World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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Plotting the First Unauthorized Secret Evacuation Plan

30/3/75

(Dispirited by Amb. Martin’s inability to confront the real situation in their evening conversation, Amb. Quinn describes how the next morning he urgently gathered several colleagues in the empty political section of the embassy on Sunday, March 30th. He shared with them his concern about the lack of any planning and his idea for a secret, unauthorized evacuation effort to try to save at least some highly endangered Vietnamese. Amb. Quinn tells State Political Officer Lacy Wright and CIA analyst Frank Snepp about his dismay but that if they organize and have a safe house and transportation plan, they will be able to get some Vietnamese on the U.S. airplanes that will be landing as the situation collapses. Write tells Amb. Quinn that “he is so pleased that someone is finally doing something to address the situation,” and agrees that he will operate the safe house where Vietnamese can be brought before being shuttled to the airport. Snepp commits to providing all the latest intelligence and information available through CIA channels. Quinn, who will be back in Washington, indicates that he will provide the latest information about Washington planning and available aircraft. This was certainly the very first unauthorized effort to try to save some of the most endangered Vietnamese officials, contacts, and family members, like Quinn’s own family. In his book entitled “Decent Interval” published shortly after the war, Snepp commented that Quinn and Write and their allies managed to save hundreds if not thousands of at-risk Vietnamese.

© 2020 World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn. All rights reserved.