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"Why the US ditched helicopters during withdrawal ..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2017 10:37 p.m. PST

…from Vietnam War.

"One of the most iconic images from the fall of Saigon did not happen in Saigon. It happened at sea where sailors pushed helicopters off their ships. They did so, due to the stubbornness of an incompetent diplomat.

The US began withdrawing troops from South Vietnam in 1973 with a final deadline of 1976. By 1974, however, President Gerald Ford realized they had a problem. Any South Vietnamese who had served the Americans would be targeted by the North Vietnamese when they took over. It was known the South would fall once the US left.

In April 1975 Secretary of State Henry Kissinger received a list of about 1.6 million at-risk people who needed to get out of Vietnam. Excluding Americans, their dependents, and other nationalities who worked for the American government, that left about 600,000 South Vietnamese…"
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2017 12:09 a.m. PST

Man, what a mess. And what a stubborn and criminally negligent that Ambassador was. Geesh.

I remember seeing the images as a kid and, not understanding English at the time, I had my older brother explain to me what was going on.


Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2017 2:58 a.m. PST

When Martin was ambassador to Thailand, should have been enough to show how incompetent this guy was. To bad so many people had to be captured and killed at the end of Vietnam before the US fired this guy.

I always knew the helicopters were dumped over board to make room for more to land. I just didn't know the Ambassador was the reason why no one could get out via other means.

Legion 427 Dec 2017 5:27 p.m. PST

The US left a lot of equipment in the South Vietnamese hands, including many helicopters of various types. I cringe every time I see footage of those choppers being pushed off USN Carriers to make room for more. And many of the choppers were not even full …

And it seems capable leadership was at a premium at that time. The elected and assigned leadership left a lot to be desired. And the more we find out about what happened back then the worse the leadership appears … for obvious reasons …

Eumerin27 Dec 2017 10:58 p.m. PST

There's a great documentary that covers this (and other things). Last Days in Vietnam has interviews with a number of people who were in Vietnam during that final, fatal period of time. And there's no narrator commentary. All of the voice overs are interviews with the people who were there.

Netflix has it.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2017 10:39 a.m. PST

This is the end my friend, for all the children are insane…

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