Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Vietnam War: Something I Just Don't Get

Vietnam War

-Vietnamese troops occupy the French command post at Dien Bien Phu
-3,000 French troops killed
-Viet Minh suffered, with 8,000 dead and 12,000 wounded

-Specialized North Vietnamese Army Unit, Group 559, is formed to create a supply route from North Vietnam to Vietcong forces in South Vietnam

-President John F. Kennedy orders more soldiers be sent in to help South Vietnamese government win the war against the Viet Cong guerillas

-American helicopters arrive at the docks in South Vietnam with 400 U.S. personnel

-Operation Chopper: Helicopters flown by U.S. Army pilots ferrying 1,000 South Vietnamese soldiers to take out an NLF stronghold near Saigon. America's first combat mission against the Viet Cong
-Operation Ranchhand: Goal is to clear vegetation along highways, making it harder for Viet Cong to hide for ambushes. Vast amounts of forest are sprayed with "Agent Orange", an herbicide containing a deadly chemical called Dioxin. Many soldiers returned to the US sick with conditions stemming from Dioxin poisoning

-At hamlet of ap Bac, Viet Cong 514th Battallion and local guerillas ambush South Vietnamese Army's 7th Division. 3 American advisors are killed

April-June 1964
-American air control in Southeast Asia is made stronger. Two aircraft carriers arrive in the waters off the coast of Vietnam

-South Vietnamese troops attack two small North Vietnamese islands in the Gulf of Tonkin. The USS Maddox, an old warship from WWII which has been modified for modern war, is 123 miles south with orders to draw N. Vietnamese troops away from commandos

-Captain of the USS Maddox says that his vessel has been fired upon and that attack is imminent. American jets bomb two naval bases and destroy an oil facility. Two U.S. planes go down

-The U.S. Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving then President Johnson the power to do whatever is necessary to defend Southeast Asia

October 1964
-China tests it's first successful atom bomb

-2 days before the U.S. presidential election, Vietcong mortars blast Bien Hoa Air Base near Saigon. 4 Americans killed, 76 wounded. Five B-57 bombers are destroyed and 15 are damaged

Jan. 1-Feb. 7, 1965
-Vietcong mount a series of attacks across South Vietnam. They gain control of Binh Gia, a village 40 miles from Saigon.

-U.S. helicopter base and compound in central highlands are attacked by NLF commandos. 9 Americans killed and 70 wounded.

-Vietcong placed bomb explodes in hotel in Qui Nonh, killing 23 American servicemen

-President Johnson orders Operation Rolling Thunder. This is a limited, but lasting bombing defense.

-First bombing raids of Operation Rolling Thunder are executed

-American campaign against N. Vietnam's transport begins

-U.S. offers N. Vietnam economic aid in exchange for peace. Forces from Korea and Australia are brought in to help.

-Two and a half thousand Vietcong troops attack Song Be, a South Vietnamese capital.

-At Dong Xai, a S. Vietnamese Army HQ is invaded by American Special Forces troops

-General William Westmoreland launches first offensive operation

-After deserter from 1st Vietcong regiment reveals an attack is imminent, American army launches Operation Starlite.

Sept.-Oct. 1965
-After the N. Vietnamese Army attacks a Special Forces camp at Plei Mei, the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry is deployed.

-Members of the 66th N. Vietnamese Regiment move east towards Plei Mei.

-U.S. forces launch Operation Crimp.  Deploys nearly 8,000 troops

Feb. 1966
-U.S. troops do search-and-destroy missions

-272nd Regiment of the Vietcong 9th Division attack a battallion of the American 3rd Brigade at Lo Ke.

April-May 1966
-Operation Birmingham: More than 5,000 U.S. troops backed by helicopters and armored vehicles, sweep area north of Saigon
-100 Vietcong killed

Late May-June 1966
-N. Vietnamese 324B Division crosses the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) and encounter a Marine battallion.

-On Route 13, which links the Cambodian border, American forces are assaulted by Vietcong troops

July 1966
-Heavy fighting near Con Thien, killing nearly 1,300 N. Vietnamese soldiers

Oct. 1966
-Vietcong's 9th Division, prepares for new defense.

9/14/1966: Operation Attleboro: U.S. 196th Brigade and 22,000 South Vietnamese troops start aggressive search and destroy sweeps through Tay nih province. More than 1,000 Vietcong are killed and more than 150 Americans are killed
End of 1966
-American forces reach 385,000 in number. More than 6,000 American servicemen have been killed and 30,000 wounded.

Jan.-May 1967: 2 N. Vietnamese divisions, operating out of the DMZ, launch heavy bombing on the American bases south of the DMZ. These include Khe Sanh, the Rockpile, Cam Lo, Dong Ha, Con Thien, Gio Linh

1/8/1967: American forces begin Operation Cedar Falls, which is designed to draw Vietcong forces from the Iron Triangle, which is a 60 square mile area lying between the Saigon River and Route 13.

