Sunday, February 23, 2014

Vietnam December 2013: Reunification Palace part 2

the highlight of the palace is found in this basement which includes command bunker with old radio equipment and strategy maps on the walls.

a climb to this 4th floor rooftop yields some nice view of the palace grounds as well as an old US UH-1 helicopter. the rooftop was used as a helipad for evacuating staff just before the palace was overrun.

after existing the basement, there's this room that is filled with historic photos - heavily sprinkled with propaganda  - portraying the fall of the Independence Palace.

palace kitchen

President Diem was assassinated in 1963 before construction of the new palace was completed. General Nguyen Van Thieu moved into the completed palace in 1967 to serve as the second president of South Vietnam, he changed the name to Independence Palace.

Independence Palace served as central command for the South Vietnamese effort against communist forces until April 1975 when General Thieu was evacuated as part of the Operation Frequent Wind - the largest helicopter evacuation in history. North Vietnamese captured the palace and later renamed it Reunification Palace. 

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