While Vietcong guerrillas scored military successes, leaders of Vietnam’s Buddhist majority protested against what they saw as the Diem regime’s religious persecution. On 2 January 1963, however, at Ap Bac on the Plain of Reeds southwest of Saigon, a Vietcong battalion of about 320 men inflicted heavy damage on an ARVN force of 3,000 equipped with troop‐carrying helicopters, new UH‐1 (“Huey”) helicopter gunships, tactical bombers, and APCs. The soldier was one of more than 100 who were wounded during Viet Cong attacks on two U.S. military compounds at Pleiku, 240 miles north of Saigon. Under U.S. guidance, the Diem government also began construction of “strategic hamlets.” These fortified villages were intended to insulate rural Vietnamese from Vietcong intimidation and propaganda. 1st Infantry Division operations in Binh Guong Province that extended to include the Loc Ninh area of Bình Long Province after PAVN/VC attacks on Loc Ninh on 29 October 1967. The following is a list of US Army Military Occupational Specialities Codes from 1966. Controversy about the use of Agent Orange erupted in 1969 when reports appeared that the chemical caused serious damage to humans as well as to plants. Wounded and shocked civilian survivors of Dong Xoai crawl out of a fort bunker on June 6, 1965, where they survived murderous ground fighting and air bombardments of the previous two days. In return, communist insurgents also assassinated hundreds of South Vietnamese officials. After six infantry, armor and cavalry battalions sealed the 40-square-mile area on January 9, 1967, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (11th ACR) attacked west of Ben Cat. Throughout 1964, the United States assisted South Vietnam in covert operations to gather intelligence, disseminate propaganda, and harass the North. From February through April, Operation Junction City was an even larger attack on nearby War Zone C. There was major fighting in the Central Highlands, climaxing in the battle of Dak To in November 1967. On 1 November 1963, the generals seized power, and Diem and his unpopular brother Ngo Dinh Nhu were murdered. A Marine, top, wounded slightly when his face was creased by an enemy bullet, pours water into the mouth of a fellow Marine suffering from heat during Operation Hastings along the demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam on July 21, 1966. Despite the American bombs, dollars, and military advisers, the Vietcong continued to inflict heavy casualties on the ARVN, and the political situation in Saigon grew worse. By mid -1967, U.S., Vietnamese, and Republic of Korea forces were operational in the combat zone. Westmoreland responded with the 1st Air Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). He also launched many political repression and anti-communist campaigns across the country, in which 25,000 anti-government activists and communists were arrested and more than 1,000 killed as claimed by the communists. Right: The body of an American paratrooper killed in action in the jungle near the Cambodian border is raised up to an evacuation helicopter in War Zone C, Vietnam, in 1966. The JCS wanted a mobilization of the reserves and National Guard, and McNamara proposed levying war taxes. By June 1965, there had been five governments in the South since Diem’s death, and the newest regime, headed by General Nguyen Van Thieu and Air Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky, inspired little confidence. Counteroffensive, Phase II, 1 July 1966 - 31 May 1967. Command Chronologies Reports Index This series of records was created between April 1962 and June 1987, it contains documents that describe events that occurred as early as April 1952. Following through on that commitment, American aid to South Vietnam began as early as in January, 1955. When McNamara concurred, Johnson decided to commit the forces. North Vietnam infiltrated troops and matériel into South Vietnam by sea and along the so‐called Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. Bombing could boost Saigon’s morale and might persuade the North to cease its support of the insurgency. Increasingly, however, the U.S. effort focused on the North. The war was at a stalemate. An American officer serving with the South Vietnam forces poses with group of Montagnards in front of one of their provisionary huts in a military camp in central Vietnam on November 17, 1962. The UH-1 Iroquois ("Huey") The Hoist Evacuation Missions Evacuation Problems Enemy Fire A Turning Point . The buildup of formal U.S. military units had begun on 8 March 1965, when two battalions of Marines landed at Da Nang. After three weeks of bitter fighting, the 3rd battalion of the 4th Marines took the hill the week of October 2. While MACV was getting men and munitions in place for large‐unit search and destroy operations, army