February 2024
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Slide Show: Memories of Saigon Then and Now

This is the second in a series of slide shows contributed by Pastor Tom Johnson who was assigned to the 3rd Field Hospital (formerly American Community School) as a Chaplin’s Assistant and Medic from 1965 to 1966.

When his son learned he was planning a visit to Viet-nam, in February 2008, he suggested taking pictures of some of the same places he had taken pictures of in 1965/66.

These pictures in *Saigon, Then and Now* are the result.

Including what the old American Community School (and former 3rd Field Hospital) buildings looked like in 2008 – 🙂


Click Here to view the changes  and what our old school looks like today.

[ Note: You can slow down the slide show by clicking on the * + * Icon located on the tool bar at the bottom of the screen. This will increase the *seconds* between slides to a comfortable viewing speed for you. ]

These are awesome pictures! Once again, thank you so very much, Tom!


PS: Tom is still searching for Chaplin Fredrick Hanley who served at 3rd Field Hospital. If you have any information that would help to locate him, please leave it in the Comments section below.

5 comments to Slide Show: Memories of Saigon Then and Now

  • stevie westmoreland

    Dear Tom, thank you for those fab pics of there and then and here and now!! I too just returned from VN and visited my old home 60 Tran Qui Cap, where the old French villa is now a women”s center for funding relief to women all over VN and the home of PEACE TOURS. I went with a group called TOP VN Vets, Tours of Peace VN Vets, in May 2009. I also found where my uncle was shot down and died in 1968. My cousin and I had a ceremony for our family on the river. A life changing experience for me. tx,Stevie

    • Thomas Johnson

      Hello Stevie,
      I just read you comments about my pictures of the 3rd Field Hospital and wanted to say thank you. I had no idea there would be so many from the Saigon Kids American Community School looking at them. I am happy to help out.
      When I visited the hospital a couple of years ago, many of the young soldiers stationed there knew nothing about the 3rd Field Hospital. They were extremely interested, and polite, and asked many questions about the hospital, i.e. what rooms were used for what, etc.
      I understand from a email I received from Bob, via the Saigon Kids American Community School, that you are a daughter of General William Westmoreland. If so, you need to know how much we appreciated him. He was very popular with the troops. I was continually impressed when he came to the hospital to visit the wounded soldiers how caring he was. This, of course, is a side of him that the news didn’t cover.
      I have several pictures of your Dad visiting the hospital (some with Vice President Humphrey) that I would be happy to send to you if you are interested.
      Thanks again for your comments about the pictures.
      Tom Johnson

    • Richard Peabody II


      My family & I also lived at 60 Tran Qui Cap from 1960-62. My father was the senior aid to General McGarr during that time. We lived in the house next to the main house where you lived. I don’t think our house is there any longer from what I can tell from the aerial photos on Google Earth. Can you comfirm that from your visit?

      Richard Peabody

  • Sarah J Rogers

    Aloha Tom,
    Thank you again for the great pictures. I waited until now to view so I knew I would have time to really study them.
    I did not realize the floating restaurant was still around. I am so sorry that I missed it when I went back to VN in 2001 and 2009!
    Does anyone have a picture of the Presidential Palace before the coup? That was when it was really beautiful as built in the French style villa.
    Also, really enjoyed the pictures of the old school. But I have to say, it looked better as a field hospital and the research center now then it ever did as the school! In my mind of course, the school was wonderful as I spent so many fun days there.
    Sarah Rogers

    [Sarah – there is a picture of the old Palace as it looked in 1958 in the Photo Gallery – Bob]

  • tom rushton

    Many thanks and appreciation for walking me down memory lane. As a USAID contractor in 1966 I fell in love with the place and the people.
    Two years later I was caught up in the Tet fighting at Hue City.
    And came out of the Communist prisons five years later.

    Still never lost the warm feelings for that unique country.
    Thank you so much.

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