USS Whipple
FF 1062

Richard Chen Subject: Refugee from 8/22/78 ship
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997
To: Mark Roberts

Dear Mark,

After searching through many sources and Internet I finally found the web page for the USS Whipple ship.

I was 14 years old at that time along with my family we were among the refugees that the Whipple ship rescued us on August 22, 1978. I arrived in Seattle in 1979 and lived here since. I told myself if I ever come to USA I will do everything to help the people here. I worked part-time after school when I was in Junior high for the US Marine Corps Recruiter Center and after that I worked for an non-profit organization to help the poor people with food, rent and employment. Currently I'm a Computer Operator for a public housing in Seattle.

My friend in Roosevelt High School published my story in the school newspaper regarding my escaping trip from Vietnam in 1981 and I still have a copy of it. I kept a collection of photos and story regarding my escape so that I could tell my children how I get here.

Again, thank you very much and if you need to contact here my e-mail address is:


Richard Chen

Richard Chen and Mark Roberts
February 11, 1998: Richard Chen proudly displays his "Honorary Crewmember" certificate
signed by the C.O. of the U.S.S. Whipple in 1978
William C. Francis (RADM-retired).

More Pictures:

410 people in one boat. Whipple is turning about to receive the fishing boat alongside - astern.

Whipple maneuvering Fishing boat crossing Whipple's bow. Photo by: OS3 Pete Kennison

More maneuvering CDR Francis didn't know it at the time, but, the fishing boat is operating with a rudder casualty. Photo by: OS3 Pete Kennison

Fishing Boat passing down the beam. Photo by: OS3 Pete Kennison

Stern view Photo by: OS3 Pete Kennison
Tied up in Whipple's Lee

Alongside "Horse collar" ropes sent over the side for climbing.

Alongside Refugees climbing the nets.

Alongside Another picture of refugees climbing the nets.

View of the stern Refugees wait their turn to scale the nets.

Photographs aboard USS Whipple, August 21 - 24, 1978. Photo's by Mark Roberts and official U.S. Navy photographer's.

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