In the final year of the Vietnam War, a series of offensives by the North Vietnamese led to the fall of the South Vietnamese capital Saigon on April 30, 1975.
As the North Vietnamese Viet Cong approached Saigon, South Vietnamese citizens and American personnel fled before them, and the U.S. government began a program of mass evacuations. People were helicoptered away, sometimes under fire, to waiting American warships. There were scenes of chaos as desperate people tried to escape.
The final phase of the evacuation was code-named Operation Frequent Wind. The American Embassy had previously distributed a booklet to its citizens, called “Standard Instruction and Advice to Civilians in an Emergency” (SAFE). This included a map of Saigon showing areas where they would be picked up when the signal was given. The signal, to be broadcast on Armed Forces Radio, was “”The temperature in Saigon is 105 degrees and rising,” followed by the playing of “White Christmas.”
Frequent Wind was carried out on April 29 and 30. Such was the speed of the evacuation and the number of people involved that the ships became overwhelmed with people and the helicopters that had brought them. Orders were given to push surplus helicopters over the sides of the ships to make room for more. Some pilots were told to drop off their passengers, then ditch their machines in the sea, bailing out at the last moment to be picked up by waiting rescue boats.
Over 7,000 people were evacuated in Operation Frequent Wind.
US troops went into Vietnam. MAX HASTINGS saw them humbled by an army of peasant fanatics amid horrors that haunt him to this oday.
They waded ashore from the landing craft in full combat gear, weapons held high as they splashed out of the surf onto a beach where there was no enemy, only a gaggle of newsmen and a crowd of curious locals. Read more
Operation Popeye was a highly classified weather modification program in Southeast Asia during 1967–1972. The cloud seeding operation during the Vietnam War ran from March 20, 1967 until July 5, 1972 in an attempt to extend the monsoon season, specifically over areas of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The operation was used to induce rain and extend the East Asian Monsoon season in support of U.S. government efforts related to the War in Southeast Asia.
I didn’t think this was an untouched photo or that the Chinook could engage in a free fall until I linked it back to this page. (Which belongs to a fellow WordPress blogger). The caption read: ‘The crazy thing about this shot is the crew chief standing at the door.’
The White House confirms reports that, at the request of South Vietnam, the United States is sending two battalions of U.S. Marines for security work at the Da Nang air base, which will hopefully free South Vietnamese troops for combat. On March 1, Ambassador Maxwell Taylor informed South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat that the United States was preparing to send 3,500 U.S. Marines to Vietnam. Three days later, a formal request was submitted by the U.S. Embassy, asking the South Vietnamese government to “invite” the United States to send the Marines. Premier Quat, a mere figurehead, had to obtain approval from the real power, Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, chief of the Armed Forces Council. Thieu approved, but asked that the Marines be “brought ashore in the most inconspicuous way feasible.” The Marines began landing near Da Nang on March 8. Read more here Read more
A U.S. 9th Infantry Division soldier of the 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, takes advantage of a stream in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam to cool off while cleaning his weapon, June 1969. ~ Vietnam War.