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Bruce Dunning Dies: CBS Reporter Covered 'Last Flight From Da Nang'

Image: Bruce Dunning Dies: CBS Reporter Covered 'Last Flight From Da Nang'

By Clyde Hughes   |   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 02:28 PM

Bruce Dunning, the CBS news correspondent who reported on the last flight out of Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1975 at the end of U.S. involvement the Vietnam War, died Monday in New York at 73.

Dunning had been admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital after suffering injuries from a fall, according to the New York Daily News.

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Dunning retired from CBS News in 2005 after a 35-year career, mostly as a Far East correspondent.

He is best known for his March 29, 1975, story about how a World Airways jet rescued the last group of South Vietnam refugees from Da Nang as the Saigon government collapsed. The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese took control shortly afterward.

Dunning reported that the flight was swamped by South Vietnamese soldiers and while its mission was to rescue women and children only five women and "two or three children" made it on board the 268-passenger flight.

His five-minute report, broadcast on the "CBS Evening News," won the Overseas Press Club's "Best TV News Spot from Abroad" award and was recently named to the Columbia University Journalism School's 100 Great Stories list.

CBS News reported that Dunning rose to become Asia bureau chief in 1989 based in Tokyo. There, he supervised all of the news division's operations in Asia until he retired. He also served as president of the Tokyo Foreign Correspondents Club.

Dunning opened CBS's Beijing bureau in 1981 and was one of the first American broadcast journalists to report from North Korea in 1979.

Dunning joined CBS in July 1969 as a reporter and assignment editor in New York after working as a freelance reporter in Paris. While at the Saigon bureau in August 1970, he reported on the air war in North Vietnam and covered the war's effect on average Vietnamese citizens.

Dunning returned to Vietnam to cover the 10th and 20th anniversaries of the fall of the South Vietnam regime.

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