Monday, August 23, 2010

The FALL of Saigon...30 April 1975

Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces on April 30 1975. North Vietnam had promised to capture Saigon by Labour Day May 1st. The American military forces had already been evacuated in the days prior to that fateful day. On the 29th of April there was still minor fighting and exchanged of fire between the remnants of those defending and the encircling NVA forces.
The situation was completely hopeless for the US and what was left of the South Vietnamese army. Pandemonium and chaos set in as the US tried to evacuate 5000 locals connected with their war effort. Using helicopters, they ferried them to US carriers waiting in the safe waters of the South China sea.

While the last-ditch effort was still in progress, the US embassy was totally besieged by thousands more, hoping to get out of Saigon.
The scenes were shown "live" on colour TV and as recorded news items all over the world. In Singapore many of us saw those gut-wrenching final moments which looked so surreal.
I particularly remember very vividly the scene showing an American guy delivering a punch to a
Vietnamese to stop him from climbing onto the ladder of the helicopter which was already lifting from the helipad on the roof top of the US embassy.
Those unforgettable images and the debacle of panic under the advancing VC forces put the US under a huge pall of embarassment and shame.

The War Museum

These planes were left behind by the American forces.

This is the famous CH 47 Chinook helicopter with 2 huge rotors.
When I walked around it, I realised it's hugeness!

Many kinds of planes were left behind when US forces withdrew
from Vietnam in panic.
Some of the bombs that were dropped all over Vietnam.

This is an actual archived footage showing the Fall of Saigon in April 1975.


maree said...

Dick...incredible...I remember it so well too but hadn't seen this footage before

unk Dicko said...

Neither had I seen it until I found it. It's truly incredible ...the fall of Saigon captured so vividly in full colour, sound and fury.