Thomas K. Martindale. Leaving Vietnam


I started writing this on Wednesday, April 30, 1975 while on board the USS Midway east of Vietnam. I hadn’t been able to write home very often during the preceding two weeks so I wanted my family to know what I had been doing during those hectic days. They couldn’t understand why I hadn’t gotten out of there.

         I also thought there should be some recollection of events for the record. Even a week later, days had tended to merge with one another. Note that I said Vietnamese employees were paid on Wednesday, or maybe earlier. I have since talked to an American who helped stuff the envelopes Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. They were then paid Thursday afternoon.

         I continued writing this in Bangkok and completed it on May 4th. Many of the names have probably been misspelled and I can’t vouch for all the dates. I have just recited events as I saw them and tried to recall my feelings at the time. Since I have continued to draft or redraft parts of this at night, I have dreamed about some phase of the evacuation almost every night in my sleep.

Manila, Philippines
May 9, 1975