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Spring 1975 was a painful and difficult time for the peoples of Southeast Asia and the United States. Most Americans prefer not to remember our forced evacuation from Vietnam, and the horrible imagery of the fall of Saigon. What followed was the era of darkness in the region, with mass genocide, political oppression and imprisonment, as the short term outcomes for those in the former French colonies of Indochina. However, despite these horrible realities, some incredible stories of heroism, initiative, and humanity emerged from these difficult days, and one of them centered on the men of the destroyer escort USS Kirk (DE 1087)
The Kirk was part of Task Force 77 in the South China Sea, tasked with conducting the evacuation of US citizens and key South Vietnamese personnel and their families. While only a little over 400 feet in length, the Kirk would be responsible for the rescue of over 30,000 South Vietnamese personnel and their families in the days and weeks ahead, and would write a story of humanitarian service that resonates today, almost 4 decades later.
To learn more about the Kirk, her crew, and their incredible achievements in the spring of 1975, join military historian, author and journalist John D. Gresham for Military Monday at 1 p.m Eastern time. His guests this week will be Jan K. Herman, the author of the new book from U.S. Naval Institute Press, The Lucky Few. Together they will tell listeners about an incredible see story that very few Americans are aware of, and that all should be proud of. Listeners are encouraged to call in and offer questions and opinions of their own, during what will be in our that they surely will find fascinating.
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It's good to talk.