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AMERICAN SOLDIER by TOBY KEITH

8th of NOVEMBER by BIG and RICH

 

 

 

USMC MEDAL OF HONOR CITATIONS

PFC James Anderson Jr. * Co. F, 2d Bn., 3d Mar. Los Angles, CA
LCpl. Richard A. Anderson * Co. E, 3d Recon Bn. Washington, DC
HM2 Donald E Ballard Co. M, 3d Bn., 4th Mar. Kansas City, MO
LCpl. Jedh C. Barker * Co. F, 3d Bn., 4th Mar. Franklin, NH
1stLt. Harvey C. Barnum Co. H. 2d Bn., 9th Mar. Waterbury, CT
2dLt. John P. Bobo * Co. I, 3d Bn., 9th Mar. Niagara Falls, NY
PFC Bruce W. Carter * Co. H, 2d Bn., 3rd Mar Schenectady, NY
PFC Ronald L. Coker * Co. M, 3d Bn., 3d Mar. Alliance, NE
SSgt. Peter S. Conner * Co. F, 2d Bn., 3d Mar. Orange, NJ
Col. Donald G. Cook * Co. HQ Bn 3d Mar Div. Los Angeles, CA
LCpl. Thomas E. Creek * Co. I, 3d Bn., 9th Mar. Joplin, MO
PFC Douglas E. Dickey * Co. C, 1st Bn., 4th Mar. Greenville Drake, OH
Sgt. Paul H. Foster * 2d Bn., 4th Mar. San Mateo, CA
1stLt. Wesley L Fox Co. A, 1st Bn., 9th Mar. Herndon, VA
2dLt. Terrence C. Graves * 3d Force Recon Co., 3d Recon Bn. Corpus Christi, TX
PFC Robert H. Jenkins Jr. * Co. C, 3d Recon Bn. Interlachen, FL
Capt. Howard V. Lee Co. E, 2d Bn., 4th Mar. New York, NY
Capt. James E. Livingston Co. E, 2d Bn., 4th Mar. Towns Telfair, GA
Cpl. Larry L Maxam * Co. D, 1st Bn., 4th Mar. Glendale, CA
SSgt. John J. McGinty Co. K, 3d Bn., 4th Mar. Boston, MA
Capt. Robert J. Modrzejewski Co. K, 3d Bn., 4th Mar. Milwaukee, WI
Cpl. William D, Morgan * Co. H,  2d Bn., 9th Mar. Pittsburgh, PA
LCpl. Thomas Noonan Jr. * Co. G, 2d Bn., 9th Mar. Brooklyn, NY
Cpl. Robert E. O’Malley Co. I, 3d Bn., 3d Mar. New York, NY
LCpl. Joe C. Paul * Co. H, 2d Bn., 4th Mar. Serv. Williamsburg, KY
Cpl. William T. Perkins Jr. * Co., Hq. Bn., 3d Mar. Div. Rochester, NY
LCpl. William R. Prom * Co. I, 3d Bn., 3d Mar. Pittsburgh, PA
1stLt. Frank S. Reasoner * Co. A, 3d Recon Bn. Spokane, WA
Sgt. Walter K. Singleton * Co. A, 1st Bn., 9th Mar. Memphis, TN
SSgt. Karl G. Taylor Sr. * Co. I, 3d Bn., 26th Mar. Laurel, MD
Capt. Jay R. Vargas Co. G, 2d Bn., 4th Mar. Winslow, AZ
PFC Alfred M. Wilson * Co. M, 3d Bn., 9th Mar. Olney, IL

Medal of Honor citations courtesy of
http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/moh1.htm

 

USMC NAVY CROSS CITATIONS

 

USMC PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATIONS

1st Marine Division RVN  "Reinforced" Fleet Marine Force Pacific 29 March 1966 to 15 Sept. 1967

1st Marine Division RVN  16 September 1967 to 31 October 1968

3rd Marine Division RVN   8 March 1965 to 15 September 1967

Operation Union & Union II 25 April to 5 June 1967

5th Marine Regiment 1/5, 2/5 & 3/5

1st Battalion 3rd Marines

2nd Battalion 3rd Marines

3rd Battalion 3rd Marines

1st Battalion 9th Marines

2nd Battalion 9th Marines

3rd Battalion 9th Marines

9th Engineer Support Battalion

1st Engineer Battalion

1st Marine Regiment - 1/1, 2/1 & 3/1

2nd Bn, 11th Marines

1st Division HQ

HMM-262

VMA-542

 

 

