In April of 1975, as North Vietnamese troops approached the southern capital of Saigon, U.S. President Gerald Ford ordered the evacuation of all Americans from the country.
How did the fall of Saigon happen?
After years of conflict, the North Vietnamese army launched a final offensive on South Vietnam in 1975. As the North Vietnamese army advanced towards Saigon, the South Vietnamese army and government collapsed. At the end of April, North Vietnamese troops entered Saigon, and the South Vietnamese government surrendered.
What were the consequences of the fall of Saigon?
The fall of Saigon led to the unification of Vietnam under Communist rule. Many South Vietnamese who had worked with the American military or government were imprisoned or sent to "re-education" camps. The United States and other countries accepted thousands of refugees from South Vietnam, many of whom resettled in the U.S.
How was the evacuation of Saigon conducted?
The U.S. military conducted a massive evacuation effort, which involved the deployment of helicopters, transport planes, and naval vessels. U.S. personnel and Vietnamese civilians were airlifted from Saigon to ships waiting in the South China Sea. The operation was known as Operation Frequent Wind. The evacuation of Saigon was widely covered by the media, and many Americans were shocked by the images of chaos and desperation.