Consolidating air miles

Each year, Air France-KLM Group publishes the Corporate social responsibility report.

CALCULATE YOUR CARBON EMISSIONS At Air France, the 2020 target was achieved by 2017.

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But finally, on the morning of 29 April, with Communist forces penetrating the city from all sides, there were no remaining options. American ambassador Graham Martin reluctantly ordered the long-anticipated pullout from Saigon, and “Operation Frequent Wind” was underway.

EXODUS BY AIR AND SEA During the next two days over 7,000 “official” evacuees were flown from the courtyard of the American Embassy in Saigon, and the Defense Attache’s Office (DAO) compound at Tan Son Nhut Airbase on the outskirts of the city 4.

Eventually, more than fifty ships of the United States Navy, plus a large number of Military Sealift Command (MSC) and civilian contract vessels took part in the operations, along with aviation units of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force 1.

One facet of this intricate plan sent the venerable attack carrier USS HANCOCK (CV-19) to Hawaii to offload most of her air wing, trading in her Navy fighter and attack aircraft for Marine heavy lift troop carrying helicopters.

But it ended all too soon when liberty was summarily cancelled, the crews abruptly recalled, and the three ships ordered to race back to the north to rejoin the evacuation force off the coast of Vietnam. During the preceding weeks the North Vietnamese noose had steadily strangled Saigon and Tan Son Nhut Airbase, and now there were virtually no remaining options.

Encircled and cut off from the sea, Saigon stubbornly endured a few more days of ever-intensifying shelling by the oncoming NVA and Viet Cong forces 3.

KIRK was eager to pull her weight in the Seventh Fleet, but what began as a “normal” deployment soon changed dramatically.

War was still raging in Vietnam, but it was no longer KIRK’s war, as American combat forces were long gone.

fig1 These ragtag remnants of the South Vietnamese Air Force were on their own, piloting small, grossly overloaded, shot-up, low-on-fuel utility helicopters, ferrying their terrified families and friends into the unknown.

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