We Hold These Truths . . .

Twenty-one year old Texan, Kent Chipman, was serving aboard the USS Kirk when he saw the 10-month old baby dropped from the back of the Chinook helicopter hovering 15 feet above the fantail of the Kirk. "I remember the baby coming out," he recalled. "You know, there was no way that we were going to let them hit the deck or drop them. We caught them." "Catching babies like basketballs" was how another sailor described the scene. The USS Kirk was a destroyer escort in the South China Sea in April 1975. Most of us have seen the iconic image of the "last helicopter" from the US Embassy in Saigon. Yet, there were many thousands more that took off from places across South Vietnam in search of

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