USS Kirk ‘s crew and a Vietnamese baby, April 29, 1975.
The Kirk , a U.S. Navy destroyer escort ship, played a little-heralded role in the evacuation of some 30, 000 South Vietnamese men, women and children, including many members of that nation’s navy, as the communists took over in the last days of April 1975.
A documentary about that massive, heroic rescue, The Lucky Few , has its premiere today, Veterans Day, November 11 at 2:00 p.m. at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The film showing is free and open to the public in the museum’s Baird Auditorium.
The one-hour doc was produced by Jan Herman, the U.S. Navy’s Medical Department’s senior historian for the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. Today’s screening will be followed by a Q&A featuring Capt. Paul Jacobs, the former commander of the Kirk, along with several members of his crew, ands former Vietnamese refugees who settled in the United States.
The Kirk’s humanitarian mission was the subject of a recent three-part series on NPR , “Forgotten Ship: A Daring Rescue as Saigon Fell.”