Vietnam War 1964-’75

In Memory of 1LT James P. FlagellaUH-1E

In the Shadow of the Blade Trailer from Patrick Fries on Vimeo.

Category Archives: Vietnam War

The Fall of Saigon: Thirty Eight Years Ago (April 30, 1975)

USS Badger DE-1071 Home Port Pearl Harbor, HI











Sunrise on April 30, 1975. The calm dark blue seas were filled with small and large boats all overflowing with people escaping their country of South Vietnam. Many of the embassy staff including Ambassador Graham Martin arrived on the deck of the USS Badger before transferring to the USS Enterprise.

Served aboard 1974-’75

BADGER put to sea on to rendezvous with sister ship Harold E. Holt (DE-1074) and guided missile destroyer escort Schofield (DEG-3), and Kiska for the voyage to the western Pacific. The task group stopped at Guam for fuel on 28 April but, immediately after completing the operation, continued on to Subic Bay where, after a short diversion to the South China Sea to aid in the evacuation of Vietnam, they arrived on 4 May. The next day, BADGER was back at sea escorting Midway to Guam with a load of American aircraft removed from Vietnam. The two warships arrived there on 11 May, unloaded the planes, and returned to sea on the 12th. En route back to Subic Bay, she received orders diverting her to aid in the recovery of the American container ship SS Mayaguez that had been seized by the Cambodians. The merchantman, however, was freed before BADGER’s arrival on the scene, and the escort resumed her original course and reentered Subic Bay on the 17th. She spent two days escorting Hancock in the local operating area before returning to port on 22 May. After a week of upkeep, she put to sea for Guam. Arriving in Apra Harbor on 2 June to begin another period of upkeep, she remained there until 13 June when she put to sea for special operations in company with Brewton .

Vietnam: 38 Year Anniversary Remembered – Part 3

USS Harold Holt DE-1074
Picture taken April 1975

“Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.” Henry (The Enemy Within) Kissinger

Vietnam War, The Mayaguez Incident

President Ferdinand Marcos declare martial law from 1972 to 1981 to suppress increasing civil strife and the threat of communist takeover following a series of bombings in Manila.[citation needed]

On August 21, 1971, while the opposition (Liberal Party) was having their meeting de avance two fragmentation grenades exploded.[citation needed] It took 9 lives and left more than 100 people seriously wounded.[citation needed] Some Liberal Party candidates were seriously injured including Jovito Salonga, who nearly died and was visually impaired. Marcos singled out communist forces and subversive elements as the causes of the crisis[14] .

A month of “terrorist bombing” of public facilities in Manila and Quezon City culminated on September 22 with a mock[citation needed] assassination attempt on Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile. Claiming chaos and lawlessness was near, Marcos declared martial law, thereby suspending the 1935 constitution, dissolving Congress, and assuming total power. Six hours after the Enrile assassination attempt, Marcos responded with the imposition of martial law. Proclamation № 1081 which imposed martial law was dated 21 September 1972, but it was actually signed on 17 September. The formal announcement of the proclamation was made only at seven-thirty in the evening of 23 September, about twenty-two hours after he had commanded his military collaborators to start arresting his political opponents and close down all media establishments[15]. Proclamation No. 1081 read in part:
“ My countrymen, as of the twenty-first of this month, I signed Proclamation № 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law… ”

— Ferdinand Marcos, September 21, 1972

The declaration of martial law was initially well received by some segments of the people but became unpopular as excesses and human rights abuses by the military emerged.[citation needed] Torture was used in extracting information from their enemies.[citation needed]

“ We love your adherence to democratic principles and to the democratic process, and we will not leave you in isolation.”

— U.S. Vice-President George H. W. Bush during Ferdinand Marcos inauguration, July 1981[16]

Martial law was lifted by President Marcos on January 17, 1981. In the following years there was the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1983, the Snap Elections of 1986 and the People Power Revolution or EDSA Revolution in 1986 which led to Marcos fleeing the country and Cory Aquino becoming president.