Spark From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 431 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 8122 times:
I'm not 100% positive, but the last flight from Saigon would almost surely be Pan Am, unless United did some kind of Military charter.
Pan Am was the primary US airliner to fly in Asia in the 70's and early 80's (NW also flew to Asia, but primarily Japan). United didn't start scheduled service to Asia until 1983, with flights from SEA and PDX to Tokyo and Hong Kong.
In 1986, United purchased the Pacific routes from Pan Am, and became the largest airline in the world (eventually, and then lost it). Pan Am, on the other hand, dropped into non-existence.
NDSchu777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 419 posts, RR: 3 Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 8117 times:
I don't know what the answer is, but I'd put my money on Pan Am much sooner before United. Pan Am by far had the most extensive international network for a US-based airline prior to deregulation. On top of that they would have had a strong presence in Asia in the 70s. I would highly doubt it would've been United since prior to the 1980s United had almost no routes outside of the United States, not to mention absolutely no routes to Asia.
The only way it might have been United is if it was a non-scheduled, charter flight.
Seiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 8087 times:
It was Pan Am, and it was a scheduled flight (#841 to Manila). The FAA issued a waiver so that passengers could be seated on the floor, double up in seats, etc. It went out full with mainly Pan Am ticket office employees, Americans left in the area, some passengers who actually were ticketed on the scheduled service, and several embassy employees (two of which were CIA agents carrying several million dollars in USD cash). Some of the last on board were the airport ticket counter agents who were busy trying to get people onto the flight.
HAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2499 posts, RR: 53 Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7947 times:
It probably was PanAm, but United did fly to Viet Nam in the 60's and early 70's as part of the MAC (Military Airlift Command) charters using DC-8's. My father was a pilot for UAL and did many of those flights.
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
Trident From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 484 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7939 times:
What about World Airways. I remember seeing a newspaper photo of a World 727 having landed (I'm not sure where, it might have been Thailand or the Philipines) with the legs of a dead stowaway dangling from one of the main wheel wells. That would have been in the last few days of the war in 1975.
Skyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1065 posts, RR: 4 Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7898 times:
World did indeed fly out of Saigon. If you will go the site already given by Clipperhawaii, then go the History page and then to "Personal Memoirs"(Al Topping) page you will find the account of the question of the Worlds' flight that has been mentioned. In fact Al Topping was the one to make the actual decision as to when Pan Am would pull out of Saigon, William Sewell didn't have the nerve to. That way, if the date was later found out to be wrong, he couldn't be held accountable.
FutureSQPilot From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 147 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7877 times:
If the last flight out of Saigon was a scheduled Pan Am flight, what was the flight (with a 727) that landed there and was bombarded by Southern Vietnamese trying to get out? I watched a movie about it in history last year and it said that it was the last flight out when the US pulled out and they said that during the takeoff roll the loading ramp at the back of the plane was open and people were running and grabbing onto the ramp trying to get on the plane. I recall that about 300 people were crammed into the plane...possibly the flight that Trident is talking about?
Skyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1065 posts, RR: 4 Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7866 times:
FutureSQpilot-if you too will go to the same site that I previously mentioned, you will read an account of the World incident. You will notice that Al Topping mentions that it happened just very few days after the "Baby Airlift", that happened on April 5, so I'm sure you can realize that the Pan Am flight had to have been the last flight as that flight happened on April 24. Possibly, though I am just guessing, the World flight had sold seats on it, I am not sure about the Pan Am flight-even though they got a flight designator courtesy of Gerald Ford, in that case they(World) may be being called the last commercial flight out of Saigon, though the actual last American company out was Pan Am.
Aeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 689 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7845 times:
A little off topic, but for a historical perspective, PA's regularly scheduled flights from Saigon at least in 1974 used 747's 4 x per week:
flt #842 Saigon/Manila/Guam/Honolulu/San Francisco (M,F)
flt #842 Saigon/Guam/Honolulu/San Francisco (W,TH)
I would assume, in addition to these regularly scheduled flts, the military 'rest and relaxation' refliefs for military only purposes were via 727's:
According to Panamorg.com:
"Boeing 727s flew the Vietnam rest and relaxation airlift, carrying thousands of American servicemen for rest and relaxation leaves in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and other Asian destinations.
Pan Am’s 727s departing Saigon took off at maximum climb to avoid small arm fire. But bullet holes were found in multiple aircraft."