Ralph White on Rescuing 113 Vietnamese During the Fall of Saigon, 1975
VBC Happy Hour welcomes Ralph White to the show to talk about his successful effort to save nearly the entire staff of the Saigon branch of Chase Manhattan bank and their families before the city fell to the North Vietnamese Army in April 1975.
In April 1975, Ralph White was asked by his boss to transfer from the Bangkok branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank to the Saigon Branch. He was tasked with closing the branch if and when it appeared that Saigon would fall to the North Vietnamese army and ensure the safety of the senior Vietnamese employees.
But when he arrived, he realized the situation in Saigon was far more perilous than he had imagined. The senior staff members there urged him to evacuate the entire staff of the branch and their families, which was far more than he was authorized to do. Quickly he realized that no one would be safe when the city fell, and it was no longer a question of whether to evacuate but how.
Getting Out of Saigon is an “edge-of-your-seat” (Oprah Daily) story of a city on the eve of destruction and the colorful characters who respond differently to impending doom. It’s a remarkable account of one man’s quest to save innocent lives not because he was ordered but because it was the right thing to do.