02. The Day of Exodus to Subic Bay

2. The Day We Set Sail to Subic Bay

Captain Phạm Đình San shouted out his order:
All hands on deck! Take her to the open sea.”
It’s all finished! The Republic of South Vietnam.
Shed no more tears for our 20 years of civil war.

The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet shadowing us offshore,
Perhaps, they expected to see our ships heading out.
Because HQ-11 had made prior contact with a U.S warship,
Our ship was designated the vessel for leading the exodus.

Captain San of HQ-11 was the lead officer of the convoy,
To relay all instructions while en route to Subic Bay.
The naval convoy rescued hundreds of fishing boats.
The sea was calm as we picked up more people fleeing.

After several days, the island was visible on the horizon;
The naval convoy stopped, ready to drop anchor.
Republic of South Vietnam’s flags must be removed.
Soldiers in uniform had to re-dress in civilian clothes.

Heavy munitions and weapons of all sorts,
Must be thrown overboard before entering port.
One by one, each ship was allowed to dock.
People were ordered to disembark like herding flocks.

As people walked toward the Subic Bay’s entrance,
Each person was given a new set of clothes
And directed to the makeshift shower stalls nearby.
Cleansing the dirt of war to begin their new life.

All the lingering hostility the shower washed off.
A North-South civil war that tore our country apart.
Rancor and animosity accumulated in four directions,
Were finally purged from the naked soul of our emotions.


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