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[Image 1: Department
of Defense Photo (USMC) 1165036. Vietnamese refugees board
an Air force C-141 Starlifter at NAS Cubi Point, Philippines,
passenger terminal. These evacuees were on their way to Guam
and Operation New Life.]

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military personnel or vessels would be allowed to enter the country. Thus no
Vietnamese vessel, naval or otherwise, would be allowed to enter Subic Bay,
leaving the Vietnamese with only two choices, abandon ship or sail their vessels
to Guam. The edict also meant thai all other transiting refugees would have
to minimize their stay in the Philippines, and in order to accomplish that,
the processing procedure at "way stations" like Clark and Subic would have
to be expedited.5 Way Stations


To help meet the demands of the Philippines Government by assisting in the task of streamlining refugee operations in the Philippines, the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, after standing down as the Amphibious Evacuation RVN Support Group, reformed as a battalion and reentered the evacuation process. Eventually its mission would be to assist in the establishment of a refugee base camp - a way station to aid transiting refugees.


At approximately the same time Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Hester's battalion
began preparing to reenter evacuee operations. Ambassador Parker Borg notified
the State Department, Ambassador Martin in Saigon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
and Admiral Gayl-er, CinCPac, of the Philippines Government's displeasure
with the refugee situation. Borg had become aware of the seriousness of the
problem when he received a note from the Philippines Department of Foreign
Affairs setting forth new guidelines for the Vietnamese refugees. It said: "No
more than 200 evacuees shall be at the base at any one time. The evacuees
shall depart from the base for a mother country within three days. The evacuees
shall not go outside the base, and the length of time of this evacuation through
the base shall be determined by the Philippines Government, taking imo account
the prevailing circumstances." The Ambassador agreed with Marcos' position,
believing that the initial airlift had been organized poorly. He contended
that "had evacuees been more carefully screened for eligibility and staged
more quickly through the Philippines, the GOP [Government of the Philippines]
action might have been avoided. However, see no choice now but to comply with
GOP instruction." Ambassador Borg's first recommended course of action to
resolve this potential threat to the harmony of Philippine-American relations
entailed removing, as quickly as possible, the backlog of refu-










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