The Last Grim Goodbye

Neal Ulevich / AP

Mobs of Vietnamese people scale the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam, trying to get to the helicopter pickup zone, just before the end of the Vietnam War on April 29, 1975.

The last images of the war: U.S. Marines with rifle butts pounding the fingers of Vietnamese who tried to claw their way into the embassy compound to escape from their homeland. An apocalyptic carnival air—some looters wildly driving abandoned embassy cars around the city until they ran out of gas; others ransacking Saigon's Newport PX, that transplanted dream of American suburbia, with one woman bearing off two cases of maraschino cherries on her head and another a case of Wrigley's Spearmint gum. Out in the South China Sea, millions of dollars worth...

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