HISTORY

Getting Out of Saigon: How a 27-Year-Old Banker Saved 113 Vietnamese Civilians

S. & S Apr. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982195175. $28.99. MEMOIR
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On April 30, 1975, the long Vietnam War finally came to an end when Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) fell to Communist forces. A couple of weeks before that fateful day, Chase Bank sent former banker White to the city to close the branch there and help their employees get out. White’s main qualifications were that he was a U.S. citizen, and he was already in the region working at the bank’s branch in Bangkok, Thailand. It was clear to most that a Communist victory was both inevitable and coming soon. However, the South Vietnamese government and the U.S. embassy were not cooperative at helping people leave; they required virtually impossible to get exit visas and more. Therefore, White explored various unusual options—stealing a plane or a ship, for example—to help people escape. Ultimately, 113 employees, their families, and White were able to leave through somewhat more conventional means just four days before the city fell.
VERDICT This enthralling story is highly recommended for readers specifically interested in the fall of Saigon or in memoirs generally.
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