Losing Vietnam: How America Abandoned Southeast Asia

By Ira A. Hunt | Go to book overview

Appendix E
“… Execute EAGLE PULL”

Author’s Note: U.S. Air Force evacuation and tactical aircraft in Thailand were on alert 11 April anticipating the command to execute EAGLE PULL, Noncombatant Emergency and Evacuation Plan for the Khmer Republic. Amphibious Ready Group Alpha (ARG ALPHA), with her flagship, the USS Okinawa, was on station just off the coast of Cambodia. ARG ALPHA, with Marine forces and helicopters of the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit, had been in position since 27 February when the alert status was increased for the possible evacuation operation.

It was reported that about 780 evacuees might be expected. The USS Hancock, with Marines helicopters placed upon her deck in Hawaii steamed at maximum sustained speed to take her position with ARG ALPHA. She arrived at 1800 hours on the 11th.

Conditions had eroded in the Khmer to such a point that options in the EAGLE PULL plan to utilize fixed wing aircraft and Phnom Penh’s Pochentong Airport were impractical. The Khmer Rouge had moved to within three miles of the airfield and were pounding it daily with about 40 rounds of 107 mm rockets and 105 mm artillery shells. Several Khmer nationals working at Pochentong with the American Airlift of supplies had been killed or injured by exploding rockets and artillery, and a few fires had been started. While resupplying Phnom Penh, no U.S. casualties or major damage to U.S. aircraft had occurred.

The Communist insurgents had strengthened their position around the capital city and appeared to be preparing for an all-out drive. A commercial C-47 had been hit by enemy fire during takeoff this day (11 April). It crashed while attempting to return for an emergency landing at Pochentong, killing the crew of five.

When the situation seemed to have become irreversible, U.S.

-357-

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Losing Vietnam: How America Abandoned Southeast Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - Nakhon Phanom 1
  • 2 - South Vietnam 5
  • 3 - Cambodia 171
  • 4 - The Mayaguez Incident 299
  • 5 - Thailand 311
  • 6 - Laos 317
  • Epilogue 321
  • Glossary 323
  • Appendix A - General Definitions and Processing Ground Rules for Combat Analyses 327
  • Appendix B - Jgs Assessments on Friendly/Enemy Activities of the Ceasefire 335
  • Appendix C - Jgs Letter to Dao on Fy 75 Funding 345
  • Appendix D - Excerpted Entries from a Mekong Convoy Sitrep 349
  • Appendix E - "… Execute Eagle Pull" 357
  • Sources 361
  • Index 377
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