Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Fall of Saigon - by: Brady Hagman

The fall of Saigon is one of the most recognizable times of the war in Vietnam. The North Vietnamese, also known as the Vietcong, were storming the city and it was only a matter of time until they took over and brought their communist rule to the capital of South Vietnam. The American soldiers could only hold them off for so long. During this final push by the Vietcong, the largest helicopter evacuation in history took place. The U.S. embassy was the only place left that could save people from communist rule. Hundreds of thousands of people poured into the gates of the embassy climbing and jumping over the fence to get on a helicopter. Helicopters were coming and going all day but they couldn’t even make a dent in the amount of people trying to leave. The American helicopters evacuated over 110,000 Vietnamese refugees. One plane in the operation ended up crashing killing 155 people. A gate and a handful of American soldiers were the only thing holding the people of Saigon back. The helicopter pilots were getting delirious from flying all day in such a panic. When they would land their helicopters, they didn’t know if the structure was built to withstand the pressure. It was a constant worry of so many different things that could go wrong. The aircraft that the helicopters would return to was so full that they had to push off a few helicopters that were running low on fuel to make room for more drop offs. The ambassador of the U.S. embassy was the last American to be air lifted from Saigon. He got on a helicopter that was right on top of his office. That was the end of the evacuation. After the ambassador left, the marines took control of the embassy and locked everything off and waited on the roof. These soldiers didn’t know if they were going to be captured, killed or hopefully picked up to go home. Eventually the helicopters came back for them. Once these soldiers were being evacuated the people of Saigon broke into the embassy and began looting everything they could. It was a feel of defeat for the Americans knowing how many people were left behind. The city turned into chaos while the Vietcong rolled in on their tanks and other heavy military vehicles.

Helicopters landing on an aircraft carrier to drop off Vietnamese refugees

1 comment:

  1. I feel like the fall of Saigon was one part of the war where Americans showed compassion. Instead of killing off innocent individuals they tried to help them and sincerely felt bad by the "low" amount that they helped. Even though some people say we should of helped more I think it shows others a more compassionate side of Americans, which was much needed in my opinion.


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