December 2023
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Saigon Videos: Travel Back To 1945

by Admin (ACS)

During World War II my dad was a Special Forces Marine in the Pacific Theater.

At the end of the war and for about a year thereafter he went to Vietnam and other places throughout the Pacific and Asia to root out the Japanese who hadn’t heard the war was over; and, to free POW’s from Japanese prison camps.

In this video we get a glimpse of what Saigon and Vietnam was like in 1945 around the time my dad would have seen it for the first time.

When viewing the video, the first thing you’ll notice is the lack of automobile, motor cycle and bicycle traffic.


Deja Vu Saigon 1945

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The video quality is not as good and a bit distorted in Full Screen Mode, but you can see a lot more detail when watching it in Full Screen Mode.

How many places do you recognize?

What stands out the most to you when watching the video?

What is your first reaction/impression when viewing the street scenes around Saigon?

As always, your welcome to leave your comments below.

Share your memories, experiences and stories of your days in Saigon.

You can submit your stories and photographs by using the
*Contact Form*.


6 comments to Saigon Videos: Travel Back To 1945

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Wonderful video…but I have a question, the second building shown is described as the Municipal Theater…I always thought it was the Parliament building. Am I wrong? Just curious. I can’t believe this film was in color. Actually, I thought the quality was damn good.

    • Ken – The building was originally built by the French as the *Municipal Theater*. When most of us were there as Saigon Kids it had been converted to the Parliament building.

      • Kenneth R. Yeager

        Thanks for the clarification. Now if I could just get my directions to Cholon correct…..

        • Ken – Take a look at the 1963 map of Saigon. It is located in the *left side* Menu area of this page under ACS Library. It’ll open in a PDF format, then you can Zoom it UP and pan around on it to see it better.

  • Sarah Rogers

    I agree with Ken, the quality is quite good for as old as it is. I was surprised to see so many coolies; obviously before the bike cyclos became popular. I also noticed there were not many lovely ladies in au dais. In our time they were always walking the streets holding hands and giggling.

    • Sarah – During the Japanese occupation of Vietnam, the Japanese took *everything* from the Vietnamese to supply the Japanese army and war effort. Basically, the Vietnamese people were *enslaved* by the Japanese to produce goods, materials and supplies for Japan. Those who didn’t willing cooperate with the Japanese were killed in public executions as an example to others as to what would happen to them if they didn’t turn over what they produced to the Japanese. Hence, very few Vietnamese people in Vietnam lived above the barest survival poverty level of existence.

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