A Minnesota PBS Initiative
Vietnam War Roundtable
Vietnam War Roundtable 2019-2020 Schedule
This ongoing series is an opportunity for veterans (and those interested in the war and its legacy)
to gather on a monthly basis to honor, remember and understand this tumultuous time.
The Minnesota Military Museum, in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television, DAV of Minnesota and Concordia University, St Paul, present this 2019-20 series held at Concordia University on the 3rd Monday of month (September through May). Parking and admission are free (a small donation to the museum is appreciated).
LOCATION: Concordia University, 300 Hamline Avenue North, St Paul, MN 55104
DIRECTIONS: Please Join us at the Concordia University’s Buetow Auditorium on Hamline Avenue just south of Interstate 94. Signs will be posted.
Upcoming 2019-20 Roundtable Discussions
CANCELLED 16 March @ 7PM
20 April @ 7PM: The Fall of Saigon, 45th Anniversary. Saigon was captured by the North Vietnamese Army on April 30th 1975 effectively ending the Vietnam War. Marine Corps officer John Murray served as the USMC logistical officer during this event making sure that American evacuation helicopters were operational and overseeing the dumping overboard of escaping Vietnamese helicopters, for which there was no room on American ships.
Several other American military and civilian personnel and Vietnamese will discuss their experiences surrounding the fall of Saigon and the after effects of the North Vietnamese victory, including:
Pete Orput, was a 19 year old marine US Embassy guard in Saigon when the city fell. Lee Wikoff, A US Navy officer off the Coast aiding with the evacuation. Simon-Hoa Phan, was a 10 year old child evacuated off the US Embassy roof with his family. He’ll share his vivid memories of that day. Tom Tran who was a government official in Da Nang will talk about the opening phases of the North Vietnamese advance into the south. He evacuated Da Nang to Saigon the fled Saigon for the South China Sea on 30 April.
18 May @ 7PM: 1970 Kent State and the Student Strike, 50th Anniversary. The invasion of Cambodia prompted unrest on campuses across the country, most notably at Kent State University in Ohio. On May 4, after several days of conflict, members of the Ohio National Guard killed four students and injured nine. These events inspired other student strikes, including at the U of M and Mankato State. Former student activists will recount these tumultuous times on MN campuses.
Schedule, speakers and topics subject to change.
16 September @ 7PM: Brown Water Navy. Wendell Affield arrived in Vietnam in early 1968 as a river assault boat cox’n, aboard the Armor Troop Carrier 112-11. The memory of this arduous journey and his return home are chronicled in his book Muddy Jungle Rivers.
21 October @ 7PM: Medevac Pilots. Army medical evacuation pilot Jim Williamson and combat medic Bill Strusinski discussed their often dangerous work evacuating the wounded from the battlefield. They discussed their life saving work between the battlefield and in the hospital.
18 November @ 7PM: POW in North Vietnam. Navy, Air Force, and Marine pilots and aircrew endured years of torture, hardship, and uncertainty after being shot down and captured. Navy F-4 Phantom “Back seater” David Wheat was shot down over North Vietnam on October 17 1965 and held for 7 ½ years in various North Vietnamese prisons, including the Hanoi Hilton until his release in 1973. Mr. Wheat discussed his naval service, being shot down and his experiences as a POW.
16 December @ 7PM: Wounded in Action. Combat wounded veterans will discuss their experiences being wounded in action, evacuated from the battlefield and their recovery. Combat medics and military nurses will discuss their work treating and saving the battlefield wounded.
20 January @ 7PM: Return to Vietnam. Many years after the end of the war veterans have returned to Vietnam and have had a variety of experiences, usually positive. Often these trips bring a sense of closure or open doors to new life experiences or opportunities. Veterans will discuss their experiences returning to the places in Vietnam where they served in their youth.
17 February @ 7PM: Agent Orange. This topic rated of great interest by many of our 2018-19 roundtable attendees. In response, hear from local veterans and experts on the last impact of Agent Orange.