American Experience | 'Last Days in Vietnam'

Apr 22, 2015

Tues. Apr. 28 at 9pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 | Watch unlikely heroes attempt to save as many South Vietnamese as possible at the Vietnam War's end.

Sailors push a helicopter off a landing platform of the U.S.S. Kirk to clear room for more helicopters dropping off refugees.
Credit Courtesy of Craig Compiano, Courtesy of USS KIRK Association / PBS

Last Days in Vietnam chronicles the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon. With the clock ticking and the city under fire, American officers on the ground faced a moral dilemma: follow official policy and evacuate U.S. citizens and their dependents only, or ignore orders and save the men, women, and children they had come to value and love in their years in Vietnam.

At the risk of their careers and possible court-martial, a handful of individuals took matters into their own hands. Engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations, they waged a desperate effort to evacuate as many South Vietnamese as possible.