3RD MARINE DIVISION IN VIETNAM

3rd MAR DIV

Arrival

Departure

IN COUNTRY

OPERATIONS

1/3

08-Mar-65

06-Oct-69

1674 days

26

2/3

10-Apr-65

06-Oct-69

1641 days

35

3/3

12-May-65

07-Oct-69

1610 days

48

1/4

07-May-65

22-Oct-69

1630 days

36

2/4

07-May-65

09-Nov-69

1648 days

40

3/4

14-Apr-65

20-Nov-69

1682 days

29

1/9

17-Jun-65

14-Jul-69

1489 days

34

2/9

04-Jul-65

01-Aug-69

1487 days

27

3/9

08-Mar-65

13-Aug-69

1620 days

40

1/12

08-Mar-65

13-Aug-69

1620 days

33

2/12

14-Apr-65

20-Nov-69

1682 days

27

3/12

07-Jul-65

01-Aug-69

1487 days

25

1sr Amtracks

07-Jul-65

01-Aug-69

1487 days

N/A

3rd Engineers

08-Mar-65

13-Aug-69

1620 days

N/A

3rd Recon

07-May-65

24-Nov-69

1663 days

N/A

3rd Tanks

08-Jul-65

23-Oct-69

1567 days

N/A

 

 

 

BATTLES AND OPERATIONS OF THE VIETNAM WAR

A

Battle of A Shau

Battle of An Lao

Battle of An Loc

Battle of Ap Bac

Operation Arc Light

Operation Attleboro

B

Battle of Ba Gia

Battle of Ban Dong

Battle of Buon Me Thuot

Battle of Binh Ba

Battle of Hamburger Hill

Battle of Binh Gia

Operation Bolo

Buddhist Uprising

Operation Buffalo (Vietnam)

C

Operation Cedar Falls

Battle of Chan La

Operation Chenla I

Operation Chenla II

Operation Chopper

Operation Crimp

D

Battle of Dak To

Dak To

Operation Deckhouse Five

Operation Dewey Canyon

Battle of Dong Khê

Battle of Dong Xoai

Battle of Duc Co

F

Operation Flaming Dart

Operation Frequent Wind

G

Battle of Gang Toi

Battle of Go Cong

Gulf of Tonkin Incident

H

Operation Hastings

Battle of Hiep Hoa

Battle of Hill 723

Battle of Hill 881

Operation Hong Kil Dong

Battle of Hue

I

Battle of Ia Drang

Battle of the Iron Triangle

J

Operation Jefferson Glenn

Battle of July Two

Operation Junction City

K

Battle of Kampot

Battle of Kham Duc

Battle of Khe Sanh

Battle of Kompong Speu

Battle of Kontum

L

Battle of Lang Vei

Battle of Lima Site 85

Battle of Loc Ninh

Battle of Loc Ninh 1967

Battle of Long Dinh

Battle of Long Tan

M

Operations Malheur I and Malheur II

Battle of FSB Mary Ann

N

Battle of Nam Dong

O

Battle of Ong Thanh

Operation Buffalo

Operation Eagle Pull

O cont.

Operation New Life

P

Battle of Phuoc Long

Operation Pierce Arrow

Viet Cong attack on Pleiku airbase

Operation Prek Ta

Battle of Prey Veng

Q

First Battle of Quang Tri

Second Battle of Quang Tri

Operation Quyet Thang 202

R

Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord

S

First Battle of Saigon

Battle of Snuol

Battle of Song Be

Operation Speedy Express

Operation Starlite

Battle of Svay Rieng

Operation Swift

T

Operation Tailwind

Tet Offensive

Thanh Hoa Bridge

Battle of Tra Binh Dong

Battle of Truong Sa

U

Operation Union

Operation Union II

V

Operation Vulture

Vung Ro Bay Incident

W

Operation Wandering Soul

Wheeler wallawa

Operation Masher/White Wing

X

Battle of Xuan Loc

 

Wikimedia Foundation

 

US MARINE CORPS CASUALTY REPORT FOR THE VIETNAM WAR

Submitted by Kerry "KB" Getz Fox Co. 1/3 1969

 

3rd Marine Division

Regiments:

1st Marine Regiment

Chu Lai (Jan-66)     
Da Nang (June-66) 
Quang Tri (Oct-67) 
Hue (Feb-68) 
Khe Sanh (April-68) 
Gio Linh (Aug-68) 
Da Nang (Sept-68) 

1st Battalion, 1st Marines

Charlie Company

2nd Battalion, 1st Marines

Golf Company

Hotel Company

3rd Battalion, 1st Marines

Kilo Company

Mike Company

3rd Marine Regiment

Da Nang (April-65)                                          
Hue (Dec-66) 
Dong Ha (May-67) 
Camp Carroll (Jan-68) 
Dong Ha (Feb-68) 
Cam Lo (Aug-68) 
Dong Ha (Dec-68) 
Khe Sanh (June-69) 

1st Battalion, 3rd Marines

2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines

3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines

4th Marine Regiment

Hue(May-65)                                                   
Phong Dien (Jan-68) 
Camp Carroll (Feb-68) 
Khe Sanh (July-68) 
Cam Lo (Dec-68) 

