Escape with Honor

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Escape with Honor: My Last Hours in Vietnam

“The work of a compassionate, literate man . . . this is an inside view of the final days of the American presence in Vietnam. More important, it is an informative, uplifting inside view of how people cope in times of chaos.”
Publishers Weekly, Aug. 18, 1997

During a 37-year Foreign Service career, Terry McNamara had three postings in Vietnam—as provincial adviser with the CORDS program, first principal officer in Danang, and consul general in Can Tho. Escape with Honor tells the true story of then–Consul General McNamara’s harrowing evacuation from Can Tho down the Mekong River by boat, carrying over 300 U.S. and Foreign Service National staff and family members, on April 29–30, 1975.

McNamara also served in seven African posts, was ambassador in Gabon and São Tomé y Principe and in Cape Verde, and is the author of France in Black Africa. Earlier, he served in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Service. Adrian Hill, a British writer and former diplomat, also saw service in Vietnam.

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by Francis Terry McNamara,
with Adrian Hill
Washington & London: Brassey's, 1997, 1999
224 pp, 20 photographs, map, appendix, index
Cloth $22.95 (members' price $19)
Paperback $16.95 (members' price $14)

"In April 1975 McNamara . . . was the highest-ranking American in the southernmost of South Vietnam's four administrative regions. When the regime abruptly collapsed, it fell to him to get his people - American and Vietnamese - out of the country in a hurry. . . . So this hands-on diplomat organized the escape of 'McNamara's Navy,' several hundred people crammed aboard two LCM landing craft. And this is the subject of Escape with Honor, a wonderfully readable and moving memoir about a very bad moment in American history."
The Washington Times, Dec. 20, 1997