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Rich Tilson Joins Saigon Kids

by Rich Tilson (1954-58)

My family(US Foreign Service) was stationed in Saigon from 1954 to 1958. I learned how to swim at the Circle Sportif as a 6 yr old. I remember eating their great ham sandwiches. My brother and me had great childhood memories from our stay in Saigon.

3 comments to Rich Tilson Joins Saigon Kids

  • You were in Saigon when Diem’s new national army fought in the streets with the Binh Xuyen in 1955. Do you remember any of this?

    • Juris – I doubt few of the American Saigon Kids (if any) even know about the Binh Xuyen. A few might though. The French Saigon Kids might remember the Binh Xuyen better. From what I’ve read about the Binh Xuyen I’m glad I wasn’t in Saigon during there reign when organized crime *was* the Saigon Police Department. The Binh Xuyen made Al Capone’ Chicago look like child’s play. An interesting and most unusual arrangement made between the French Colonial government and organized crime, to say the least.


  • Rich Tilson

    Juris, when we arrived in Saigon 1954-5 the French military forces were leaving. I remember going down to the harbor and seeing the french troops loading up ships to leave. A couple of times during our posting there was trouble in the streets.Towards the end of our posting (1957-8)I remember coming home from school in a army truck being guarded by soldiers. Another time, we were on our way to Long Hi beach and we came to a roadside ambush and my father made a u turn back to Saigon to report the trouble to the Embassy.

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