1st Battalion, 4th Marines

2nd Battalion, 4th Marines

3rd Battalion, 4th Marines

4th Battalion, 4th Marines

5th Marine Regiment

Chu Lai (May-66)                                         
Da Nang (June-67) 
Hoi An (Feb-68) 
Hue (Feb-68) 
Phu Loc (March-68) 
Da Nang (Aug-68) 

1st Battalion, 5th Marines

Delta Company

2nd Battalion, 5th Marines

Golf Company

3rd Battalion, 5th Marines

H&S

Mike

India Company

Kilo Company

Lima Company

7th Marine Regiment

Chu Lai (Aug-65)                             
Da Nang (May-67) 

7th Marines

1st Battalion, 7th Marines

2nd Battalion, 7th Marines

Golf Company, Second Platoon

Golf 2/7

3rd Battalion, 7th Marines

Mike Company

Lima Company

India Company

81mm Mortars

9th Marine Regiment

Da Nang (July-65)                                        
Dong Ha (May-67) 
Con Thien (Feb-68) 
Cam Lo (May-68) 
Khe Sanh (Nov-68) 
Cam Lo (Feb-69) 

1st Battalion, 9th Marines : 'The Walking Dead'

2nd Battalion, 9th Marines: 'Hell in a Helmet'  

Fox Company  

Fox Company 2/9      

3rd Battalion, 9th Marines : 'Shadow Warriors'

11th Marine Regiment

1st Battalion, 11th Marines

2nd Battalion, 11th Marines

Delta Battery

3rd Battalion, 11th Marines

4th Battalion, 11th Marines

12th Marine Regiment

1st Battalion, 12th Marines

2nd Battalion, 12th Marines

Echo Battery

3rd Battalion, 12th Marines

Hotel Battery

4th Battalion, 12th Marines

Kilo Battery

13th Marine Regiment

13th Marines

1st Battalion, 13th Marines

26th Marine Regiment

Da Nang (April-67)                                       
Dong Ha (June-67) 
Khe Sanh (Dec-67) 
Hoi An (May-68) 
Phu Loc (Aug-68) 
Da Nang ( Nov-68) 

1st Battalion, 26th Marines

2nd Battalion, 26th Marines

Golf Company, Second Platoon

Hotel Company

3rd Battalion, 26th Marines

27th Marine Regiment

Da Nang (Feb-68)

1st Battalion, 27th Marines

Delta Company

2nd Battalion, 27th Marines

3rd Battalion, 27th Marines

Other Ground Units:

Armor

1st Tank Battalion                                                                                          
3rd Tank Battalion                                                                                           
1st Amphibian Battalion                                                                                    
3rd Amphibian Battalion                                                                           
1st Armored Amphibian Battalion     

Reconnaissance

1st Reconnaissance Battalion                                                
2nd Reconnaissance Battalion                                        
1st Force Recon Company                                             
3rd Force Recon Company  

Artillery

1st Field Artillery Group                                                      
11th Marine Artillery Regiment                                     
1st Battalion 11th Marines                                                    
2nd Battalion 11th Marines                                                   
3rd Battalion 11th Marines                                                    
4th Battalion 11th Marines                                                   
12th Marine Artillery Regiment                                       
1st Battalion 12th Marines                                                  
2nd Battalion 12th Marines                                                 
3rd Battalion 12th Marines                                            
4th Battalion 12th Marines                                                                           
1st Battalion 13th Marines                                                  
2nd Battalion 13th Marines 

Other Artillery


1st 8-inch Howitzer Battery                                                                         
3rd 8-inch Howitzer Battery                                                
1st 155mm Gun Battery                                                      
3rd 155mm Gun Battery                                                     
5th 155mm Gun Battery                                                      
1st Searchlight Battery                                                        
1st Air-Naval Gun Liaison Co   

Anti-Tank    

1st Antitank Battalion                                                                                
3rd Antitank Battalion

Engineer      

1st Engineer Battalion                                                         
3rd Engineer Battalion                                                        
7th Engineer Battalion                                                        
9th Engineer Battalion                                                       
11th Engineer Battalion                                                                        
1st Bridge Company                                                                              
3rd Bridge Company 

Radio

1st Radio Battalion                                                            
5th Radio Battalion                                                            
7th Radio Battalion 

Medical     

1st Medical Battalion                                                         
3rd Medical Battalion 
1st Hospital Company  

Military Police  

1st Military Police Battalion                                                 
3rd Military Police Battalion 

Force Service

1st Force Service Regiment                                                
Headquarters & Service Battalion                                        
Supply Battalion                                                                  
Maintenance Battalion  

Motor Transport  

1st Motor Transport Battalion                                            
3rd Motor Transport Battalion                                            
7th Motor Transport Battalion                                             
9th Motor Transport Battalion                                   
11th Motor Transport Battalion 

Service   

1st Service Battalion                                                            
3rd Service Battalion                                                         
1st Supply Battalion                                                            
1st Shore Party Battalion                                                   
3rd Shore Party Battalion                                                  
7th Separate Bulk Fuel Company  

