Following the First Indochina War in August 1954, Geneva Accords resulted in the partition of Vietnam at the 17th Parallel. The agreements permitted a 300-day grace period, ending in May 1955, where people could freely move between the two sections of Vietnam before the borders were sealed. Operation Passage to Freedom was the U.S. Navy, and civilian-manned ships assigned to the Military Sealift Transportation Service, transportation of 310,000 Vietnamese ciivilians, soldiers, and non-Vietnamese members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam. A smaller number elected to go North, approximately 14,000. For this mission, the Navy formed Task Force (TF-90), to assist the evacuation. Admiral Lorenzo S. Sabin, USN, commanded the operation.