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 TimeLines of Liberty
American Wars - Vietnam

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Vietnam War  -  1971 - 1975

The Vietnam war ended without victory, some say without honor. The pressures of antiwar activists and television bringing the horrors of war into our homes made the war unpopular.
The politicians attempting to keep in grace with the voters tied the hands of those who led our troops, endangering them and preventing a decisive victory.
President Nixon promised an end to the war in his campaign. The war had gone on long enough; America had not the fortitude to allow the military the support and means to win. Nixon ended the stalemate of the American people. Nixon ended America's involvement in the war. America had failed its commitment to South Vietnam, allowing a victory to Communism.

Page Four  -  1971 - 1972 - 1973 - 1974 - 1975

     Pre-War - 1930-1960  -  The War - 1961-1965  -  The War - 1966-1970  -  Post War - 1976-2007
Page 1
                             Page 2                               Page 3                              Page 5
1971 - Vietnam War
1971 Jan. President Nixon on January 4th states, "the end is in sight."
1971 Jan. The bill repealing the Gulf of Tonkin resolution is signed by President Nixon on January 13th.
1971 Jan. U.S. fighter-bombers fly more air strikes against NVA supply camps in Laos and Cambodia on January 19th.
1971 Jan. In an all-South Vietnamese ground offensive, occurs from January 30th to April 6th. 22,000 NVA are attacked on the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos in an attempt to sever the supply conduit. The South Vietnamese, aided by U.S. artillery, air strikes and helicopter lifts, stall having reached their first objective. The stall gives the North Vietnamese forces time to bring in massive reinforcements. An increased force of 40,000 NVA push 8000 surviving South Vietnamese back into Vietnam. It is estimated that the NVA suffered up to 20,000 dead mostly from the American bombardment. The South Vietnamese suffer nearly half the original force with 7682 dead. The U.S. looses 215 with 100 helicopters lost and 600 damaged during the support of the offensive.
1971 Info 325,000 American troops remain in Vietnam as of February. To date, nearly 45,000 American soldiers have died in the war.
1971 Feb. A conference to negotiate settlement of disputes in Indochina is recommended by Congressman Aiken (R-VT) on February 10th.
1971 Feb. LIFE magazine photographer Larry Burrows, having covered the Vietnam war for ten year, is killed covering the South Vietnamese invasion of Operation Lam Son 719 in Laos on February 10th.
1971 Feb. A "resolution of purpose" proposed by Senate Democrats (38-13) on February 23rd to urge the 92nd Congress to end U.S. involvement in Indochina; to "bring about the withdrawal of all US forces and the release of prisoners in a time certain."
  March March Opinion polls show Nixon's approval rating down to 50% with his Vietnam War strategy slipping to just 34 percent. The polls indicate half of the country believe the war in Vietnam to be "morally wrong."
1971 March The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. is damaged on March 1st when a bomb explodes at 1:32 in a restroom. The "Weather Underground" claimed responsibility. Senator McGovern blames the bombing on "our Vietnam madness."
1971 March On March 10th China announces its pledge to completely support North Vietnam's struggle against the U.S.
1971 March Lieutenant William Calley is found guilty, on March 29th, for the murders of 22 civilians during the My Lai massacre. Calley is sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor. His sentence is later reduced to 20 year then 10years. Of those involved five were court-martialed with only Calley being found guilty.
1971 March It was discovered later that on March 30th "a confidential Army directive orders personnel to intercept and confiscate personal mail containing anti-war and other dissident material sent to soldiers in Vietnam."
1971 April Passing the House (239-99) in a roll-call vote on April 1st was the bill to extend the draft for another two years. The Senate will pass the measure on June 24th.
1971 April The release of Lieutenant William Calley, pending appeal, is ordered by President Nixon on April 1st.
1971 April President Nixon in an April 7th speech says that setting a firm date for troop withdrawal would "serve the enemy's purpose, not our own."
1971 April In April after Operation Lam Son 719 in Laos ends, President Nixon declares that "Vietnamization has succeeded." In actuality, the failed offensive indicates true "Vietnamization" of the war will be difficult to achieve.
1971 April John Kerry appears on NBC's Meet the Press on April 18th and says, "There are all kinds of atrocities and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free-fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50-caliber machine guns which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search-and-destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare. All of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free-fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals."
1971 April Dewey Canyon III, "a military incursion into the country of Congress" is led by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) on April 18th in Washington, D.C. 2,300 Vietnam Veterans participate. Several veterans, camped at the mall 1/4 miles from the Capitol, throw their medals and ribbons at the foot of the statue of Chief Justice John Marshall.
1971 April Organized by 'Vietnam Veterans Against the War' a week of nationwide protests begin on April 19th.
  April The protests of Dewey Canyon III is given enthusiastic coverage by the communist Daily World newspaper on April 20th.
1971 April John Kerry testifies before a special session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two hours alleging widespread atrocities by U.S. troops and supposed illegal policies. Later during the John Kerry for President campaign many veterans deny the allegations taking offense from Kerry's "lies."
1971 April On April 23rd on the Capitol steps Veterans throw their medals over a makeshift fence.  John Kerry takes part claiming to throw his ribbons then later when discovered he still has possession of his medals said they were someone else's ribbons.
1971 April A group called the "Mayday Tribe" attempt to effect work stoppages at several federal offices in Washington, D.C. on April 24th during the ongoing demonstrations.
1971 April Total American deaths in Vietnam have exceeded 45,000 as of April 29th.
1971 April The last departure of U.S. Marine combat units in Vietnam occur on April 30th.
1971 May Attempting to disrupt government businesses in Washington, D.C. 7,000 anti-war militants are arrested on May 3rd by 5,100 policemen backed by 10,000 federal troops.
1971 May Anther 2,700 anti-war militants are arrested on May 4th. Most of the nearly 11,000 arrests made over May 3rd, 4th and 5th are later released.