Combined Action  

1st Combined Action Battalion                                            
2nd Combined Action Battalion                                         
3rd Combined Action Battalion                                         
4th Combined Action Battalion
 

 

Statistics about the Vietnam War

 

BALLADS OF THE GREEN BERETS by SSGT. BARRY SADLER

 

The American Enterprise by James Webb

The rapidly disappearing cohort of Americans that endured the Great
Depression and then fought World War II is receiving quite a send-off from
the leading lights of the so-called '60s generation.
Tom Brokaw has published two oral histories of "The Greatest
Generation" that feature ordinary people doing their duty and suggest that
such conduct was historically unique.
Chris Matthews of "Hardball" is fond of writing columns praising the Navy
service of his father while castigating his own baby boomer generation for its
alleged softness and lack of struggle.
William Bennett gave a startlingly condescending speech at the Naval
Academy a few years ago comparing the heroism of the "D-Day Generation"
to the drugs-and-sex nihilism of the "Woodstock
Generation."
And Steven Spielberg, in promoting his film Saving Private Ryan, was
careful to justify his portrayals of soldiers in action based on the supposedly
unique nature of World War II.
An irony is at work here. Lest we forget, the World War II generation now
being lionized also brought us the Vietnam War, a conflict which today's most
conspicuous voices by and large opposed,
and in which few of them served. The "best and brightest" of the Vietnam age
group once made headlines by castigating their parents for bringing about
the war in which they would not fight, which has become the war they refuse
to remember.
Pundits back then invented a term for this animus: the "generation gap."
Long, plaintive articles and even books were written examining its
manifestations. Campus leaders, who claimed precocious wisdom through
the magical process of reading a few controversial books, urged fellow
baby boomers not to trust anyone over 30. Their elders who had survived the
Depression and fought the largest war in history were looked down upon as
shallow, materialistic, and out of touch.
Those of us who grew up on the other side of the picket line from that
era's counterculture can't help but feel a little leery of this sudden gush of
appreciation for our elders from the leading lights of
the old counterculture. Then and now, the national conversation has
proceeded from the dubious assumption that those who came of age during
Vietnam are a unified generation in the same sense as their parents were,
and thus are capable of being spoken for through these fickle elites.
In truth, the "Vietnam generation" is a misnomer. Those who came of age
during that war are permanently divided by different reactions to a whole
range of counter-cultural agendas, and nothing divides them more deeply
than the personal ramifications of the war itself.
The sizable portion of the Vietnam age group who declined to support the
counter-cultural agenda, and especially the men and women who opted to
serve in the military during the Vietnam War, are quite different from their
peers who for decades have claimed to speak for them.
In fact, they are much like the World War II generation itself. For them,
Woodstock was a side show, college protestors were spoiled brats who would
have benefited from having to work a few jobs in order to pay their tuition,
and Vietnam represented not an intellectual exercise in draft avoidance or
protest marches but a battlefield that was just as brutal as those their fathers
faced in World War II and Korea.
Few who served during Vietnam ever complained of a generation gap.
The men who fought World War II were their heroes and role models. They
honored their fathers' service by emulating it, and largely agreed with their
fathers' wisdom in attempting to stop Communism's reach in Southeast
Asia. The most accurate poll of their attitudes (Harris, 1980) showed that 91
percent were glad they'd served their country, 74 percent enjoyed their time
in the service, and 89 percent agreed with the statement that "our troops
were asked to fight in a war which our political leaders in Washington
would not let them win." And most importantly, the castigation they received
upon returning home was not from the World War II generation, but from the
very elites in their age group who supposedly spoke for them.
Nine million men served in the military during the Vietnam war, three
million of whom went to the Vietnam theater. Contrary to popular mythology,
two-thirds of these were volunteers, and 73 percent of those who died were
volunteers. While some attention has been paid recently to the plight of our
prisoners of war, most of whom were pilots, there has been little recognition of
how brutal the war was for those who fought it on the ground.
Dropped onto the enemy's terrain 12,000 miles away from home,
America's citizen-soldiers performed with a tenacity and quality that may
never be truly understood. Those who believe the war was fought
incompetently on a tactical level should consider Hanoi's recent admission
that 1.4 million of its soldiers died on the battlefield, compared to 58,000 total
U.S. dead.
Those who believe that it was a "dirty little war" where the bombs did all
the work might contemplate that it was the most costly war the U.S. Marine
Corps has ever fought -- five times as many dead as World War I, three times
as many dead as in Korea, and more total killed and wounded than in all of
World War II.
Significantly, these sacrifices were being made at a time the United States
was deeply divided over our effort in Vietnam. The baby-boom generation
had cracked apart along class lines as America's young men were making
difficult, life-or-death choices about serving.
The better academic institutions became focal points for vitriolic protest
against the war, with few of their graduates going into the military. Harvard
College, which had lost 691 alumni in World War II, lost a total of 12 men in
Vietnam from the classes of 1962 through 1972 combined. Those classes at
Princeton lost six, at MIT two. The media turned ever-more hostile. And
frequently the reward for a young man's having gone through the trauma of
combat was to be greeted by his peers with studied indifference or outright
hostility.
What is a hero? My heroes are the young men who faced the issues of
war and possible death, and then weighed those concerns against obligations
to their country. Citizen-soldiers who interrupted their personal and
professional lives at their most formative stage, in the timeless phrase of the
Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, "not for fame or
reward, not for place or for rank, but in simple obedience to duty, as they
understood it." Who suffered loneliness, disease, and wounds with an often
contagious illnesses. And who deserve a far better place in history than that
now offered them by the so-called spokesmen of our so-called generation.
