forgotten ship

I didn't want to forget to mention this cool special series NPR ran about a month back... More than 35 years ago, as Saigon was falling to Communist North Vietnamese forces, a small U.S. Navy destroyer escort ship, the USS Kirk, played a dramatic but almost forgotten role in rescuing up to 30,000 South Vietnamese.
The USS Kirk carried out one of the most significant humanitarian missions in U.S. military history. Yet the story went untold for 35 years. Correspondent Joseph Shapiro and producer Sandra Bartlett of NPR's Investigative Unit interviewed more than 20 American and Vietnamese eyewitnesses and participants in the events of late April and early May 1975. They studied hundreds of documents, photographs and other records, many never made public before - including cassette tapes recorded at the time by the ship's chief engineer.

Shapiro first learned of the Kirk from Jan Herman, historian of the U.S. Navy Medical Department, who says the Kirk's heroics got lost because, as the Vietnam War ended, Americans were bitterly divided over the war's course and cost. There was little interest in celebrating a mission that saved the lives of 20,000 to 30,000 refugees. Herman is working on a book documenting the story and a film documentary, which was shown when the Kirk crew met for a reunion in Springfield, Va., in July.
The story has been virtually lost in the history of that unpopular war, but it's pretty amazing. Some of the sailors and the people they saved recount the dramatic story to NPR: The USS Kirk: Valor At The Vietnam War's End. Here's the story, in three parts:

Forgotten Ship: A Daring Rescue As Saigon Fell

35 Years On, Vietnam Heroes Reunited, Decorated

At War's End, U.S. Ship Rescued South Vietnam's Navy

And here's an interactive feature on the sailors and refugees, in their own words: Forgotten Ship: A Lifesaving Mission As Saigon Fell.

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