Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ground troops leave Vietnam 43 years ago

For a website dedicated to the
commemoration of the Vietnam War,
visit VietnamWar50th.com.
Forty-three years ago today, the last American ground combat troops in Vietnam War departed for home from South Vietnam, leaving 43,500 advisors, airmen and support troops in-country. American naval forces also remained.

Though American involvement in Vietnam dated back to the Eisenhower Administration, the first combat units did not arrive in Vietnam until March 8, 1965. This year marks the 50th anniversary of America's direct involvement in the war.

U.S. troop numbers reached their a peak of 543,482 in 1968. The war would claim the lives of 58,253 Americans and injure 153,363. More than 1,600 prisoners of war are still unaccounted for.

The average U.S. infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year, thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. In comparison, the average infantry in the South Paci fix during World War II saw only 40 days of combat in four years.

The Paris Peace Accords were signed on Jan. 27, 1973, but the last Americans did not pull out of Vietnam until April 30, 1975.