Looking Back: The Fall of South Vietnam (Part 4 of a Series)


 On April 29 it will be 40 years since South Vietnam fell to the Communist North Vietnamese.

I was there when it happened and it is one of those events that I will never forget. At the time I was the Chicago Tribune’s Far East Correspondent and I had been sent to Vietnam to write about Vietnam two years after the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement that was supposed to have brought peace to this war-ravaged country.

Covering Cambodia and Vietnam 1975 no title
Ron Yates covering Cambodia & Vietnam 1975

Only it didn’t.

Instead, the last days in places like Nha Trang, Da Nang and Saigon were filled with terror, suffering and death as Communist North Vietnamese troops moved relentlessly south while routing South Vietnam’s demoralized and outgunned army.

During the next two weeks I will post copies of the stories I filed during those final days before Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City and tens of thousands of South Vietnamese soldiers, government officials and those who supported U.S. policies were thrown into “re-education camps” where they perished or served long sentences as forced laborers.

dead body
Dead North Vietnamese soldier after battle of Tan Hoa (Photo by Ron Yates)

In today’s post I include two stories. One tells the story of a village caught in a battle between North and South Vietnamese soldiers. The other talks about a diplomatic mission for Viet Cong and North Vietnamese advisors in the heart of Saigon established by the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement. The stories are in .pdf format.

 Preview attachment Death a new Viet playmate, Apr 15, 1975.pdfDeath a new Viet playmate, Apr 15, 1975.pdf60 KB

Preview attachment Saigon base a little piece of N. Viet Nam, Apr 14, 1975.pdfSaigon base a little piece of N. Viet Nam, Apr 14, 1975.pdf76 KB