On 30 April 1975, Saigon, the capital of the Republic of Vietnam, fell to the armed forces of the Communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam. With the siege under way, the U.S. Navy and Marines jointly evacuated more than 30,000 Vietnamese refugees, aided by the USS Kirk, a destroyer of the 7th Fleet.

This mass evacuation was a story about compassion. However, it is largely unknown. In 2010, an hour-long documentary titled The Lucky Few was premiered at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The documentary was produced by Jan K. Herman, a historian for the U.S. Navy's Medical Department, who also served as special assistant to the Navy Surgeon General.

In a book of the same title, Herman reveals what really happened to the Kirk and the Vietnamese refugees at the critical moment, highlighting the crucial functions performed by the Kirk. Herman describes the remarkable crew, which included Paul...

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