US withdrawal: The fall of Saigon

Witness History

By BBC World Service

US withdrawal: The fall of Saigon

Tuesday, 17 August

The last remaining US forces pulled out of Vietnam on April 30th 1975 as communist North Vietnamese troops took control of the country. There was a desperate scramble to evacuate US personnel and some Vietnamese colleagues who feared brutal reprisals at the hands of the communists for having helped the Americans. With the airport destroyed, they had to use helicopter airlifts from inside the US embassy compound to transport people to the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier waiting offshore. Rebecca Kesby speaks to two former US servicemen, Stu Herrington and Vern Jumper, who were involved in the mission. (Photo: A CIA employee helps Vietnamese evacuees onto an Air America helicopter from the top of 22 Gia Long Street, a half mile from the U.S. Embassy. April 1975. Getty Images.)
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