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The Fall Of Saigon

Written by: George Chittenden : 17 Jun 2019

This photo was taken on April 29th, 1975 during the fall of Saigon. Towards the end of the Vietnam War, as the North Vietnamese Army finally poured into Saigon, over seven thousand American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese were evacuated out of the city in an operation known as Frequent Wind. So who makes up the names of these operations, right? The building in the image, despite popular belief, isn’t the United States Embassy. In actual fact it’s the rooftop of 22 Lý Tá»± Trọng Street. It was an apartment building that housed employees of the United States Agency for International Development, and its top floor housed the Central Intelligence Agency's deputy chief of station.

The image was taken by Dutch photographer, Hubert van Es, who worked for United Press International. This famous image captures the chaos of the final days of the conflict, and is a reminder that America lost the Vietnam War. The city of Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City shortly after this photo was taken. Speculation exists regarding the exact reason the city was renamed. It was obviously to honour Ho Chi Minh, the communist leader of Northern Vietnam. It was also a way of reminding people in the south that the north had been victorious, and they needed to accept communist rule.

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