The Vietnam War began for the U.S. in 1965 when troops were sent over to fight in the conflict between South and North Vietnam. This war was very unpopular in the U.S., but fighting didn't stop until 1975. Vietnam War records are maintained by the military in many cases and include lists of casualties, those missing in action and prisoners of war. Also included in Vietnam War records are the command chronologies for the U.S. Marine Corps units. These Vietnam War records typically include organization information, event narratives, victories and losses, and a chronological list of important events participated in by that unit.
Vietnam War records also offer lists of commanding officers, locations where individual units were located during the war, award recipients, situation reports and local community involvement by units in Vietnam. Also, U.S. and enemy operations were examined and these Vietnam War records are available also.
1964: North Vietnamese troops attack a pair of U.S. destroyers off the Gulf of Tonkin. This attack was considered unprovoked.
1965: The U.S. begins the first aerial bombing in North Vietnam on March 2 and then sends the first combat troops on March 8.
1968: The Viet Cong join forces with the North Vietnamese and launch massive attacks against South Vietnam. By December, there are 540,000 U.S. troops.
1969: President Nixon starts ordering U.S. troops to withdraw from Vietnam.
1970-1971: President Nixon orders American troops to attack Cambodia in 1970, which sparks hot debate among U.S. students. In 1971, part of the Pentagon Papers are published.
1973-1975: In 1973, the U.S. begins its withdrawal of troops from Vietnam. In 1975, South Vietnam surrenders to communist North Vietnam.
The Lubbock Avalanche Journal published its Vietnam War newspaper edition on April 30, 1975, that signified Saigon's fall to the communists. The headline splashed across the page read "Saigon Surrenders To The Reds" and was the final chapter of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War newspaper said that 56,000 South Vietnamese, in addition to 6,000 Americans, were evacuated from Saigon.
Henry Kissinger admitted that the Vietnam War didn't further America's objective, but was quoted as wanting to look towards the future, rather than dwelling on this event. When the South Vietnamese surrendered to North Vietnam, it signaled the end of over 30 years of fighting between the two sides. The capital city of Saigon was reported as being silent as firing stopped upon surrender. The surrender of South Vietnam prompted the U.S. to perform these emergency evacuations to get remaining Americans to safety.
The Vietnam War newspaper reported that thousands of South Vietnamese refugees entered California, but didn't experience the warmest of welcomes, as people were calling for the U.S. to roll up the welcome mat. However, thousands of potential refugees were also left behind in Saigon to survive on their own, as the communists descended on the city and prevented more refugees from fleeing the country. American aircraft flew desperate people to nearby Thailand and the Philippines, while others headed to a flotilla in the South China Sea waiting for rescued people.
The Vietnam War newspaper article also described how the wealthier refugees were attempting to bribe or stowaway on anything leaving Saigon, while others were simply handing over their children to safety while staying behind. Unfortunately, few refugees were successful in placing themselves on rescue aircraft once the Viet Cong was said to be closing in on the city.
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