Mr. Brokaw, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Spielberg, meet my Marines.
1969 was an odd year to be in Vietnam. Second only to 1968 in terms of
American casualties, it was the year made famous by Hamburger Hill, as well
as the gut-wrenching Life cover story showing the pictures of 242 Americans
who had been killed in one average week of fighting.
Back home, it was the year of Woodstock, and of numerous antiwar rallies
that culminated in the Moratorium march on Washington. The My Lai
massacre hit the papers and was seized upon by the antiwar movement as
the emblematic moment of the war.
Lyndon Johnson left Washington in utter humiliation. Richard Nixon
entered the scene, destined for an even worse fate.
In the An Hoa Basin southwest of DaNang, the Fifth Marine Regiment was
in its third year of continuous combat operations. Combat is an unpredictable
and inexact environment, but we were well-led. As a rifle platoon and
company commander, I served under a succession of three regimental
commanders who had cut their teeth in World War II, and four different
battalion commanders, three of whom had seen combat in Korea. The
company commanders were typically captains on their
second combat tour in Vietnam, or young first lieutenants like myself who
were given companies after
many months of "bush time" as platoon commanders in the Basin's tough and
unforgiving environs.
The Basin was one of the most heavily contested areas in Vietnam, its
torn, cratered earth offering every sort of wartime possibility. In the
mountains just to the west, not far from the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the North
Vietnamese Army operated an infantry division from an area called Base Area
112. In the valleys of the Basin, main-force Viet Cong battalions whose ranks
were 80 percent North Vietnamese Army regulars moved against the
Americans every day. Local Viet Cong units sniped and harassed. Ridge lines
and paddy dikes were laced with sophisticated booby traps of every size, from
a hand grenade to a 250-pound bomb. The villages sat in the rice paddies
and tree lines like individual fortresses, crisscrossed with trenches and spider
holes, their homes sporting bunkers capable of surviving direct hits from
large-caliber artillery shells.
The Viet Cong infrastructure was intricate and permeating. Except for the
old and the very young,
villagers who did not side with the Communists had either been killed or
driven out to the government-controlled enclaves near DaNang.
In the rifle companies we spent the endless months patrolling ridge lines
and villages and mountains, far away from any notion of tents, barbed wire,
hot food, or electricity. Luxuries were limited to what would fit inside one 's
pack, which after a few "humps" usually boiled down to letter-writing material,
towel, soap, toothbrush, poncho liner, and a small transistor radio.
We moved through the boiling heat with 60 pounds of weapons and gear,
causing a typical Marine to drop 20 percent of his body weight while in the
bush. When we stopped we dug chest-deep fighting holes and slit trenches
for toilets. We slept on the ground under makeshift poncho hootches, and
when it rained we usually took our hootches down because wet ponchos
shined under illumination flares, making great targets. Sleep itself was fitful,
never more than an hour or two at a stretch for months at a time as we mixed
daytime patrolling with nighttime ambushes, listening posts, foxhole duty, and
radio watches.
Ringworm, hookworm, malaria, and dysentery were common, as was
trench foot when the monsoons came. Respite was rotating back to the
mud-filled regimental combat base at An Hoa for four or five days, where
rocket and mortar attacks were frequent and our troops manned defensive
bunkers at night. Which makes it kind of hard to get excited about tales of
Woodstock, or camping at the Vineyard during summer break. We had been
told while in training that Marine officers in the rifle companies had an 85
percent probability of being killed or wounded, and the experience of "Dying
Delta," as our company was known, bore that out.
Of the officers in the bush when I arrived, our company commander was
wounded, the weapons platoon commander was wounded, the first platoon
commander was killed, the second platoon commander was wounded twice,
and I, commanding the third platoon, was wounded twice.
The enlisted troops in the rifle platoons fared no better. Two of my
original three squad leaders were killed, the third shot in the stomach. My
platoon sergeant was severely wounded, as was my right guide. By the time I
left my platoon I had gone through six radio operators, five of them casualties.
These figures were hardly unique; in fact, they were typical. Many other units
-- for instance, those who fought the hill battles around Khe Sanh, or were
with the famed Walking Dead of the Ninth Marine Regiment, or were in the
battle for Hue City or at Dai Do -- had it far worse.
When I remember those days and the very young men who spent them
with me, I am continually amazed, for these were mostly recent civilians barely
out of high school, called up from the cities and the farms to do their year in
Hell and then return. Visions haunt me every day, not of the nightmares of
war but of the steady consistency with which my Marines faced their
responsibilities, and of how
uncomplaining most of them were in the face of constant danger. The salty,
battle-hardened 20-year-olds teaching green 19-year-olds the intricate
lessons of that hostile battlefield. The unerring skill of
the young squad leaders as we moved through unfamiliar villages and
weed-choked trails in the black of night.
The quick certainty with which they moved when coming under enemy fire.
Their sudden tenderness when a fellow Marine was wounded and needed
help. Their willingness to risk their lives to save other Marines in peril. To this
day it stuns me that their own countrymen have so completely missed the
story of their service, lost in the bitter confusion of the war itself.
Like every military unit throughout history we had occasional laggards,
cowards, and complainers. But in the aggregate these Marines were the
finest people I have ever been around. It has been my privilege to keep up
with many of them over the years since we all came home. One finds in them
very little bitterness about the war in which they fought.
The most common regret, almost to a man, is that they were not able to
do more -- for each other and for the people they came to help. It would be
redundant to say that I would trust my life to these men. Because I already
have, in more ways than I can ever recount. I am alive today because of their
quiet, unaffected heroism. Such valor epitomizes the conduct of Americans at
war from the first days of our existence. That the boomer elites can canonize
this sort of conduct in our fathers' generation while ignoring it in our own is
more than simple oversight. It is a conscious, continuing travesty.
 

