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The Fall of Saigon, or the Liberation of Saigon, depending on context, was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People’s Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (also known as the Việt Cộng) on April 30, 1975. The event marked the end of the Vietnam War and the start of a transition period to the formal reunification of Vietnamunder the Socialist Republic.
North Vietnamese forces, under the command of General Văn Tiến Dũng, began their final attack on Saigon on April 29, 1975, with Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces commanded by General Nguyễn Văn Toàn suffering heavy artillery bombardment. This bombardment at the Tân Sơn Nhất Airport killed the last two American servicemen to die in Vietnam, Charles McMahon and Darwin Judge. By the afternoon of the next day, North Vietnamese troops had occupied the important points of the city and raised their flag over the South Vietnamese presidential palace. The South Vietnamese government capitulated shortly afterward. The city was renamed Hồ Chí Minh City, after the Democratic Republic‘s late President Hồ Chí Minh.
The capture of the city was preceded by the evacuation of almost all the American civilian and military personnel in Saigon, along with tens of thousands of South Vietnamese civilians associated with the southern regime.The evacuation culminated in Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation in history. In addition to the flight of refugees, the end of the war and institution of new rules by the communists contributed to a decline in the city’s population.