Even though the Vietnam War ended in defeat for the US and its ally South Vietnam, many Americans distinguished themselves on the field of battle. Among them were the crews of the CIA’s covert air arm, Air America.
By early 1975, the US had prepared for a possible evacuation from Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, then under threat from the North Vietnamese Army. The plan that emerged, FREQUENT WIND, was the last gasp of American involvement in the war. It is not well known that the CIA and Air America were fully integrated into the plan and that Air America, with its can-do spirit and willingness to take risks, played a pivotal role in the evacuation.
In April 1975, the CIA designated 14 assembly points in Saigon for the emergency evacuation of key personnel.