James Webb, Assistant Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy
under President Ronald Reagan


 

TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME by TYRONE DAVIS

"No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic." 

The Vietnam War has been the subject of thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, hundreds of books, and scores of movies and television documentaries. The great majority of these efforts have erroneously portrayed many myths about the Vietnam War as being facts.

Myth: Most American soldiers were addicted to drugs, guilt-ridden about their role in the war, and deliberately used cruel and inhumane tactics.

The facts are:

91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served.

74% said they would serve again even knowing the outcome.

There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non veterans of the same age group (from a Veterans Administration study) 

Isolated atrocities committed by American soldiers produced torrents of outrage from antiwar critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any attention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations. From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 South Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and schoolteachers. Atrocities - every war has atrocities. War is brutal and not fair. Innocent people get killed.

Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only 1/2 of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes. 

97% were discharged under honorable conditions; the same percentage of honorable discharges as ten years prior to Vietnam.

85% of Vietnam Veterans made a successful transition to civilian life.

Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent. 

Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than our non-vet age group. 

87% of the American people hold Vietnam Vets in high esteem. 

Myth: Most Vietnam veterans were drafted.

2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers.

Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.

Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group.

Myth: A disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War.

86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. 

Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book "All That We Can Be," said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam "and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia - a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war.

Myth: The war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated.

Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers.

Vietnam Veterans were the best-educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better. 

Here are statistics from the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF) as of November 1993. The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall):

Average age of 58,148 killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years. (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database, only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action) 

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

The oldest man killed was 62 years old.

11,465 KIA's were less than 20 years old.

Myth: The average age of an infantryman fighting in Vietnam was 19.

Assuming KIA's accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam, the average age of an infantryman (MOS 11B) serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth, it is actually 22. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20. The average man who fought in World War II was 26 years of age. 

Myth: The domino theory was proved false.
The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America's commitment in Vietnam. Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism.
Democracy Catching On - In the wake of the Cold War, democracies are flourishing, with 179 of the world's 192 sovereign states (93%) now electing their legislators, according to the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. In the last decade, 69 nations have held multi-party elections for the first time in their histories. Three of the five newest democracies are former Soviet republics: Belarus (where elections were first held in November 1995), Armenia (July 1995) and Kyrgyzstan (February 1995). And two are in Africa: Tanzania (October 1995) and Guinea (June 1995)
 
Myth: The fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II.
The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter.
One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,169 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.59 million who served. Although the percent who died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. 
MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded who survived the first 24 hours died.
The helicopter provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva Accords or 1962 would secure the border) 
More helicopter facts:
Approximately 12,000 helicopters saw action in Vietnam (all services).  [VHPA databases]
Army UH-1's totaled 7,531,955 flight hours in Vietnam between October 1966 and the end of 1975.
Army AH-1G's totaled 1,038,969 flight hours in Vietnam. 