and marine units conducted smaller operations. The helicopter crashed and exploded on a hill, killing one crewman and 12 Marines. Right: Army nurse 2nd Lieutenant Roberta “Bertie” Steele in South Vietnam, on February 9, 1966. Although Johnson’s actions meant that the United States had crossed the line from advising the ARVN to actually fighting the war against the Vietcong, the president downplayed the move. A Vietnamese girl, 23 years old, was captured by an Australian patrol 30 feet below ground at the end of a maze of tunnels some 10 miles west of the headquarters of the Australian task force (40 miles southeast of Saigon). Notify me of follow-up comments by email. He was captured with 13 other guerrillas and 17 suspects when two Vietnamese battalions overran a Viet Cong camp about 15 miles southwest of Da Nang air force base. A slideshow of my tour of duty in Vietnam with 1st Sig Bg at Lang Bian Mountain, Cam Ranh Bay. The critical military questions were how much U.S. assistance was enough and what form it should take. These formulas typically called upon the United States and DRV to coordinate mutual reduction of their military activities in South Vietnam, but both Washington and Hanoi firmly resisted even interim compromises with the other. Because of the one-year tour that left little time for on the-job training, combat in Vietnam required the officer to arrive as a proficient field artilleryman and not a hybrid field and air defense artilleryman. Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire at Bao Trai, about 20 miles west of Saigon, on January 1, 1966. William Doyle, center, in soft-brimmed hat, received a medal at Phan Rang in November, 1967. 2401 ADP Officer, PCM 6101 Accounting Officer 73D Accounting Specialist 225B ADA Command and Control Maintenance Technician 2110 Adjutant or Adjutant General 2120 Administrative Officer 71L Administrative Specialist A Viet Cong fighter in Vietnam in an undated photo. A consensus formed among Johnson’s advisers that the United States would have to initiate air warfare against North Vietnam. T he Army Engineers in Vietnam are conducting their usual wide range of combat, engineering, construction, and mapping tasks in support of combat operations of the United States Army, Vietnam (USARV). A Vietnamese battalion commander, Captain Thach Quyen, left, interrogates a captured Viet Cong suspect on Tan Dinh Island, Mekong Delta, in 1965. 1967 A successful US-ARVN joint operation against the Viet Cong, north of Saigon. The vast majority of the documents in this series were created between 1965 and 1979. Such actions would have placed the United States on a war footing. This assessment was debatable, and there was considerable evidence that the so‐called “other war” for political support in South Vietnam was not going well. With U.S. bombs pounding North Vietnam, Westmoreland turned America’s massive firepower on the southern insurgents. As Senate majority leader in the 1950s and as vice‐president, he had supported Eisenhower’s and Kennedy’s decisions to aid South Vietnam. Three crewmen escaped with serious burns. General Wallace M. Greene Jr., a Marine Corps commandant, after a visit to the area, authorized light short-sleeved uniforms as aid to troops’ comfort. It doesn't exist officially. This reference report provides an overview of the electronic data records in the custody of the National Archives that contain data related to military objectives and activities during the Vietnam War.The National Archives holds a large body of electronic records that reflects the prolific use of computers by the military establishment in carrying out operations during the Vietnam War. They were brought in by government troops from a village where they were used as labor force by communist Viet Cong forces. In addition to ground combat, the Marines Corps provided air support from helicopter squadrons and fixed-wing aircrafts striking targets in South and North Vietnam. IV. In 1967, the Army leadership in Saigon advocated that the Marines concentrate their efforts on large unit search and destroy operations. In August 1966, led by the 2nd Brigade, the 4th Infantry Division’s (“Ivy Division”—a play on the Roman numeral IV) headquarters closed in on the central highlands of Vietnam. Thousands attend a rally on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington on April 17, 1965, to hear Ernest Gruening, a Democratic senator from Alaska, and other speakers discuss U.S. policy in Vietnam. The child was killed as government forces pursued guerrillas into a village near the Cambodian border. Bodies of the slain soldiers were carried to this clearing with their gear to await evacuation by helicopter. The 9th Viet Cong Division launched an attack on the South Vietnamese outpost at Loc Ninh on Oct. 29. Sgt. He has admitted to killing Vietnamese