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been unloaded at Phu Quoc, everyone in the task force knew that the challenge had been met and that they had taken part in a truly "all hands effort."25


With its work done at Phu Quoc, the task force returned on 10 April to the vicinity of Vung Tau where refugees were still arriving by boat. At this time, Colonel Alexander, formerly 9th MAB's chief of staff and most recently commander of the Marine security force (TG 79.9), reassumed his duties with Brigadier General Richard E. Carey's brigade and returned command of TG 79.9 to Lieutenant Colonel Hester. Evacuation operations then became the sole responsibility of Hester's 1st Battalion, 4th Marines.


As Lieutenant Colonel Hester prepared to assume command of the Amphibious Evacuation RVN Support Group, the news from Phnom Penh turned from bad to worse as friendly forces lost another battle to the Communists. Once again, events in that city dominated the minds of every military planner and operator. Barring another miracle, the Government of Cambodia faced certain defeat. Operation Eagle Pull would not be postponed again.





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