Myth: Air America, the airline operated by the CIA in Southeast Asia, and its pilots were involved in drug trafficking.
The 1990 unsuccessful movie "Air America" helped to establish the myth of a connection between Air America, the CIA, and the Laotian drug trade. The movie and a book the movie was based on contend that the CIA condoned a drug trade conducted by a Laotian client; both agree that Air America provided the essential transportation for the trade; and both view the pilots with sympathetic understanding. American-owned airlines never knowingly transported opium in or out of Laos, nor did their American pilots ever profit from its transport. Yet undoubtedly every plane in Laos carried opium at some time, unknown to the pilot and his superiors. For more information see air-america
Myth: The American military was running for their lives during the fall of Saigon in April 1975.
The picture of a Huey helicopter-evacuating people from the top of what was billed as being the U.S. Embassy in Saigon during the last week of April 1975 during the fall of Saigon helped to establish this myth.

This famous picture is the property of Corbus-Bettman Archives. It was originally a UPI photograph that was taken by an Englishman, Mr. Hugh Van Ess.
Here are some facts to clear up that poor job of reporting by the news media.
Facts about the fall of Saigon:
It was a "civilian" (Air America) Huey not Army or Marines.
It was NOT the U.S. Embassy. The building is the Pittman Apartments. The U.S. Embassy and its helipad were much larger.
The evacuees were Vietnamese not American military.
The person that can be seen aiding the refugees is Mr. O.B. Harnage. He was a CIA case officer and now retired in Arizona.
 
Another famous picture.

Myth: Americans bombing Trang Bang burned Kim Phuc, the little nine-year-old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike near Trang Bang on 8 June 1972.
No American had involvement in this incident near Trang Bang that burned Phan Thi Kim Phuc. The planes doing the bombing near the village were VNAF (Vietnam Air Force) and were being flown by Vietnamese pilots in support of South Vietnamese troops on the ground. The Vietnamese pilot who dropped the napalm in error is currently living in the United States. Even the AP photographer, Nick Ut, who took the picture, was Vietnamese. The incident in the photo took place on the second day of a three-day battle between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) who occupied the village of Trang Bang and the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) who were trying to force the NVA out of the village. Recent reports in the news media that an American commander ordered the air strike that burned Kim Phuc are incorrect. There were no Americans involved in any capacity. "We (Americans) had nothing to do with controlling VNAF," according to Lieutenant General (Ret) James F. Hollingsworth, the Commanding General of TRAC at that time. Also, it has been incorrectly reported that two of Kim Phuc's brothers were killed in this incident. They were Kim's cousins not her brothers.
 
Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.
The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. (Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor at the University of California, Berkley a renowned expert on the Vietnam War). This included Tet 68, which was a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.

THE UNITED STATES DID NOT LOSE THE WAR IN VIETNAM, THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE DID.
Facts about the end of the war:
The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification.
The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. 
There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 then there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. 

Thanks for the perceived loss and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation of the anti-War movement in the United States.

 As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media misreported and misinterpreted the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered by some as ranking with Wellington, Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander. Still, militarily, the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts. It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total destruction of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam. The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the News front and the political arena. This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived truth. However inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous.

 Census Stats

As of August 1995 1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive. During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country was: 9,492,958.  As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between '95 and '00. That's 390 per day. During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, four out of five who claim to be Vietnam veterans are not.

SOURCES
[Nixon] No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon
[Parade Magazine] August 18, 1996 page 10.
[CACF] (Combat Area Casualty File) November 1993. (The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, i.e. The Wall), Center for Electronic Records, National Archives, Washington, DC
[All That We Can Be] All That We Can Be by Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler
[Westmoreland] Speech by General William C. Westmoreland before the Third Annual Reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) at the Washington, DC Hilton Hotel on July 5th, 1986 (reproduced in a Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Historical Reference Directory Volume 2A)
[McCaffrey] Speech by Lt. Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, (reproduced in the Pentagram, June 4, 1993) assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Vietnam veterans and visitors gathered at "The Wall", Memorial Day 1993.
[Houk] Testimony by Dr. Houk, Oversight on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 14

 

TRAVELING SOLDIER

 

