The March 1975 Trip to the Highlands

In Last of the Annamese, the protagonist Chuck Griffin accompanies South Vietnamese Marine Colonel Thanh on a trip to the Vietnamese highlands, a mountainous swath of land in the central section of the country along the borders with Laos and Cambodia. After a courtesy call on the commanding general of II Corps, described in an earlier post, they fly to Ban Me Thuot in the southern reaches of the highlands, just as that town comes under attack from the North Vietnamese.

My description of that trip closely parallels the one I took with my counterpart, a South Vietnamese general in the second week of March, 1975. The attack on the airstrip where we landed began almost immediately after our arrival. We took off in a hail of bullets and escaped back to Saigon. Ban Me Thuot fells within days, followed all of II Corps, then I Corps.  With the northern half of South Vietnam firmly in their grasp, the North Vietnamese moved toward Saigon. It fell a little over a month later.

The details reported in Last of the Annamese are accurate.

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