2/21/1967: 240 helicopters sweep over Tay Ninh province. 30,000 U. S troops take part. Americans are successful in capturing large quantities of equipment, weapons.

4/24/1967: Americans attack N. Vietnamese airfields.

May 1967: Desperate battles in the skies rage over Hanoi and Haiphong. American air forces shoot down 26 N. Vietnamese jets.

Late May 1967: In Central Highlands, Americans intercept N. Vietnamese troops moving in from Cambodia.

Autumn 1967: In Hanoi, communist forces build up for the Tet Offensive.

Mid January 1968: elements of the NVA troops begin to mass near the Marine base at Khe Sanh.

1/21/1968: 5:30 am. Shattering firefight of shells, mortars and rockets slam into the Marine base at Khe Sanh. 18 Marines die instantly, 40 are wounded. Lasts for 2 days

1/30-1/31/1968: Tet holiday. Vietcong troops storm into action over South Vietnam. Americans fight, but lose 2,500 men

2/23/1968: Over 1,300 rounds of artillery slam the Marine base at Khe Sanh.

3/6/1968: NVA forces retreat into jungle areound Khe Sanh.

3/11/968: Search and destroy missions are launched against Vietcong remnants around Saigon

3/16/1968: My Lai massacre. U.S. Charlie Company kills 200 people in the hamlet of My Lai. Only one person was charged with war crimes

3/22/1968: Without warning, North Vietnamese firefight slams into Marine base at Khe Sanh.

4/8/1968: U.S. forces durig Operation Pegasus retake Route 9 ending the siege at Khe Sanh.

June 1968: Strong American forces now present in the area. Gen. Westmoreland approves the safe leaving of Khe Sanh.

11/1/1968: After 3 and half years, Operation Rolling Thunder comes to a close. The campaign cost more than 900 American aircraft, 818 pilots are dead, missing or are in captivity.

6/8/1969:  President Nixon meets with South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van Thieu on Midway Island in the Pacific. He announces that 25,000 U.S. troops will br moved out of Vietnam immediately

April 1969: U.S. combat deaths in Vietnam exceed the 33, 629 men killed in the Korean War

2/22/1969: Assault teams attack American military bases all over South Vietnam, killing 1,140 U.S. soldiers.

Feb. 1969: President Nixon orders Operation Menu. Which is the bombing of North Vietnamese and Vietcong bases within Cambodia

Jan. 1969: President Nixon takes office as new President of the United States.

4/29/1970: South Vietnamese troops attack Cambodia. 2 days later, a U.S. force of 30,000 mount a second attack

-Operation Lam Son 719: 3 small S. Vietnamese divisions drive into Laos to attack enemy bases

Summer 1971
-While herbicides containing Dioxin were banned for use by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1968, the spraying of Agent Orange continues in Vietnam until 1971. Operation Ranchhand had sprayed 11 million gallons of Agent Orange.

-133,000 U.S. troops remain in South Vietnam. 2/3 of the American troops have gone in two years

-N. Vietnamese troops open a shattering barrage, targeting South Vietnamese positions.

-N. Vietnamese soldiers push towards Hue.

-NVA troops manage to gain control of northern part of Hue

-2 weeks after the initial attack, N. Vietnamese battle toward Quang Tri City

-Along with U.S. support, S. Vietname begins a drive to recapture Binh Dinh province.

-In Paris, peace talks between N. Vietnamese and Americans

-By order of president, a new bombing campaign starts. Operation Linebacker. Lasts for 12 days, including a 3 day bombing raid by nearly 120 B-52s. 26 U.S. planes are downed by anti-aircraft guns, 93 American airmen are killed, captured or missing
-N. Vietnam and U.S. resume peace talks in Paris

-Warring parties in Vietnam sign a cease fire

March 1973
-Last American forces leave Vietnam. Over 1,000 are MIA (Missing in action), 150,000 are wounded, and almost 58,000 dead

Jan. 1974
-Though still weak, N. Vietnamese have rebuilt their divisions and have captured areas

-President Nixon resigns

-7th N. Vietnamese Army recaptures Dong Xoai

-The NVA take Phuoc Long City.

-Powerful NVA attack is unleashed in Central Highlands of South Vietnam

March 1975
-Hue, the 3rd largest city in South Vietnam, falls to the N. Vietnamese

April 1975
-5 weeks into the campaign, the N. Vietnamese have made gains.

-U.S. Marines and Air Force helicopters begin airlift. In 18 hours, over 1,000 American civilians and almost 7,000 South Vietnamese refugees are flown out of Saigon

-At 4:03 am, 2 U.S. Marines are killed in a rocket attack at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Airport.

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