The Pan Am Podcast

Episode 4: Evacuation of Saigon, Wings of Freedom Mission

September 02, 2021 Pan Am Museum Foundation Season 1 Episode 4
The Pan Am Podcast
Episode 4: Evacuation of Saigon, Wings of Freedom Mission
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Show Notes

In this episode we are joined by Allan Topping, a Pan Am employee who evacuated almost 500 people out of Saigon days before the city fell. 

On April 24, 1975, at the conclusion of the Vietnam War, with time running out as Saigon was surrounded by North Vietnamese troops, a Pan Am 747 jumbo jet carried 463 American and South Vietnamese civilians to safety and freedom. 

At the center of this dangerous and desperate mission was Allan Topping. 

Mr. Topping is the author of a book, “Wings of Freedom: A True Story,” about his incredible experience in Saigon. 

To purchase the book, please visit the Museum’s online store:

In 1990, NBC made a movie out of Al’s story called Last Flight Out starring James Earl Jones, Richard Crenna, and Rosliand Chao. 

Watch the full movie on YouTube:

The mission of the Pan Am Museum Foundation is “to educate, celebrate,and inspire present and future generations by preserving historical and diverse personal stories of Pan American World Airways.”

Pan Am was a pioneer in air travel and still stands as one of the most iconic and innovative airlines in aviation history. 

That legacy lives on at the Pan Am Museum in Garden City, New York, where you can explore the rich history of the aircrafts and individuals at the heart of the company known as The World’s Most Experienced Airline.

The Pan Am Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization. Please consider becoming a museum member or making a donation so we can continue creating content like the Pan Am Podcast. 

Visit our website:

Special thanks to Pan Am Brands for their continued support!

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