April 2024
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Deja Vu Vietnam: Saigon – November 1, 1963 Coup

On November 1, 1963 (49 years ago today), President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam was deposed by a group of Army of the Republic of Vietnam officers who disagreed with his handling of both the Buddhist crisis and the Vietcong threat.

I’m sure those Saigon Kids who were in Saigon at the time have many memories of the coup and this film will bring them back.

As always, you’re welcome to share your memories and stories in the Comments below.

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7 comments to Deja Vu Vietnam: Saigon – November 1, 1963 Coup

  • Laurie Methven

    I remember this so well! It was total chaos & I remember that we had to lay low literally for hours as the shooting etc. went on (we lived in Gai Dinh province @ the time). I still have photos of my siblings & I in front of the palace a few days later as well as some of the statues torn town tht Madamn Nhu had erected…what a time it was!

  • Renee Daniels King

    I was on a bus coming back from the swimming pool. A couple of blocks from the palace the bus stopped and the driver told us we would have to exit. I protested, saying I had to get home because my family would be worried. It was to no avail. There were rolls of barbed wire across the road and soldiers with guns everywhere. Loud noises and smoke were coming from close by. My friend Carolyn Kendrick lived near and told me to come stay at her huse until we found out more about what was going on. There was no phone at ther Kendrick house but Sgt. Kendrick said he would get word to my parents. Three days my Mother and housekeeper pulled up in a taxi. We had not communicated the whole while. When I got home there were soldiers and tanks and mortors or cannons or some kind of big guns in my yard. They were shooting at the Police Department across the road. Another Strange Saigon Surprise!

  • Gene (Joe) Weinbeck

    I arrived a few months later, so missed “the big one”. But, there were several more coups to come the next year. I remember joking about the “coup of the month club” that got us out of school each month for a while.

  • Laurie Methven

    Gene – I remember telling kids when I got to US and school in NH how instead of “snow days”, we had “coup days” – you can imagine the wonderment!

  • Larry Lindquist

    I just discovered this site and did not see much activity since 2008. Wasn’t sure how active it was. Most of you must remember my mother. She was principal of the high school portion. When the coup started, I was downtown at Ken Berger’s house and my sisters – Karen, Ellen, Susan, and Barbara – were scattered at friends homes throughout the area. My father’s driver, Hamad, drove all over town picking us up and taking us home to Phu Nhuan. Early in the day Ken and I had been riding out near the JDP and saw convoys of loaded trucks headed to downtown. Later in the day our house was hit by a spent 20mm round as Skyraiders were attacking a bridge not too far from our house. Many indelible experiences from my stay in Viet-Nam.

  • thomas rushton

    I have a great interest in Vietnamese history of this era because when I went to Vietnam as a contractor for USAID in 1966, I was enthralled by the culture and people. Sadly, in 1968 I was captured in Hue and imprisoned along with GI’s until 1973. But I have never lost my deep interest in all things Indochinese.
    Thanks so much to all who write of their memories.
    Tom Rushton
    Vietnam 1966-1973

  • frank

    Thomas, Were you at the Army-V compound in Hue (south of the river). Our unit was in contact with it…I talked to Army guys and also some Aussies on my PRC-25. We could not get there in time. We did pick up (rescue) some sea-going “squids” who had got “caught up” the Perfume River while delivering supplies from their ships. I always remember one of them had a puppy, that he would not give up, and another one had an ammo can with a towel inside wrapped around a bottle of whiskey. He was guarding that with his life. He had the bottom part of his ear shot off. They were so happy to see the Marines. That does not happen that often with the Navy!! hehe!!

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