, 7 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Saigon fell on this day in 1975, signalling the end of the Vietnam War. US forces were airlifting thousands to safety when the crew of USS Midway spotted this small plane approaching the carrier.
It was being flown by South Vietnamese Air Force Major Buang-Ly, who had just fled Saigon with his wife and 5 kids, also aboard. With fuel running low, circling the carrier, he tried dropping notes from the plane. Before long, this one hit the deck, tied to a pistol.
His desperate message, scribbled on a map, read:

"Can you move the Helicopter to the other side, I can land on your runway, I can fly 1 hour more, we have enough time to mouve. Please rescue me.

Major Bung, wife and 5 child"
One of the crew grabbed it and ran to Captain Larry Chambers, who immediately ordered the crew to push approx $10m worth of UH-1 Huey helicopters into the ocean, thus giving Buang-Ly room to land. Here's one being shoved into the water.
Buang-Ly held his nerve and landed the Cessna perfectly, without tailhook, to much applause. You can see him and his family circled in the third pic, surrounded by relieved crew.
And the whole thing was filmed. You can watch it from 6m58 on youtube of the dot coms. Here:
Photos from the US Navy; many more can be found here: midwaysailor.com/midway/index.h….

More info on the terribly named 'Operation Frequent Wind' here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation….

This has been my annual reminder of Buang-Ly and family. Thanks for reading.
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