Burning Dollars, Boarding Helicopters, Abandoning Allies: The Chaotic Withdrawal from Saigon

A CIA employee helps Vietnamese evacuees onto an Air America helicopter from the top of 22 Gia Long Street, a half mile from the U.S. Embassy. April 29, 1975

During the final days of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempted to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confronted a moral dilemma: to obey White House orders to evacuate only U.S. citizens or risk being charged with treason and save the lives of as many South Vietnamese citizens as they could. Filmmaker Rory Kennedy discusses her documentary, “Last Days in Vietnam,”  a moment-by-moment recounting of the dramatic events surrounding the 1975 military evacuation of Saigon and its previously untold stories of heroism and sacrifice. She’s joined by Col. Stuart Herrington, who is featured in the documentary. The film opens September 5 at Lincoln Plaza and Landmark Sunshine Cinemas.