April 2024
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Saigon Kids Memories: Summers in Saigon

by Dick Banks (BHS)

The world definitely is a small place.

Saigon was my “hometown” during the summers and Christmas holidays between 1962 and 1964.

My family was in Saigon between 1962 and 1965, since my father was one of the radio engineers with Page Communications Engineers that constructed large tropo scatter communications antennas around South Vietnam and Thailand for the U.S. Military. This communications system interconnected Saigon, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Da Nang, Pleiku and Ubon AB in Thailand.

Seeing “Deja Vu: Vietnam Part 6? certainly brought back a lot of memories of the summers I spent, as a high school kid, in Saigon.

My parents were planning to go to the Capital Kinh Do the night it was bombed. Luckily they stopped for dinner before going at a rooftop BOQ restaurant. Dinner took longer than expected. As they were about to leave, someone announced that the Kinh Do had been bombed.

Since I was attending Brent High School in Baguio, I only heard about this incident when I returned to Saigon at the end of the school year. Though I only went to the Kinh Do a few times, I do remember the nearby bowling alley.

My mother was a substitute teacher at the American Community Elementary School. I remember her telling me that the principal told her to always check in the students’ desks and look around the classroom for any suspicious packages before the school day began.

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2 comments to Saigon Kids Memories: Summers in Saigon

  • Mary Timmes Shanabruch

    I often wonder how parents survived all the warnings and dangerous events that occured in those days. Its hard to imagine that we were so nonchalant about having wire grid on bus windows so no grenades could be thrown onto the school bus.
    By the time we were in Saigon, there was no driving out of the city for dependents. We flew everywhere.
    The evening of the Kinh Do bomb, I was coming down the stairs of our house when I felt the blast. I, too, was preparing to go to the movies that evening.

  • Larry Lindquist


    I remember that day also. Karen and I were at the Sportif and planning to head to the movies when we heard about the bombing. Amazing how a slight delay can make such a change in your life.


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