Practically all of NBC's Saigon staff were Vietnamese, many of whom had fled the communists previously, in 1954, when the country was divided, north and south.
On the day before Saigon fell, North Vietnamese artillery and tanks were beginning to shell the outskirts of the city. Those of us left in the Saigon bureau huddled and worked out a plan: Lord would fly out in one of the few remaining charter planes to get our film transmitted from Bangkok, Thailand. One of them was the late Neil Davis, an Australian cameraman who would later capture exclusive scenes of North Vietnamese tanks smashing through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon and raising the communist flag there. When the decision was made to start the evacuation, the American radio station was supposed to broadcast a coded message to the remaining U.S. A South Vietnamese mother and her three children are shown on the deck of an amphibious command ship while being taken out of Saigon by U.S.
American citizens arrive aboard the command and control ship USS Blue Ridge after being evacuated out of Saigon on April 29, 1975.


The war ended on April 30, 1975, with the fall of Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, to communist troops from the north.
A North Vietnamese tank rolls through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon, signifying the fall of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975. Saigon residents are seen amid rubble after Vietcong troops invaded the South Vietnamese capital. Saigon residents take to the street to welcome the arrival of communist troops on April 30, 1975.
Marines arrived to pull the remaining Americans out of Saigon, something that would happen a few hours later. My late colleague and close friend Arthur Lord had been put in charge of the NBC Saigon bureau and he had to deal with two big assignments at once — cover the story and get our Vietnamese employees out of the country.
TV networks put pressure on Washington, approval came to start evacuating the Vietnamese personnel.


Navy personnel aboard the USS Blue Ridge push a helicopter into the sea off the coast of Vietnam in order to make room for more evacuation flights from Saigon on April 29, 1975.
Embassy in Saigon, trying to reach evacuation helicopters as the last Americans depart from Vietnam on April 29, 1975. The helicopter had carried Vietnamese people fleeing Saigon as North Vietnamese forces closed in on the capital.



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