Learn about the unsanctioned U.S. naval escort of thousands of refugees on South Vietnamese ships from Con Son Island to the Philippines in this video adapted from American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam. Just before the fall of Saigon, Richard Armitage, a civilian on assignment from the U.S. Defense Department, and Paul Jacobs, the captain of the U.S.S. Kirk, led the mission to escort dozens of South Vietnamese Navy ships into international waters, away from Vietnam. But Armitage and Jacobs did not have U.S. government permission to bring refugees as well. They decided to do so anyway. Because the Philippines had already recognized the new Vietnamese government and wouldn’t allow South Vietnamese ships into port, the ships had to replace their flags with American flags. This resource is part of the American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam Collection.
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