civilians. Flares from planes light a field covered with the dead and wounded of the ambushed battalion of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division in the Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam, on November 18, 1965, during a fierce battle that had been raging for days. U.S. forces killed many enemy soldiers and destroyed large amounts of supplies. Remembering the Vietnam War 50 Years Later: The U. S. Mobile Riverine Force Succeeds in Operations Coronado Monday, February 26, 2018 In the jungles of Vietnam, American forces battled the North Vietnamese Army and their Allies, the Viet Cong, an unrelenting enemy with both regular army … Indeed, many South Vietnamese perceived the strategic hamlets as government oppression, not protection, because people were forced to leave their ancestral homes for the new settlements. In May 1967, a 182-strong rifle company dubbed Victor (V) was deployed from the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR) base in West Malaysia. A slideshow of my tour of duty in Vietnam with 1st Sig Bg at Lang Bian Mountain, Cam Ranh Bay. In 1967 annual bombing tonnage reached almost a quarter million. (U.S. Army photo) ''I've seen atrocities in Vietnam that make Tiger Force look like Sunday school,'' Doyle told the New York Times. Ill MAF, faced with a continued threat in 1967 of North Vietnamese large unit entry across the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Vietnams, turned over the Chu Lai enclave to the U.S. Army's Task Force Oregon and shifted the bulk of its forces — and its attention — northward. The Montagnards, dark-skinned tribesmen numbering about 700,000, live in the highlands of central Vietnam. Civilians were able to move freely between two states for a 300-day period. Within a week, the administration began ROLLING THUNDER, a gradually intensifying air bombardment of military bases, supply depots, and infiltration routes in North Vietnam. Vietnamese airborne rangers, their two U.S. advisers, and a team of 12 U.S. Special Forces troops set out to raid a Viet Cong supply base 62 miles northwest of Saigon, on August 6, 1963. In a letter to Ngo Dinh Diem – the new Prime Minister of the Bao Dai government on October 23, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower promised American support to his government to ensure a non-communist Vietnam. In the early spring of 1967 the treecrusher proved its ability to perform in a swampy jungle; however, it was not reliable enough in South Vietnam and was returned to the United States when the lease expired. Risks of a wider war with China and the Soviet Union meant that the United States would not go all out to annihilate North Vietnam. The “Buddhist crisis” and dissatisfaction with Diem by top Vietnamese Army leaders made U.S. officials receptive to the idea of a change in South Vietnam’s leadership. With his ambitious social reform program facing crucial votes in Congress, the president wanted to avoid giving congressional conservatives an opportunity to use mobilization to block his domestic agenda. During 1966 Westmoreland requested more ground troops, and by year’s end the U.S. ground force level “in country” reached 385,000. This victory led to the Geneva Conference where the French and Viet Minh negotiated a ceasefire agreement. The president wanted to concentrate on his ambitious domestic program, the Great Society, but his political instincts told him that his leadership would be damaged fatally if America’s client state in South Vietnam succumbed. Through much of November, in the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley, U.S. and North Vietnamese forces engaged each other in heavy combat for the first time. In July 1955, Diem rejected the national election, claiming South Vietnam was not bound by the Geneva Accords. American troops found 100-degree temperatures a tough part of the job. Vietnam War: The Early Years, 1965-1967. A steady stream of airplanes, helicopters, armored personnel carriers (APCs), and other equipment poured into the South. The most famous among them, who some experts point to as the "real" Colonel Kurtz, was the CIA operative Anthony Poshepny, Tony Poe for short, but also known as agent Upin or Pat Gibbs. THE PILOT AT WORK . Realizing the increasingly unpopularity of Diem regime, Hanoi established the National Liberation Front (NLF), better known as the Viet Cong, on December 20, 1960, which consisted of all anti-government activists – both communists and non-communists, as a common front to fight against Diem. Note the attacking Skyhawk in the lower right and one directly left of the explosions on the bridge. In January, Operation Cedar Falls was a 30,000‐man assault on the Iron Triangle, an enemy base area forty miles north of Saigon. Poe had already fought in the US Marine Corps in World War II, and