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[Image 1: Marine
Corps Historical
Collection. During
the summer of
1974, LtCol Gene
A. Deegan, pictured
here as a major
general, commanded
BLT'2/9, the
landing force of Amphibious
Ready Group Bravo.]

Page 52(The Bitter End)


While in Da Nang, Colonel Johnson reviewed emergency evacuation plans with the American Consul-General. Colonel Johnson discovered alarming news-the plans such as they were, were very sketchy and not up-to-date. The North Vietnamese offensive had placed such pressure on the South Vietnamese thai, in Colonel Johnson's opinion, a conceited attack by the Communists might result in a debacle at Da Nang and thereby necessitate an emergency evacuation of the area. He reported his conclusions to Vice Admiral Steele who concurred in the findings and reported them up the chain of command, resulting in a proper sense of urgency. Johnson's report only

*Admiral Stccle recounted years later that his Staff was far from complacent about evacuation matters and that his first concerns surfaced soon after assuming command of the Seventh Fleet in July 1973. He visited Saigon in late August 1973 to survey the situation and left with 'rio doubt in my mind that Vietnam would be lost during my Seventh Fleet command tour.' Steele Commcnc.





Page 52(The Bitter End)