A US Army captain and three men with a helicopter launched a rescue mission that ended only when 8 nuns and nearly 200 Vietnamese girls were safe at the Vinh Long airstrip. As the helicopter left with the last load, Vietcong guerillas were swarming through the playground of the Centre of Professional Guidance for Girls, a school conducted by Sisters of the Good Shepherd Order, 60 miles south-west of Saigon. “The helicopter boys should each be given a halo and a pair of wings,” said Sr Mary Hayden, the school Director, from New Ross, County Wexford. The Mother Superior and three other sisters at the school are also from Ireland. A reporter who interviewed Sr Mary said that the rescue followed a night of terror for the sisters and pupils, when the Viet Cong smashed into Vinh Long.
[Photo : Photo: Sister Mary stands in front of the bullet-riddled entrance to the convent and school she oversees near the U.S. air base at Vinh Long]