Last Flight from Saigon


You know that famous photo of the helicopter on the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, with a long line of people waiting in vain to board as the capital falls? Well, photographer Hubert van Es reveals that 30 years of captions have been wrong.

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  1. Damn mainstream media, screwing up a caption and changing history. Now all the textbooks are wrong too!

  2. Great story. Dang, that was a long time ago. Sure makes me feel old.

  3. I always expect mistakes, so when the truth comes out, I’m nothing but pleased.

    What a great story!

  4. Anyone have a privacy-friendly, non-registration required, mirror?

  5. A building was misidentified when a picture was transferred from a field office. This changes my whole perspective on the Vietnam War.

    Today is also the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau.

  6. jaydee – just use

  7. news story: a fictionalized account of reality

  8. Fiction consists of telling a lie to reveal the truth. News is just the opposite.

  9. “Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.”

    –George Orwell

  10. No wonder the left and the right both try to claim Orwell, he said so many great things.

  11. Anyone have a privacy-friendly, non-registration required, mirror?

    I keep spare yahoo, hotmail, etc accounts for web registrations. They all think my name is Martha Steward, DOB 6/6/1906, minimum income, 123 East Down St., Bight, ME 04401. If they ask, Martha likes to snowboard, smoke cigars and drink cognac. Oddly, I don’t get much spam on those accounts.

    Please feel free to use the same data and don’t forget to register early and often. Demographics? Aren’t those images of donkeys wearing red, white and blue tophats?

    Sorry for going so far off topic.

  12. The Gerald R. Ford Museum has the staircase from the top of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, and purports at the exhibit to be the one in that photo. Wonder if they will change the call upon further review.

  13. No, it’s the correct staircase in the museum. It was still intact when the Vietnamese gave the embassy back to the US several years ago.

  14. But the building in the photo wasn’t the embassy, but another downtown building. So it’s the correct staircase from the incorrect building?

  15. Here’s a picture of the actual US embassy:

    Here’s a picture of the staircase to the top of the embassy: (clearly a different staircase than the NY Times one)

    The Ford Museum only has a problem if they’re specifically claiming that the staircase they have is the one from the NYT photo. (The speech that Mediocrity linked to doesn’t make any reference to the NYT.)

  16. For a big part of my time in VN, I was at CAP HQ, the Combined Action Program, DaNang.
    In Vietnamese: Luc Luung Hun Huup.

    So how combined were we?

    When the going got tough, the Americans got going…
    Our VN friends had to undergo years of “re-education.”

    How much would it have cost to expedite every
    South Vietnamese friend to safety? One tenth of two invasions of Iraq?

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