June 2023
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Submitted by: Sarah Rupert


I’m very new to the site, so if this is posted elsewhere and I’ve missed it I’m very sorry!

I was wondering when the 1965 yearbook might become available online. My mother, Karen Oliver, attended the American Community School in Saigon from 1964 until the evacuation in 1965. She was very young — in elementary school. I’m trying to put together files/photos from her life as a surprise for her.

I was also wondering if you know of anyone/any families that were evacuated from Saigon to Taipei, as my mother and her family were. She recalls that about 8 other families were, but she’s lost touch with everyone over the years.

My grandmother was very pregnant with my aunt at the time of the evacuation, which is why I believe she pushed so hard to be sent to Taipei instead of back to the United States. My grandfather managed to visit them when he had some leave a couple months later, but it wasn’t very much time. As he was getting in the taxi to go back to the airport to return to Saigon, my grandmother went into labor! My mother and her two brothers were sent to stay with some other American evacuee families while my grandmother went to the hospital. (They gave my grandfather an extended 24 hour leave so he could be there for the birth of my aunt!)

Any direction you could point me in for anyone that was also in Taiwan would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Sarah Rupert

Admin Note: Sarah to answer your question about the 1965 yearbook, it will be available on the site as soon as someone who has a copy decides to take the time to scan it and send it to me as a PDF. Unfortunately to date those that have a copy have not offered to compile it. Hopefully, someone will come forward in the near future.


  • Deborah Spohr Martin

    I was in Vietnam the 1964 year to 1965. That was when the American school closed and I was very young in 5th or 6th grade. I remember returning home very animated and announcing to my parents Betty and Hank Spohr that there would be no more school that the school was closing!! I think the following week my fathers oil company Esso and other private American companies opened the Phoenix School for kids of private companies that remained in Vietnam. That school turned out to be one of the most idealic schools I had ever attended. It was like a little American one room school house. My brother Tucker Spohr and sister Kathy Spohr also attended that school. Our teacher was a Mennonite woman who was very Godly. She taught us so many fun games like rhythm and four square which we often played. She was also and excellent teacher. I think we had two class rooms in that school house. If there is anyone out there that attended that school I would love to hear from them and reminisce. Deborah Spohr Martin

    • Deborah — There are several people who visit the site that attended the Phoenix Study Group school after the evacuation. Scroll through the *Categories* in the Menu to the left side of this page. Anyone with (PSG) after their name attended the Phoenix Study Group in Saigon.


  • Gene (Joe) Weinbeck

    I would love to see the 1965 yearbook, too. I thought that it had never been published.

    If one of the people with that yearbook feels overwhelmed by the technological aspect of the scanning process, please know that there are businesses (including nerds with home-based sideline businesses) that can be paid to do the scanning and pdf creation. I for one would be happy to chip in a few dollars to help cover the cost. Maybe others would, too?

    • As I understand it, the 1965 Gecko was published, but it was not distributed until several months after the evacuation when it was mailed to the families of the students. If anyone has a copy, please come forward.


  • Laurie Methven

    I didn’t even realize there was a 1965 yearbook. It would be awesome to see it. I believe I was in the 8th grade then.

  • Marilyn Weed

    I have one of the 1965 Gecko yearbooks. Since I work full time and very involved in volunteer work, I currently don’t have a lot of time to scan the yearbook into pdf. I understand the technology to scan the book into a pdf, it is a time issue. But if you are willing to be patient I could start working on scanning the book as I have time.

    I was in the 8th grade in 1965.

    • Marilyn — That would be wonderful if you would be so kind to scan the 1965 Gecko to pdf. I’m sure all the Saigon Kids would appreciate it very much. I’ll email instructions to you.


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