Vietnam

L: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum|Public domain

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, and “Operation Babylift” which evacuated thousands of supposedly orphaned South Vietnamese children who were then relocated to homes in American and beyond. On today’s show we’ll revisit the controversial program and get a firsthand account from one of the airlifted children.

Stories From Dartmouth's Vietnam Veterans

May 26, 2014

In a new book, these veterans relate their experiences: from harrowing jungle combat to the dullness of desk-duty.  They also reflect on the drama surrounding the war in this country and on its legacy today.  We talk with the editor of this book and several veterans whose stories are included.

GUESTS: 

© Don McCullin, courtesy of Hamiltons Gallery, London.

America’s ambivalence about the Vietnam conflict began with the photograph of a monk, engulfed in flames, sinking to the pavement on a Saigon street, and another image, capturing the moment a uniformed officer fires a bullet into the head of a man in a plaid shirt, and still later, a naked girl,  screaming as she runs from a cloud of black smoke.

These iconic pictures are among those collected in “Visual Dispatches from the Vietnam War” on view at the Currier Museum of Art until November 11. The show’s curator, Kurt Sundstrom, talked with us about the show and its groundbreaking images.

Like so many fathers being celebrated this weekend, Lieutenant colonel Donald C Lundquist served his country in battle. In 1967, the army assigned Don as executive officer of a squadron protecting a jet fighter base at Chui Lai from the Vietcong. Don found a novel way to stay in touch with his wife Ruth and his young daughter, Jacqui, who were living with Ruth’s parents in Germany…Jacqui Lundquist doesn’t remember her father, but she came to know him through the more than 300 letters and hours of audio tapes recorded in his hooch in Chui Lai. 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is trying to send a message during a weeklong trip to the Asia-Pacific region: The U.S. is back.

Panetta continues Monday to Vietnam, where he's hoping to build stronger defense ties. The trip began Sunday with a historic return to a key crossroads of the Vietnam War: Cam Ranh Bay.

Panetta boarded a little ferry boat Sunday in the beautiful natural harbor north of Ho Chi Minh City. On board, he asked about his destination: the USNS Richard E. Byrd, a big supply ship docked on the other side of the bay.