The Fall of Saigon

I was reading Laer‘s look into the past post for Mother’s day and via Google, found this site by accident.

Fall of Saigon Marine Association, created to preserve the history of that event.

In retrospect, now, it was a foolish thing to do, but I WANTED to see Cambodia and those temples and Hong Kong was the only place anyone could get a visa. I remember, though, burning all my journalist ID’s in my hotel room — journalists were not allowed in at that time — and flushing them down the toilet the first night I was there. It was an oppressive regime and everywhere there was a permeation of evil, of the horrors that were to come, the killing fields and the torture that was so inhuman that I don’t ever want to repeat the details.

Talking about Cambodia. But Cambodia was invaded by North Vietnam you know.

The Fall of Saigon, 1975. The invasion of Cambodia, 1978.

Over three quarters of the force was safely inside when the crowd broke and all gates at the Embassy gave way. The last of us gained access by force but without the use of small arms. When 1 was assured that all Marines and the Seabees were inside I ordered the door bolted from the inside, the elevators were locked on the sixth floor by the Seabees and all Marines then proceeded upstairs floor by floor locking grill gates behind us. The crowd then drove a large Mission Warden water, tanker through the bolted main doors and started up after us. I established security on the rooftop and ordered 20 man helo teams to be formed immediately discarding helmets and flak gear as the CH 46′s began to pull us out,

The Embassy Compound was inundated by over ten thousand people and the crowds filled the ladder wells to the sixth floor. Sporadic gunfire from various sorts of small arms was continuous and I ordered the Marines to stay down and keep away from the roof edge to avoid exposing themselves as targets. Mace was employed to discourage any immediate access to the final door and this door was blocked with fire extinguishers and equipment. Three CH 46′s worked out of our zone on a regular basis until all GSF Marines were out at approximately 0700, 30 April 1975. The final lift of ten (10) Marine Security Guards of the Saigon Detachment and this Officer was completed at 0758 on the morning of 30 April 1975 having waited for the exhausted pilots of the CH 46′s to refuel and turn around. I arrived aboard USS Okinawa at approximately 0930~, 30 April 1975 and spent the better part of the rest of the day in processing. I was able to cross-deck to the USS Blueridge the following morning and reported to the Commanding General, 9th MAB to enlist aid in locating the remains of the two Marines KIA. The General authorized the release of an operational immediate message to USS Midway to check an un~ confirmed report that the remains had be evacuated there. When no answer seemed forthcoming I had the message repeated then released a Flash precedence the following day offering to go aboard as soon as she was within helicopter range on her imminent return from the Gulf of Siam. USS Midway answered on 3 May that she had no remains on board. I reported immediately to General CAREY, CG, 9th MAB, and he convened an investigation designating Colonel GREY, RLT-4 Commander, as Investigating Officer. GySgt MARTIN of the DAO Compound Detachment and I both submitted statements at Col GREY’s request.

Read the rest of the after action report and all the other stories. For to steel yourself against the horrors of the present and the vindictiveness of our enemies in the future, requires knowing and remembering the horrors of the past.

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One Comment on “The Fall of Saigon”


  1. [...] Fall of Saigon was certainly strikingly impressive and manifest to the outside world, wasn’t [...]


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