Trần Đại Nghĩa

Last updated
Professor, Academician

Tran Dai Nghia
Vien si Tran Dai Nghia.jpg
Native name
Trần Đại Nghĩa
Birth namePhạm Quang Lễ
Nickname(s)Trần Đại Nghĩa
Born(1913-09-13)13 September 1913
Tam Bình, Vĩnh Long
Died9 August 1997(1997-08-09) (aged 83)
Phú Nhuận, Ho Chi Minh City
Service/branch Flag of the People's Army of Vietnam.svg People's Army of Vietnam
Years of service1946–1997
Commands held Flag of the People's Army of Vietnam.svg People's Army of Vietnam
Battles/wars First Indochina War
Spouse(s)Nguyễn Thị Khánh

Trần Đại Nghĩa (13 September 1913 9 August 1997) was a Vietnamese scientist, military engineer, and prominent figure in the defense industry of Vietnam. [1] He was a major-general and an academician. He was awarded the Order of Ho Chi Minh and named a Hero of Labor. He was elected as an Academician to the former USSR Academy of Sciences. [2]


Early life

Trần Đại Nghĩa was born Phạm Quang Lễ in Chánh Hiệp, Tam Bình commune, Vĩnh Long Province, to a poor but educated family on 13 September 1913. [3] He received a bachelor degree in 1933 in Hanoi. After two years working in the U.S. embassy, he met journalist Dương Quang Ngưu who helped him obtain a Chasseloup-Laubat Fellowship to study in Paris. [4] In 1935, he arrived in France and subsequently graduated with bachelors in engineering and mathematics having attended, among others, the École Polytechnique. It's said that he tried to take 6 college degrees and certificates of the most famous universities of France. He then went to work at the École nationale supérieure de l'aéronautique. In 1942, he moved to Germany, where he worked in various factories on the production of weapons and aircraft.

Revolutionary activities

Trần Đại Nghĩa met Hồ Chí Minh in Paris in 1946 and returned to Vietnam with him on the SS Dumont de Urville, joining the Communist-led patriots (Viet Minh) in the north of the country, where he participated in the organization of the production of weapons in the mountain forests. [4] On 5 December 1946 he received from Ho Chi Minh his new revolutionary name, Trần Đại Nghĩa, and because of his military and technical knowledge was made chief of artillery of the Vietnam People's Army. In 1947 he successfully tested his design for a domestically built North-Vietnamese bazooka, the first of many weapon systems that he devised for in-country manufacture. [3] [5] In 1948 he received the rank of major general, [6] and the following year was then given the new position as Director of Military Research (now the Institute of Military Science and Technology). [7]

In 1950 Nghia left the military and began developing the industrial capacity of the North. In the years 1950 to 1960 he was Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce. [4] In 1952 he was given the title Hero of Labor and inducted into the Order of Ho Chi Minh. On 6 March 1956 became the first rector of the Polytechnic University established in Hanoi. From 1960 to 1962 he was Minister of Heavy Industry. In 1965 he was appointed Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology for Vietnam.

Trần Đại Nghĩa died in Ho Chi Minh City on 9 August 1997, at the age of 83. [2]


In 1996, a year before his death, Nghia was awarded the Ho Chi Minh Award. [2]

In 2000, the Tran Dai Nghia High School was named after him.

in 2010, an ocean survey vessel was named after him. [1]

In 2013, the Vietnam Post issued a stamp honoring him on the 100th anniversary of his birth. [8]


  1. 1 2 "Hạ thủy tàu khảo sát biển mang tên Trần Đại Nghĩa (Sea Launch survey vessel named Tran Dai Nghia)" (in Vietnamese). Tuổi Trẻ Online (báo Tuổi Trẻ). 10 October 2010. Archived from the original on 13 October 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 "GS. Trần Đại Nghĩa - người học trò xuất sắc của Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh (GS. Tran Dai Nghia - a gifted student of President Ho Chi Minh)" (in Vietnamese). Bộ Xây dựng (Vietnamese Ministry of Construction). 19 September 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Kỷ niệm 100 năm ngày sinh của cố GS. VS Trần Đại Nghĩa (100th birth anniversary of the late Professor. VS Tran Dai Nghia)" (in Vietnamese). Báo điện tử Quân đội nhân dân (People's Army Newspaper Online). 13 September 2013., archive
  4. 1 2 3 "Chuyện chưa kể về Giáo sư Viện sĩ Trần Đại Nghĩa (The Untold Story of Academician Prof. Tran Dai Nghia)". Phunutoday (in Vietnamese). 24 January 2012.
  5. Labrousse, Pierre (1996). La Méthode Vietminh: Indochine 1945–1954 (in French). Panazol, France: Lavauzelle. pp. 113, 117. ISBN   978-2-7025-0387-4.
  6. "Sắc lệnh số 117 về việc ông Trần Đại Nghĩa, Cục trưởng quân giới, thụ cấp quân hàm thiếu tướng (Decree No. 117 of Tran Dai Nghia, director of the military, the rank of major general receptor)" (in Vietnamese). Thư Viện Pháp Luật (Law Library, Vietnam Ministry of Legal Administration).
  7. "Sắc lệnh số 55 ngày 18 tháng 06 năm 1949 (Ordinance No. 55 dated 18-6-1949)" (in Vietnamese). Vietnam Ministry of Justice. 18 June 1949.
  8. "Bưu điện Việt Nam phát hành bộ Tem: "Kỷ niệm 100 năm sinh Trần Đại Nghĩa (1913–1997)" (Vietnam Post issued the stamp "100th Birth Tran Dai Nghia (1913–1997)")" (in Vietnamese). Vietnam Post. 2013. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013.

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