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VOA Staff Recounts Drama When Saigon Fell 35 Years Ago

  • David Dyar

It was 35 years ago that the American presence in Vietnam came to an end with a helicopter airlift from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon. Wayne Corey, Steve Thompson and Pham Tran, affectionately known by his initials P.T., were VOA correspondents in Saigon in those days. Wayne, since retired and P.T., who's still working with us, spoke with VOA's Neil Currie.

Listen to entire interview with Wayne Corey and Pham Tran

Former VOA correspondents Steve Thompson (left) and Wayne Corey in Saigon during the Vietnam War

Former VOA correspondents Steve Thompson (left) and Wayne Corey in Saigon during the Vietnam War

Former VOA correspondent Wayne Corey says he was fatalistic when North Vietnam overran Saigon and he found himself still in the city waiting to be evacuated. He and VOA's Steve Thompson did not know when they would be able to leave.

Pham Tran

Pham Tran

In the interview, Pham Tran describes the panic many felt in those last hours as North Vietnamese troops entered the city. He recounts that in those hours the staff of the VOA bureau and their families had to stay in one place because they could not get to the VOA office. He describes how they waited in vain for a helicopter that was supposed to evacuate them.

Wayne Corey

Wayne Corey

Corey and Tran also describe their feelings about Vietnam today and whether they would like to return.

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