Rerun: Armed South Vietnamese Air Force Officers Demand Evacuation at Gun Point (2)

Before Bob and Gary and I left our office, we destroyed our crypto and comms equipment. Then we went to the evacuation staging area. Bob and Gary flew out on a helicopter at 1400 hours the afternoon of 29 April 1975. I followed that night carrying the two flags that had stood beside my desk, the stars and stripes and gold and orange banner of the now defunct Republic of Vietnam. Those two flags are now in the Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade, Maryland.

My thoughts often return to those South Vietnamese officers. They were right. The U.S. was planning to abandon them to their fate, leave them behind to face the conquering North Vietnamese. As a result of their rebellious action, they were in fact safely evacuated. Other officers, who trusted the U.S. and took no action, were left behind. They were all killed or imprisoned by the North Vietnamese.

I knew some of those left behind. I had worked with them, shared time in the field with them. They had invited to me to their homes where I met their wives and children. To this day, I mourn their loss.

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