1971 May On the third day of protests, May 5th, 1,200 additional arrests are made during a rally on the east Capitol steps. The rally was attended by some members of Congress.
1971 June Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, claiming representation of most Vietnam veterans, speak out against the war protests.
1971 June John Kerry, who later becomes a Vietnam anti-war activist, tells the Washington Star on June 6th, he was ordered to shoot upon villages along the shore killing innocent women and children. During his later presidential campaign his story, unsubstantiated is disbelieved and taken as an offense by many Vietnam Veterans.
1971 June Drug control and rehabilitation programs for the military are adopted by the U.S. Senate on June 9th.
1971 June President Nixon is incensed by the New York Times June 13th publication of "Pentagon Papers" excerpts. The "Pentagon Papers" were a secret Defense Department archive of documents, and decisions on Vietnam, made by former White House administrations. The papers were leaked to Time's Neil Sheehan by former State Department official Daniel Ellsberg.
1971 June On June 15th, President Nixon takes legal action against the New York Times in the U.S. District court in attempts to stop the publication of the "Pentagon Papers."
1971 June The "end the war" bill (158-255) was rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives. Ohio Congressman Charles Whalen, a republican was a co-sponsor.
1971 June In June during a college commencement speech Senator Mike Mansfield calls the Vietnam war "a tragic mistake."
1971 June FBI files show that during the summer of 1971 John Kerry meets with representatives from North Vietnam in Paris.  Kerry becomes a sought after guests by late night talk shows.
1971 June The U.S. Senate urges removal of all American Troops from Vietnam by end of 1971 in a resolution on June 22nd, that is non-binding.
1971 June The U.S. Senate passes the 2-year extension of the Draft Bill on June 24th following a debate that began on May 6th. It is estimated that 48% of the Army's manpower were draftees or were "draft motivated" to join.
1971 June The Mansfield (Mike Mansfield, Democrat, Montana) Amendment is passed on June 24th. It attaches to the draft extension bill, wording to set a national policy of withdrawing troops from southeast Asia in 9 months. The wording is later changed to "earliest practical date". This is the first time in U.S. History that the U.S. Congress passes legislation that urges ending a current war that America was involved in.
1971 June Daniel Ellsberg surrenders to police on June 28th for leaking the Pentagon Papers.
1971 June 4,100 pages of the Pentagon Papers were entered into the record of his subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds by Alaska's U.S. Senator Mike Gravel on June 29th. Those pages were later published by Beacon Press.
1971 June The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 30th came down 6 to 3 in favor of the publication of the Pentagon Papers by the New York Times and Washington Post.
1971 June William Colby is replaced by George Jackson as head of CORDS in June.
1971 July On July 1st of the peace talks a return of all American and allied POWs in North and South Vietnam by end of 1971 was proposed by the Viet Cong on the condition that all U.S. troops were withdrawn during the same time period. Naturally the reaction by the U.S. was cautious.
1971 July July 1st sets a daily record with 6,100 American soldiers departing Vietnam.
1971 July In a major development in diplomacy on July 15th, President Nixon announces he will visit Communist China in 1972.
1971 July In the White House on July 17th the "Plumbers" unit is created by Nixon aides John Ehrlichman and Charles Colson for the purpose of plugging various leaks and investigate Daniel Ellsberg, the leak of the Pentagon Papers.  Colson compiles a list of around 200 prominent American citizens considered anti-Nixon
1971 Aug. 30,000 CIA-sponsored irregulars operating in Laos is made public by the U.S. on August 2nd.
1971 Aug. Australia and New Zealand announce on August 18th their intentions to withdraw all their forces from Vietnam.
1971 Sept. Captain Ernest L. Medina is acquitted on all charges on September 22nd concerning the My Lai Massacre.
1971 Sept. Having lapsed on June 30th the 2-year draft extension bill was signed into law on September 28th. Retaining deferments for upperclassmen, deferments were abolished for 1971 freshmen.  A non-binding provision of the bill placed the backing of an early end to the Vietnam War, by Congress, on record.
1971 Oct. President Thieu ran for re-election unopposed after Vice President Ky and General Duong Van Minh dropped out claiming charges that Thieu had rigged the election. On October 3rd. President Thieu is re-elected with a minimum of 90 percent of the popular vote.
1971 Oct. In one of a series of "combat refusals," an assignment is refused by members of the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry Division on October 9th when they expressed "a desire not to go."
1971 Oct. On October 29th the total number of American troops reach the lowest number since January 1966 with a count of 196,700.
1971 Oct. The Viet Cong in Saigon release the first POWs on October 31st.
1971 Nov. A 300-page report is released on November 2nd, by a Senate subcommittee, describing a PX scandal that spans Vietnam and other oversea bases as, "corruption, criminality, and moral compromise."
1971 Nov. Khmer Rouge forces on November 10th attack Phnom Penh, Cambodia damaging nine airplanes at the airport and killing 44 with another 30 wounded.
1971 Nov. Stressing the importance of continued air strikes on infiltration routes President Nixon on November 12th announces the withdrawal of an additional 45,000 troops before February, 1972. February 1st is set as the deadline.
1971 Nov. A proposal to kill six pro-war senators was voted on at a secret meeting of the VVAW held from November 12th to the 15th, as revealed by declassified FBI documents. John Kerry is identified as being in attendance and speaking against the proposal that was voted down.  Kerry and two others later resign from their posts in the VVAW. During his campaign in 2004, Kerry will state that he was a no-show and resigned before the meeting, he will then change his story and say he does not remember attending the meeting.
1971 Dec. Intensifying assaults on government positions on December 1st., the Khmer Rouge force a retreat of Cambodian forces from Kompong Thmar and Ba Ray, both northeast of Phnom Phen.
1971 Dec. American troops levels drop to 156,800 on December 17th.
1971 Dec. The "Christmas Bombing" begins on December 18th against Hanoi and North Vietnam.
1971 Dec. 1,025 sorties are flown from December 26th to the 30th, in the heaviest air strikes on North Vietnam since 1968. The U.S. cites violations of the agreements made in return for the 1968 bombing halt.

