilitary personnel" from Taiwan in South Vietnam, and that there were plans to increase the number still further.8 Many of them worked as flight crew on the transport planes that dropped agent teams into North Vietnam; others worked in intelligence, listening in on Communist radio communications and training Vietnamese to do the same.9
Some other results of the relationship with Taiwan were more surprising. One cooperative project ended with the capture of twenty-six men described by the DRV as "US-Chiang Kai-shek spy commandos," after landing on the coast of Quang Ninh Province (in the northern section of North Vietnam) on the night of July 28-29, 1963. The personnel were all from Taiwan, and indeed the operation was really mounted from there, but the raiding party had stopped for three days at Dao Long, an island twelve miles off the South Vietnamese coast near Danang, where they switched to three smaller vessels from the two trawlers that had brought them from Taiwan. They had been planning to operate against both the DRV and China, in the border area between the two countries. This was not the first such incident; a similar group had been caught in the same area on July 16, 1961, and a third was caught on October 23, 1963. It is said that in at least the second and third incidents, the local seccurity forces had had advance warning that the "spy commandos" were coming, and were ready for them. Cooperative action broke down temporarily after the November 1963 coup that overthrew Ngo Dinh diem, but in March 1964 the new government of Nguyen Khanh signed an agreement with Taipei to resume cooperative action on raids against North Vietnam and China.16
Excerpt Footnotes (Numbers from Source Document):
3. Colby, Honorable Men, pp. 170-171, 173; Nguyen Cao Ky, How We Lost pp. 23-27; Tourison, Secret Army, pp. 19-20.
4. Colby, Honorable Men, p. 170.
5. Ibid.,. 173; Tourison, Secret Army, p. 44; Chien /Si Bien Phong, p. 376.
6. Tourison, Secret Army, pp. 315-16; See also pp. 331-37.
7. Marolda and Fitzgerald, From Military Assistance to Combat, p. 148; Chien Si Bien Phong, p. 377.
8. CIA to State, July 7, 1964, in VNSF 4:910.
9. Ray S. Cline, Oral History 1, March 21, 1983 (LBJ Presidential Library) pp. 21-25.