Casualties

1. Estimated overall at 5,773,190.
2. Estimated dead 2,122,244.
3. Americans killed - 58,169 at an average age of 23.11 years - 304,000 wounded.
4. 11,465 killed were less than 20 years.
5. 1 in 10 Americans who served in Vietnam were casualties.
6. 75,000 Veterans were severely disabled.
7. Amputation and crippling wounds were 300% higher than WW2.
8. 51% of deaths and 16% of wounds were caused by small arms fire. (World War II 32% - Korea 33%). The higher rate in Vietnam was contributed to the high velocity rapid-fire weapons such as the AK47 and captured M16s.
9. Fragments caused 36% of deaths and 65% of wounds from artillery.
10. 11% of deaths and 15% of wounds were caused by booby traps and mines.
11. 2% of wounds were caused by punji stakes.
12. 2% of deaths and 2% of wounds were caused by other means.
13. There were 18 military hospitals scattered throughout Vietnam.
14. Medevac helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions.
15. 900,000 patients were airlifted, almost half being American.
16. Average time lapse from being wounded to hospitalization was one hour.
17. Percentage of those seriously wounded who were saved 82%.
18. Percentage of wounded who died after arriving at hospital 2.6%.
19. There were almost twice as many casualties in South East Asia, primarily Cambodia, in the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 than there were during the ten years the US was involved.
20. 1973 - US POWs in SE Asia 591, missing in action 1,380, unaccounted for 1,929.
21. US War Casualties
22. Casualties - US versus NVA/VC
23. North Vietnamese military personnel and Vietcong reported to have died in combat 1,100,000.
24. Estimated number of Vietnamese civilians killed in the war 587,000.
25. Estimated number of Vietnamese civilians wounded in the war 935,000.
26. Number of South Vietnamese military personnel killed during the war 220,357.
27. Number of South Vietnamese military personnel wounded during the war 499,000.
28. Number of South Vietnamese military personnel who deserted between 1965 and 1972 840,000.
29. Number of US NCOs and US Officers killed by their own troops 86.
30. Number of US NCOs and US Officers wounded by their own troops 714.
31. Number of probable explosive-device assaults (fraging) against officers by US servicemen 788.

 

The Air War

1. The US flew 1,899,688 sorties and dropped 6,727,084 tons bombs on Indo China, compared with the 2,700,00 tons of bombs dropped on Germany during the Second World War.
2. US conducted 124,532 B52 missions, expending 2,633,035 tons of ordnance.
3. 18 B52s were lost to enemy action with 13 more lost in collisions and accidents.
4. 3,750 Aircraft (Fixed Wing) were lost in Vietnam.
5. More than 8,000 US Airmen were killed.
6. Approx. 12,000 helicopters saw service in Vietnam (all services).
7. 4865 Helicopters were downed by Communist ground fire at a cost of $250,000 each.
8. Aircraft Flown In Vietnam
9. B52 Bomber Missions
10.US Fighter-Bomber Missions - By Region
11.US Helicopter Missions - By Year
12. Amount of the damage, in dollars, inflicted on North Vietnam by US bombing raids $600,000,000.
13. Cost of US bombing raids on North Vietnam $6,000,000,000.

 

The Ground War

1. 2.59 million Americas saw service in Vietnam
2. From 1957 to 1973 the NLF assassinated 36,725 South Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499.
Allied Troop Levels In Vietnam 1960 - 1973

The Chemical War

1. 3,500,000 acres of Vietnam was sprayed with 19 million gallons of Defoliants, the effects that will last 100 years.
2. Herbicides Used in Vietnam

Naval Operations

1. HMAS Hobart served 3 times and fired a total of 42,475 rounds in support of ground troops. HMAS Perth, 3 deployments, firing 30,711 rounds, HMAS Brisbane, twice, firing 15,651 rounds and HMAS Vendetta once, firing 13,709 rounds of ordnance.

 

The Infantry Combat Soldier

1. Average age of Infantry soldiers was 20 years.
2. Average age during World War 2 was 26 years.
3. The infantry soldier in the South Pacific in WW2 saw about 40 days of combat in four years.
4. The American infantry soldier in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in 1 year.

Logistics

1. 352(US) Billion Dollars spent on the war.
2. 760,000 tons of supplies arrived each month.
3. 10 million field rations were consumed each month.
4. 71,000 tons of ammunition was expended each month.
5. 303 million liters of petroleum products were consumed each month.
6. Engineers paved 33,450 hectares of airfields and heliports.
7. Engineers constructed 18,000 hectares of covered and open storage facilities plus 14,150 cubic meters of refrigerated storage.
8. Engineers constructed 2,740 km of roads, built 4,600 meters of bridges and constructed 15 large fortified bases.
9. Average number of artillery rounds expended in one day by the US in Vietnam 10,000.
10. Cost per artillery round $100. Cost per day $1,000,000.
11. Cost of one sortie for a B-52 bomber $30,000.
12. Amount of aid, in dollars, provided to North Vietnam and the Vietcong by the Soviet Union and China $3,000,000,000.

 

Civilian

1. There were 140,000 Vietnamese evacuees in April 1975.(The Fall Of Saigon).
2. An estimated 10 million Vietnamese were refugees being 55% of the population including 900,000 orphans.
3. Estimated number of Vietnamese civilians killed in the war 587,000.
4. Estimated number of Vietnamese civilians wounded in the war 935,000.

 

At Wars End - Equipment Lost To Communist Forces (Estimated)

1. 550 light and medium tanks.
2. 1,200 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC).
3. 80 small ships and landing craft.
4. 1,000 aircraft including 200 fighters and ground attack aircraft.
5. 100 transport aircraft and 500 helicopters.  

Source credits: Keith White, Dept.of Defense, National Archives Sept. 2003 and Dept. of Veterans Affairs