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[Image 1: Marine
Corps Historical Collection. Maj James E. Livingston, seen
here as a brigadier general, served as operations officer
for Col Alfred M. Gray's RLT-4. Ma/ Livingston spent many
hours at the DAO refining the regiment's scheme of maneuver.]

[Image 2: Marine Corps Historical Collection.Members of 1stLt
Bruce P. Thompson-Bowers'
platoon arrive at the DAO, Saigon. The 5d Platoon of Company
C, BIT 1/9 departed the Okinawa in
civilian clothes
to avoid an overt breach of the Paris Accords, despite the imminent
collapse of the Saigon Government.]

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is no alternative." General Dung proved to be a good disciple. The NVA never
attacked the city of Saigon because less than 24 hours after USSAG sent the
execute message, the president of South Vietnam, General Minh, told his soldiers
to lay down their arms. On 30 April 1975, the Republic of Vietnam ceased to
exist.21 Saigon and the final Preparation Pieces

As the final events leading up to the collapse unfolded, Colonel Taylor and his Advance Command Element (9th MAB forward headquarters) attempted to integrate their efforts into those of the DAO's Special Planning Group. Beginning their work the same day the 18th ARVN Division left Xuan Loc, every member of the team knew they had only a little time left in which to prepare for the final evacuation. They were aided in their efforts by various members of the 9th MAB, RLT 4, ProvMAG-39, and BLSG staffs. Individuals from these headquarters shuttled between the task force and the DAO almost daily, serving as an important link between the Blue Ridge and the 9th MAB forward headquarters. As a result of these liaison visits, Major John A. Murray, the RLT S-4, was able to develop a very sophisticated air plan while the operations officer, Major James E. Livingston, fine-tuned Colonel Alfred M. Gray's plan for RLT 4 to secure the DAO Compound for evacuation. This team



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