later joined the CIA and served in Korea and in several secret US wars. In October, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the PAVN commander, launched a major offensive in the Central Highlands, southwest of Pleiku. On the night of 2 August, North Vietnamese gunboats fired on the USS Maddox, a destroyer on an intelligence‐collecting mission, in the same area of the Gulf of Tonkin where South Vietnamese commandos were conducting raids against the North Vietnamese coast. Marines wade ashore with heavy equipment at first light at Red Beach near Da Nang in Saigon on April 10, 1965. The guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett fires its Mark 38 25mm machine gun during a live-fire exercise. Ap Bac represented a leadership failure for the ARVN and a major morale boost for the antigovernment forces. The absence of fighting spirit in the ARVN mirrored the continuing inability of the Saigon regime to win political support. The “Eagle Flight” choppers were loaded with Vietnamese airborne troops who were dropped in to support ground forces at the first sign of enemy contact. U.S. and South Vietnamese leaders were cautiously optimistic that increased U.S. assistance finally was enabling the Saigon government to defend itself. By the end of 1962, there were 9,000 U.S. military advisers under the direction of a newly‐created Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), commanded by U.S. Army Gen. Paul Harkins. Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death on a Saigon street on June 11, 1963, to protest alleged persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. FORT BRAGG, N.C., - Today marks the 55th anniversary of the activation of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) in the Republic of Vietnam. There are many security checkpoints around the Capitol, and as you can see behind me, they are armed. By early 1955, Diem had consolidated his power and control over South Vietnam. Operation Cedar Falls, the first in a series of U.S. offensives in 1967, was about to violate this sanctuary. In June, Marine and army units began offensive unit operations—“search and destroy” missions. A father holds the body of his child as South Vietnamese Army Rangers look down from their armored vehicle on March 19, 1964. The father was taken to an interrogation camp with other suspects rounded up by the U.S. 1st air cavalry division. The NLF continued to exercise more effective control in many areas than did the government, and Vietcong guerrillas, who often disappeared when U.S. forces entered an area, quickly reappeared when the Americans left. Injured Vietnamese receive aid as they lie on the street after a bomb explosion outside the U.S. embassy in Saigon, Vietnam, on March 30, 1965. Nevertheless, Diem’s political repression and attacks on Buddhist community made him more and more unpopular among ordinary South Vietnamese people. Recognizing the interdependence of political, economic, sociological, and military factors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared that American military objectives should be to cause North Vietnam to cease its control and support of the insurgency in South Vietnam and Laos, to assist South Vietnam in defeating Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in Sout… The Cathedral of Light of the Nazi rallies, 1937, A Mongolian woman reaches out from the porthole of a crate in which she is imprisoned, 1913, Pablo Escobar poses for a family photo outside of the White House, 1981, Veterans of four different wars from the same town of Geary, Oklahoma, 1940s, Rare color pictures from Russian Empire, 1905-1915, Adolf Hitler's eye color in a rare color photo, The 100 most influential historical pictures of all time. Although doubts existed about these reports, the president ordered retaliatory air strikes against the North Vietnamese port of Vinh. A U.S. Air Force Douglas A-1E Skyraider drops a white phosphorus bomb on a Viet Cong position in South Vietnam in 1966. Nor does it necessarily include all … Throughout his administration, Johnson insisted that the only possible negotiated settlement of the conflict would be one in which North Vietnam recognized the legitimacy of South Vietnam’s government. A grim-faced U.S. Marine fires his M60 machine gun, concealed behind logs and resting in a shallow hole, during the battle against North Vietnamese regulars for Hill 484, just south of the demilitarized zone, on October 10, 1966. Instability mounted in South Vietnam as rival military and civilian factions vied for power and as Vietcong strength grew. Two nights later, under stormy conditions, the Maddox and another destroyer, the Turner Joy, reported a gunboat attack. FBI Conducting Massive Vetting Effort Ahead of Inauguration. In 1965-1967 the demand for field artillery officers with highly professional