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Vietnam war Fall of Saigon

Vietnam War - Fall of Saigon

The war comes to an END

Air lifting out of Saigon begins

By 1 April 1975 the North Vietnamese were advancing through South Vietnam and the Americans realized Saigon would fall next. On 1 April an Evacuation control Centre was ready to evacuate American personnel and South Vietnam inhabitants. This plan was coded "Talon Vice" or "Frequent Wind". The sealift was from Saigon via Vung Tau.
Vietnamese orphans were evacuated first by C-141 starlifters and C-5 Galaxies. Four days into "Babylift" disaster hit a C-5 flying 16km out to sea. The C-5 had a structural failure in its rear cargo door which cut all the controls to the tail. Captain Denis Tailor crash landed the C- 5 into a paddy field (173 survived). C-5 fighters were suspended and C-141 and C-130 Herculues took over the operations.
US navy task force 76 came with 3 aircraft carriers and 50 ships to help in the contingency plan of "Frequent Wind". Their efforts were unsuccessful as many aircrafts left Vietnam empty due to processing difficulties with evacuees. On 21 April the airlift was increased. 21 C-141 fighters and C-130's evacuated many people. The orphan evacuation resulted into 2 Boeing 727's flying 470 orphans out of Vietnam.

The final group of air lifting out of Saigon

On 29 April the defence Attache Office began the final airlift of 10 000 passengers in 60 aircrafts. The 2nd aircraft just completed its landing run when rockets attacked the airfield. The 3rd aircraft was attacked by the enemy and exploded. The 2nd plane was the last aircraft to leave Vietnam. Due to the attack on the airfield helicopters became the only option to evacuate people. Fighters were launched as well as antiaircraft guns (SAM's) to protect the helicopters.
On 30 April the final evacuation began in the American embassy.

The last air lift out of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War

19 000 sorties were flown during April 1975. Only three aircrafts were lost. Those helicopters that brought US troops into Vietnam at the start of the war were the same ones that carried the last soldiers out of Vietnam 10 years later.

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Daring attacks, secret negotiations at the Paris Peace talks, B-52 bombing raids, U.S. troops withdraw, and more!

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