The freighter SS Transcolorado (chartered by the U.S. Military Sealift Command, as a civilian cargo ship, designated T-AK-2005) arrives in Guam carrying at-risk South Vietnamese refugees who will be temporarily housed there under Operation New Life. (Later, most will be transferred to the United States under Operation New Arrivals.) Views of the refugees, including many children, on the deck of the ship. U.S. Marines carry a sick, or injured person from the ship on a litter. Families descend gangplank to the pier, where they are guided to hastily set up reception center. Grocery carts are employed to assist refugees carrying belongings. Local people line up to distribute items, including flip flops, to the refugees, as they pass along the pier. A merchant marine sailor assists one of the families. A woman dressed in white intercepts a Vietnamese woman carrying a small child, and directs her to a tent set up as a "Baby Center." (Many tents are seen in the background.) Inside the Baby Center, reception workers prepare food and items needed for baby care. Several Vietnamese refugee women sit on a bench in the tent, with their babies.
Mix of period footage circa 1910, retrospective interviews in 1975, and some still images. European immigration in bad travel conditions to America. View from rail on deck of a ship in heavy seas. An elderly European immigrant recalls his experiences of the journey on ship to America. Ship in Atlantic Ocean. Picture of European immigrants on ship deck. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Early 1900s period footage of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island and disembarking from ship, then walking with luggage for processing at Ellis Island. Some immigrants peer across New York Harbor at the skyline of New York city. Scene change to 1975 and views of interiors of a no longer used building in Ellis Island. Names of persons carved on walls. A man shares his experience as an immigrant passing through Ellis Island, and then as an immigration inspector reviewing new immigrants as they arrived.
American servicemen are kept informed by newspapers and radio telecasts. In Guam, Mariana Islands : a serviceman seated at a table in a room listens to a radio and writes a letter to his wife. A radio disc jockey hosts a musical show and plays songs for listeners from a studio. In Korea : a soldier reads Stars and Stripes newspaper while getting a haircut. In South Vietnam: mechanics read a newspaper. Newspapermen work and write for the Pacific edition of Stars and Stripes newspaper. In Thailand : American servicemen watch a sports program at USO Club. A video taping technician works with recording devices at a television station. American soldiers watch a television show. A television engineer controls a program on air at the American Forces Korea Network. A man works on a typewriter.
Soviet Union warship underway in the ocean. Naval officer announces alert. Sailors run to battle stations. Soviet Naval pilots rush on the flight deck of Kiev class aircraft carrier and climb aboard their Yak-38 fighter aircraft. View of Tu-16 bomber taking off. Radar antennas rotate. Yak-38 fighter aircraft demonstrates vertical takeoff capability. Warships cruising in a line. Formation of Tu-16s flies overhead. Soviet submarines cruise in a lne on the surface. Soviet Naval Officers confer in control room. Soviet Kara class (Soviet designation 1134B) Guided Missile Cruiser underway, with number "530" painted on its hull. Aboard the ship, a missile is raised from below deck into vertical firing position. A formation of three aircraft fly overhead. The ship launches antiaircraft missiles. View of an aircraft being struck and destroyed by missiles. Ships fire barrages of missiles. One ship is covered by a cloud of fire and smoke due to the intensity of the barrage. Depth charges explode off the stern of a ship. Flames and smoke rises up due to explosions. Splashes in the sea due to explosions. View of convoy of warships underway.
Vietnamese refugees soon after arriving in the United States after the Vietnam War fall of Saigon. A Vietnamese girl seated next to a man using a radio to communicate. In the Refugee Center, a man writes names of refugees with their tent assignments. Air Force personnel and volunteers at work in the Center.
View of horizon and cloudy skies from a moving vessel in the Pacific Ocean. Guamanian sailors aboard the vessel in conversation. One of the sailors points in a direction. Goods unloaded from a boat at a peer on the Guam Island. View of a native village and Guamanian civilians indulged in various activities. Children are checked at a dressing station. Children study in a classroom. Guamanian naval cadets get training. Guam Militia's Drum and Bugle Corps, march. Guamanian marines carrying American flags march at an academy. Sign, 'Joak Radio Tokyo'. Japanese officers discuss a map. Japanese man prepares a tactical map. On 7th December, 1941 Japanese attack Guam. Guamanian troops on alert. Japanese air raid on Guam. American garrison on Guam is completely destroyed. The news of attack on Guam is headlined in all the major newspapers. Scenes of destruction in Guam. Wounded marines are taken on stretcher. An injured marine is treated at an aid station.