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Tragedy Marks Departure of U.S. Ambassador Nolting from Saigon

Aug. 9, 1963 - Tragedy today stalked ceremonies in South Vietnam which had been intended to send retiring U.S. Ambassador Frederick Nolting (left) home amid a warm glow of friendship. Nolting arrived in Don Tin from Saigon to find one of the jeeps in his official motorcade had run over and killed a 3-year-old boy and one of the three helicopters in his security escort had accidentally fired off a burst of machine-gun bullets, killing a 6-year-old boy and wounding 5 persons, including the child’s mother. The American crew chief responsible, an Army PFC, was hospitalized for shock. A U.S. Army spokesman said the helicopter shooting occurred yesterday when the crew chief was thrown off balance during a turn and the cord of his microphone caught in the trigger. Ambassador Nolting and his wife wanted to rush immediately to the hospital to extend sympathy to the victims and their families, but Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem, suggested they go through with the ceremonies first. The Noltings visited the hospital later and made donations to the victims. Ambassador Nolting is returning to the U.S. next week and will be replaced in South Vietnam by Henry Cabot Lodge, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.


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