Coming and Going to Vietnam: A 1970 documentary


Conversations between Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes and a planeload of young American soldiers en route to Saigon — and a war-weary group headed home

In 1970, five years after the troop buildup in the Vietnam War began, American servicemen were still being drafted and shipped to war at the rate of about 12 planeloads a week. At the time, the entire country was gnarled in a great debate over the war and whether the sacrifice of these young Americans was worth the fight. So, Mike Wallace boarded a commercial Super DC-8, chartered by the military and bound for Bien Hoa airport near what was then called Saigon, to ask the freshly drafted soldiers what they thought of this war they were told to fight.

After they arrived, he boarded a plane back to the U.S. with a group of war-weary troops who just finished their year-long tour in Vietnam. The result is a fascinating documentary-style look at the soldier’s state-of-mind in 1970 America.

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