Fall of Saigon in Cartoons

On this day 37 years ago, Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, was captured by the People’s Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front. The event market the end of the Vietnam War and the start of formal reunification of Vietnam into a communist state.

One of the most famous images of the 20th century is this photo by Dutch journalist Hubert van Es showing Americans trying desperately to secure a seat on one of the last helicopters evacuating people to U.S. Navy ships off the coast of Vietnam.

Cartoonists are visual creatures, so it makes sense that this iconic image of desperation has been used and twisted in a number of cartoons over the years. Here are some examples from our archives…

JD Crowe / Mobile Press-Register (click to view more cartoons by Crowe)
Pat Bagley / Salt Lake Tribune (click to view more cartoons by Bagley)
Adam Zyglis / Buffalo News (click to view more cartoons by Zyglis)
Jimmy Margulies / The Record (click to view more cartoons by Margulies)
Rob Tornoe / (click to view more cartoons by Tornoe)

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the publisher of and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc, which which is a major distributor of editorial cartoons and columns to newspapers and digital publishers. See Daryl's blog at:, see his site at: get permission to reprint his cartoons at: