Who Fired at the Helicopter I Escaped in?

I reported earlier in this blog that the Huey I escaped in during the fall of Saigon was almost shot down by ground fire. Who was shooting at us?

The obvious answer is the North Vietnamese. But by the time I flew out of Saigon on the night of 29 April 1975, the North Vietnamese had sixteen to eighteen divisions in or besieging the city. They could easily have shot down all the choppers brought in for the rescue. But not one helicopter was shot down.

Those facts lead me to believe that it was not the North Vietnamese but the friendlies, the South Vietnamese military, who fired on me. By the time I went out, it was obvious that the U.S. was abandoning the South Vietnamese, leaving them to the mercies of the victorious northerners. I suspect that in their frustration, they opened fire on us.

Within hours, all of them were killed or captured by the North Vietnamese. They knew what awaited them. I cannot condemn them for their last desperate acts against their former friends who deserted them on the battlefield.

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