© Copyright 2007 Roger W Hancock 

1972 - Vietnam War
1972 Jan. Peace Talks begin again in Paris during the first week of January.
1972 Jan. The 7th withdrawal of troops is announced by  President Nixon in January. 70,000 troops by May 1st, 1972 dropping the level down to 69,000.
1972 Jan. President Nixon announced on January 25th an eight point peace plan and tells the nation that Henry Kissinger had been in secret negotiations with North Vietnam.  In true character, Hanoi rejects Nixon's attempts at peace.
1972 Feb. President Nixon visits the People's Republic of China from February 17th to the 28th.
Nixon met with Mao Zedong and Prime Minister Zhou Enlai during the historical visit to China to forge improved diplomatic relations with the Communist Nation.
The North Vietnamese feared that improved relations between the U.S. and China may prompt China to pressure for an unfavorable settlement for peace.
1972 March The U.S. 101st Airborne Division, on March 10th, was withdrawn from Vietnam.
1972 March President Nixon charged Hanoi with refusing to "negotiate seriously" and boycotts the Paris Peace Talks on March 23rd.
1972 March North Vietnamese Forces on March 30 enter the DMZ zone to begin the Eastertide Offensive, the largest since the 1968 Tet Offensive.

The reduction of American forces, a strong American anti-war movement, and the exposed weakness of South Vietnam's Army in Operation Lam Son 719 prompts The Eastertide Offensive. General Vo Nguyen Giap attempts a conquer of South Vietnam, commanding 200,000 North Vietnamese soldiers.

