The Fall of Saigon

Continuing my recounting of what happened to me in Saigon on 28 and 29 April 1975: Yesterday I described bombing by South Vietnamese pilots who had defected to the North Vietnamese. That was at sunset. Here’s more text from my article:

That was the beginning. We were bombarded throughout the night and much of the following day, first rockets, later, beginning around 0430 hours local on 29 April, artillery. One C-130 on the runway next to us was hit before it could airlift out refugees; two others took off empty. Fixed-wing airlifts were at an end. Rounds landed inside the DAO compound; the General’s Quarters next door were destroyed. Worst of all, two of the Marines I had been talking to were killed. Their names were McMahon and Judge. They were the last American fighting men killed on the ground in Vietnam.

One image I’ll never forget: sometime during the night I was on my cot taking my two-hour rest break when the next bombardments started. I sat straight up and watched the room lurch. Bob Hartley was typing a message at a machine that rose a foot in the air, then slammed back into place. He never stopped typing.

Just after that, we got word that Frequent Wind Phase IV had been declared. That was the code name for the evacuation. It had finally been ordered

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