[Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 7714875. Capt Edward R.
Palmquist, Jr., commander of Detachment Sierra, shouts to his
men on the USNS Sergeant Andrew Miller. Within 24 hours MSG
ships loaded nearly 40,000 refugees.]
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and Captain Robert D. Amos.Jr., on the Green Forest; Detachment Victor and
Captain David A. Garcia on the Pioneer Contender, and Detachment Echo and
Captain Richard L. Reuter on the USNS Sergeant Truman Kimbro (she already
had 150 Vietnamese on board, delivered by a Navy ship on the 29th).4 Within
24 hours, these largely empty ships would be en-route to Subic Bay with 39,824
refugees embarked. Within the next few days, the SS Transcolorado and the
American Racer began embarking refugees. Initially without Marines, each ship,
upon arrival in Subic, received a complement of security forces. Detachment
Hotel and Captain William H. Hackett, Jr., transferred from the Dubuque on
4 May to the Transcolorado, and the next day. Detachment Mike and First Lieutenant
Carl W. Fredcricksen left the Du-buque and embarked in the American Racer.
Another ship involved in the care and especially the feeding of the evacuees
was the SS Green Wave, a cargo ship. At 0800 on 5 May, Detachment Uniform
and Captain Steven A. Shepherd joined the Green Wave. Once loaded to capacity
with refugees and with its Marines fully prepared for their security role,
these three ships (Transcolorado, American Racer, and Green Wave) left Subic,
bound for Guam.
One of the reasons for such a quick transfer of refugees and Marines in Subic was due to Filipino sensitivity and the arrival of a flotilla of Vietnamese Navy vessels fully loaded with thousands of refugees. Literally, there was no more room in Subic for them, and diplomatically, the Philippines Government had no more time for unprocessed aliens. During the period from 21-28 April, the United States had evacuated by airplane 42,910 people. Although the 170 Air Force C-130 and 134 C-141 sorties took some of these refugees to Guam, the majority landed and disembarked at Clark Air Force Base. The numbers of undocumented and therefore illegal immigrants so alarmed President Ferdinand Marcos (the U.S. had promised him that all transiting South Vietnamese would have passports and required documentation) that the Philippines Government informed the American Embassy in Manila that refugees could not remain in the Philippines any longer than 72 hours and that no armed
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