In light of the ongoing and accelerating spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum and the Naval History and Heritage Command have made the decision to CANCEL the Vietnam War Veterans Day Program on Sunday, March 29.
We hope to reschedule the Vietnam Veterans program once these virus concerns pass.
Thank you, and from all of us at the Naval War College Museum and Varnum Continentals, stay healthy!
On Sunday, March 29, the Naval War College Museum and Varnum Memorial Armory Museum will hold a special program in honor of 2020 Vietnam War Veterans Day. The event will be hosted at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, 6 Main St, East Greenwich, RI, 02818. A showing of the documentary, “The Lucky Few: The Story of the USS Kirk” will begin at 3:00 PM and will be followed by a question and answer session with CDR Hugh J. Doyle, USN (Ret.), former Chief Engineer of the USS Kirk during the Fall of Saigon. All Vietnam Veterans will be recognized during the program.
Museum lectures and programs are free and open to the public, and no reservations are required. For details, contact Jessica Fowler, Naval War College Museum, Director of Education and Public Outreach (401-841-7276 // firstname.lastname@example.org).
Varnum Memorial Armory Open for Tours (1:00 PM to 3:00 PM)
As a special treat, the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum will be open for tours of its extensive military museum prior to the event from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
About the Program
“The Lucky Few: The Story of the USS Kirk” with CDR Hugh J. Doyle
Sunday, March 29, 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
As the Vietnam War reached its tragic climax in the last days of April 1975, a task force of United States (US) Navy ships cruised off South Vietnam’s coast. Their mission was to support the evacuation of American embassy personnel and military advisers from Saigon as well as to secure the safety of the South Vietnamese whose lives were endangered by the North Vietnamese victory. The Lucky Few recounts the selfless acts of heroism of the 275 Officers and Sailors of the US Navy ship USS Kirk (DE-1087). The crew of the Kirk, trained as warriors, was suddenly forced into an unexpected role in the evacuation of refugees from Saigon. Dubbed Operation Frequent Wind, it was the final act of the Vietnam War.
About Commander Hugh J. Doyle, USN (Retired)
Commander Hugh J. Doyle, USN (Retired) served as a Surface Warfare Officer for more than twenty years. As a young Lieutenant, and the Chief Engineer on USS Kirk (DE-1087) in 1975, he took part in Operation Eagle Pull (the evacuation of Cambodia), Operation Frequent Wind (the evacuation of Vietnam), and Operation New Life (the voyage of 32 vessels of the former South Vietnamese Navy, carrying more than 33,000 refugees from Vietnam to the Philippines). CDR Doyle served as Executive Officer (XO) of the USS Fanning (FF-1076) and was promoted to Commander while attached to the Fanning. He is a graduate of the Naval War College, the former Vice President and the current Historian of the USS Kirk Association; a steam engineering specialty “hard hat” tour guide for the museum battleship, USS Massachusetts; and a weekly volunteer at the Somerset, MA headquarters of the National Association of Destroyer Veterans – Tin Can Sailors. He now resides in Middletown, Rhode Island. He is the husband of the late Judy Doyle, the father of three, and the grandfather of four wonderful grandchildren.
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