U.S. Minister to the Republic of Vietnam and Deputy Chief of Mission


Materials focusing on Lehmann’s service as Deputy U.S. Ambassador in Saigon and the closing months of the Vietnam War, especially the final evacuation from Saigon in April 1975. Included are two oral history transcripts, some declassified State Department cables, documents written or collected by Lehmann concerning these events, Saigon newspapers and maps, and photographs.

0.7 linear feet (ca.1350 pages)

Wolfgang J. Lehmann (accession numbers 1999-NLF-029, 2000-NLF-029, and 2002-NLF-034)

Open. Some items may be temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Wolfgang Lehmann has donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by William McNitt, March 2000

[s:\bin\findaid\lehmann, wolfgang - papers.doc]


Wolfganag J. Lehmann

September 18, 1921 - Born in Berlin, Germany

1934 - His family emigrated to the United States and settled in New Rochelle, NY. He later attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

1942-1947 - Major, U.S. Army. He served with the Fifth Army in Italy and subsequently with occupation forces in Austria.

1951 - He entered the Foreign Service and was assigned as a political officer to the American Embassy in Austria.

1953-1957 - He supervised implementation of the U.S. Refugee Relief Program from assignments at embassies and U.S. Missions in Rome, Geneva, and Vienna.

1957 - Appointed Public Affairs Advisor, Office for NATO and European Regional Affairs, Department of State.

1962-1964 - Political Officer, U.S. Mission to the European Communities, Brussels.

1964-1968 - Following senior training at the U.S. Army War College, he served as an Assistant for European Affairs in the Department of Defense.

1968 - He returned to the Department of State as Director of the Office of Atomic Energy and Aerospace

1970-1973 - Political Advisor, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany

1973-1974 - U.S. Consul General and senior U.S. official in Can Tho, Military Region IV, South Vietnam

1974-1975 - U.S. Minister to South Vietnam and Deputy Chief of Mission

1975-1979 - U.S. Consul General, Frankfurt, Germany

1980-1983 - Senior advisor to Director of Central Intelligence, Washington, DC

1983 - Retired from the Foreign Service and became an independent international affairs consultant


Wolfgang Lehmann had a long and distinguished career in the Foreign Service, but this collection focuses narrowly on the time he spent in South Vietnam (1973-1975), especially the closing months of the Vietnam War and the evacuation from Saigon in April 1975. During his last year in South Vietnam, Lehmann served as the deputy to Ambassador Graham Martin.

The collection does not contain Lehmann’s official files. Instead, it consists of materials created by or collected by Lehmann concerning the events in which he was involved. Most date from after the fall of Saigon, although one folder of declassified State Department cables concerns some aspects of the work of Martin and Lehmann, August 1974 to April 1975. In addition, the collection contains some maps, newspapers, and photographs from that period.

Two key documents are the transcripts of Lehmann’s oral history interviews. His 1989 interview concerns events from the entire time Lehmann served in Vietnam, while the 1982 interview focuses specifically on the last few weeks of the war and the final evacuation.

After leaving Vietnam, Lehmann delivered speeches and wrote “historical perspectives,” letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, and book reviews concerning events of that era. These are included in his collection, along with materials he collected about the evacuation. The latter documents were written by others directly involved in the same events.

Related Materials (June 2012)
The most important related Ford Library collection is the one titled “Saigon Embassy Files Kept by Ambassador Graham Martin: Copies made for the NSC.” Other materials on the closing weeks of the Vietnam War and the final evacuation appear in many Ford Library collections, especially the files of the NSC East Asian and Pacific Affairs Staff and the Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific.


Subject File, 1973-79 (2002).  (Boxes 1-2, 0.7 linear feet)
Oral history transcripts, correspondence, memoranda, speeches, testimony, State Department cables, publications, maps, newspapers, photographs, and clippings. The materials focus on Lehmann’s service in the American embassy in Saigon and the last two years of the Vietnam War, especially the final evacuation from Saigon in April 1975. Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically thereunder.


Box 1 - Subject File

  • Anti-War "Agit-Prop" Kits
  • Cavelty, Betsy - Letter re Max Loudenslager and Southeast Asia MIAs/POWs
  • Declassified Documents Written By Graham Martin, Henry Kissinger, and Lehmann, 1974-1975
  • Hummel, Arthur - Statement before House Special Committee on Investigations, September 28, 1976
  • Kissinger, Henry - Testimony on U.S. Aid to Hanoi before House Committee on International Relations, July 19, 1977
  • Lehmann
    - Draft Letter on Situation in Vietnam to Senator Mathias, March 1975
    - Letters to Editor, Op-Ed Pieces, Book Reviews, and Articles, 1982-1999
    - Oral History - Army Military History Institute, 1982
    - Oral History - Foreign Affairs Oral History Program, 1989
    - "Richard Nixon - A Vietnam Retrospective"
    - Speech Draft, Undated
    - Speech "Vietnam - The Last Two Years, " March 8, 1977
  • Martin, Graham - Testimony on Vietnam Evacuation before the House Committee on International Relations, January 27, 1976
  • Memoir "Great Spring Victory" by North Vietnam General Van Tien Dung
  • News Clippings, 1975-1994
  • Saigon Maps and Newspapers (Transferred to Oversize File)
  • U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Vietnam - Organizational Charts
  • U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Vietnam - Telephone Directory, October 1974
  • Vietnam
    - Chronologies, 1974-1975

Box 2 - Subject File

  • Vietnam (Continued)
    - Evacuation
  • - Claims by Former Embassy Employees, 1976-1979
    - Defense Attaché Office Reports (1)-(2)
    - Embassy Emergency Evacuation Plan
    - "Fall of Saigon - A Historical Perspective" by Lehmann
    - Follow-up Documents, 1975-1994
    - Kissinger Press Conference, April 29, 1975
    - Lehmann Memoranda for the Record
    - Pleiku Province
    - "Potomac" Magazine Article on Refugees, June 8, 1975
    - Recommended Awards for Embassy and Agency Staff (1)-(2)
    - Statistics on Persons Evacuated
    - "The Final Forty-Five Days in Vietnam" by Homer D. Smith, Defense Attaché
    - Lehmann Photograph Album, 1973-1975 (Transferred to AV Collection)
    - Letters from House Speaker and Senate President to American Leaders, March 1975
    - MASF Program, 1975

Box 2 - Accretions

  • Scrapbook photocopies
  • Remarks at Texas Tech, 2002 (Acc. 2002-NLF-034)
  • Graham Martin Miscellaneous