A Story of Rescue and Reunion 



USS Ranger CV61 rescues 138 Vietnamese boat people from the South China Sea on March, 20, 1981.

Robinson brought to light the efforts of U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS Kirk, a destroyer with a mission to escort air craft carrier. It took on a new role April 30, 1975, when the Kirk and its crew took on the mission to rescue more than 30,000 Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea.

Along with Robinson were other former commanding officers of the USS Kirk and the USS Ranger, who shared stories of their efforts in rescuing refugees.  Retired Navy Capt. Dan A. Pedersen, who commanded the USS Ranger CV-61 “Top Gun,” spoke about rescuing these starved and dehydrated people floating in a barely seaworthy 35-foot wooden boat.

I’ve met quite a few immigrants, who came over with nothing, just desperate to get to America. I served with a number of them.

During his speech, he asked a woman in the audience to stand up for recognition.  That woman was my mother, Ton Nu Cam Quy, who took extreme risk when she put all of her four children into that wooden boat, seeking freedom outside of Vietnam.
“Cam Quy went on raised four wonderful children and turned them into active contributing members of the United States,” Capt. Pedersen said. “They all graduated from college and now one of them is serving in the military.”

It’s kind of sobering to realize people risk their lives to come to the states, and then exponentially increase that bravery and commitment by joining the US military. I wonder how many US citizens who leave this country, because they hate it so much, move to another country, and actually want to become citizens? Much less would be proud if their children joined the military of that nation. I don’t take issue with expatriates, I’d love visiting other countries and learning new cultures, but I wouldn’t give up my citizenship for all the gold in the world. Then again, I’ve never had to live in an oppressive regime where they kill people for their politics, religion, or private lifestyle choices.

Read the whole article, it’s pretty cool to see how much effort the writer went to, just so that he could thank the person who was in charge of saving his family. How many other nations, go out of their way to rescue refugees, offer them a home, and a life of freedom? How many other Armed Forces would consider it an honor to save lives?

One comment on “A Story of Rescue and Reunion 

  1. Nguyen Tien Kien says:

    I look for a news or address of Ton Nu Cam Quy, we are old friend, she’s an Artist Painter…..75 year old ! kien_nguyentien@ yahoo.com

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