skills in the Vietnam War finally caused the Army and the Continental Army Command to reorganize the artillery. "Everybody I … Three weeks later, President Kennedy was assassinated, and U.S. policy in Vietnam was again at a crossroads. Prior to this, on 3 November 1966, a provisional MP Group (Criminal Investigation) had been formed to charge control of all criminal investigations within the Vietnam theatre with the exception of the Saigon metropolitan area. Rick Holmes of C company, 2nd battalion, 503rd infantry, 173rd airborne brigade, sits down on January 3, 1966, in Vietnam. Under the terms of Geneva Accords, France agreed to withdraw its troops from Indochina while Vietnam was temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Minh and Bao Dai respectively, at the 17th parallel. By the spring of 1964, the Vietcong controlled vast areas of South Vietnam, the strategic hamlet program had essentially ceased, and North Vietnam’s aid to the southern insurgents had grown. Gaynor, now 70, spent more than a year in Vietnam between 1967 and 1968, taking photographs as he went. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) did not interfere as a group of ARVN officers plotted a coup. The woman was crouched over a World War II radio set. Flying out of bases in Thailand, U.S. Air Force fighter‐bombers—primarily F‐105 Thunderchiefs and later F‐4 Phantoms—joined U.S. Navy Phantoms and A‐4 Skyhawks from a powerful carrier task force located at a point called Yankee Station, seventy‐five miles off the North Vietnamese coast in the Gulf of Tonkin. Four days after Kennedy’s death, Johnson, now president, reaffirmed in National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 273 that the U.S. goal was to assist South Vietnam in its “contest against the externally directed and supported communist conspiracy.” U.S. policy defined the Vietnam War as North Vietnamese aggression against South Vietnam. Soldiers Brave Cold-Weather Training at Fort McCoy, National Guardsman Defending Capitol Doubles as Music Teacher, U.S. Army Rolls Out the Latest Recruitment Campaign for Gen Z, Pentagon Authorizes National Guard Members in D.C. to Carry Weapons, Navy Destroyer Fires Its Mk 38 Machine Gun. The The White House had expected that some type of incident would occur eventually, and it had prepared the text of a congressional resolution authorizing the president to use armed force to protect U.S. forces and to deter further aggression from North Vietnam. Payne and others of the 196th light infantry brigade probed the massive tunnel in Hobo Woods, South Vietnam, on January 21, 1967, and found detailed maps and plans of the enemy. They thought that she may have possibly been the leader of the political cell in Long Hoa. Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border, in March of 1965. In October, he easily ousted Bao Dai and became President of the new Republic of Vietnam (ROV). October 25th: Operation Sea Dragon. Late in 1967, with 485,600 U.S. troops in Vietnam, Westmoreland announced that, although much fighting remained, a cross‐over point had arrived in the war of attrition; that is, the losses to the NVA and Vietcong were greater than they could replace. A napalm strike erupts in a fireball near U.S. troops on patrol in South Vietnam in 1966. Funeral services were held at the Saigon Airport with U.S. Flying low over the jungle, an A-1 Skyraider drops 500-pound bombs on a Viet Cong position below as smoke rises from a previous pass at the target, on December 26, 1964. Paratroopers, background, of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade escorted the South Vietnamese civilians through a series of firefights during the U.S. assault on a Viet Cong stronghold. Although the “body count”—the estimated number of enemy killed—mounted, attrition was not changing the political equation in South Vietnam. Despite incredible losses, the Vietcong still controlled many areas. USAF tactical bombers and even huge B‐52 strategic bombers attacked enemy positions. 1st Brigade 2nd Brigade 3rd Brigade Infantry: 1st Battalion, (Mechanized) 5th Infantry 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry 2nd Battalion, (Mech) 22nd Infantry 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry 4th Battalion, (Mech) 23rd Infantry 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry 25th Division Artillery: HQ & HQ Battery 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery 7th Battalion, 11th Artiller… The infantrymen who explored the complex are known as “Tunnel Rats.” They were called out of the tunnels on January 21, and nauseating gas was pumped in. Partially covered, a dying Viet Cong guerrilla raises his hands as South Vietnamese Marines search palm groves near Long Binh in the Mekong Delta, on February 27, 1964. 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