General Giap's initial strategy was to capture Quang Tri, just south of the DMZ zone, then Kontum in mid South Vietnam and in the south, An Loc. The Communists hoped these Victories would sway the American public nd prevent the re-election of President Richard Nixon, much as when approval rating of President L. B. J. dropped after the 1968 Tet offensive. Communist leaders thought American aid to South Vietnam would be disrupted by Nixon's removal.
1972 April In retaliation of the latest offensive by the North Vietnamese, Nixon orders the bombing of the Hanoi and Haiphong areas.
1972 April On April 2nd, President Nixon okays air strikes and naval gunfire to target North Vietnamese Army troops in and around the Demilitarized Zone. The attacks are in response to the NVA's Eastertide Offensive.
1972 April 2 U.S. Carriers are recalled on April 5th.  An Armada is being made ready.
1972 April Declaring in private on April 4th, President Nixon says, "The bastards have never been bombed like they're going to bombed this time," after the authorization of a massive bombing campaign.  The campaign is an additional B-52 air strikes  in response to the Eastertide Offensive, targeting NVA troops that invade South Vietnam.
1972 April On April 10th the U.S. begins the massive B-52 bombardments that extend 145 miles into North Vietnam.
1972 April On April 12 as part of the NVA's continued Eastertide Offensive an attack on Kontum begins in central South Vietnam. If the attack succeeds, South Vietnam will effectively be cut in two.
1972 April The U.S. hits the Vinh Area with B52 bombings on April 12th.  An "Insurance" Force is readied.
1972 April Hanoi and Haiphong harbor are bombed by the U.S. on April 15th.
1972 April Protests break out in America, over the B52 bombings, on April 15th and continue through the 20th.
1972 April An attack on An Loc begins on April 19th as part of the NVA's Eastertide Offensive.
1972 April The withdrawal of 20,000 more troops are announced by President Nixon on April 26th. Nixon continues the bombing.
1972 April The Paris Peace talks resume on April 27th.
1972 April U.S. troop levels have dropped to 69,000 by April 30th..
1972 May On May 1st. Quang Tri City attacked by the NVA. The South Vietnamese will abandon the city on May 3rd.
1972 May Participation in the Paris Peace Talks are suspended "indefinitely," by both the U.S. and South Vietnam on May 4th. Nixon orders 125 additional warplanes to Vietnam.
1972 May President Nixon, on May 8th, orders the placement of mines in harbors of North Vietnam, without informing congress.
1972 May Nixon makes the announcement, on May 8th, of Operation Linebacker I, the mining of North Vietnam's harbors and intensified bombings of transportation infrastructure and oil facilities.
1972 May International condemnation results from Nixon's announcement of Operation Linebacker. More anti-war protests break out.
1972 May During an air strike on May 8th, South Vietnamese Pilots accidentally drop Napalm bombs on South Vietnamese civilians that, of course, included children. A still shot and filmed footage show a badly burned nude girl fleeing the destruction of her community.
1972 May U.S. jets lay mines in Haiphong harbor on May 9th as Operation Linebacker begins.
1972 May Navy planes attack an NVA camp near Hanoi on May 10th.
1972 May The (USARV) U.S. Army Vietnam headquarters is decommissioned on May 15th.
1972 May On May 17th the U.S. reports that the supply line to the Eastertide Offensive of NVA troops in South Vietnam has been damaged by Operation Linebacker.
1972 May In a visit to the Soviet Union from May 22nd to the 30th, President Nixon meets with Leonid Brezhnev concerning relations with that Communist nation. Again, Hanoi becomes concerned that they may be pressured into an unfavorable settlement in the peace talks.
1972 May South Vietnamese troops aided by U.S. air strikes were able to ward off an NVA attack on Kontum on May 30th.
1972 June On June 1st the North Vietnamese in Hanoi admit severe disruptions are being caused by Operation Linebacker.
1972 June President Nixon announced in June that 10,000 more troops would be withdrawn by September.
1972 June Information obtained from North Vietnamese deserters, on and around June 7th, prove useful in planning pre-emptive attacks against the NVA.
1972 June On June 9th a helicopter crashes near Pleiku. Among the dead was Senior U.S. military advisor John Paul Vann. Vann had been assisting South Vietnamese troops defending Kontum from NVA attacks.
1972 June Five arrests are made on June 17th in the Watergate building in  Washington D.C.. Those arrested were attempting to hide microphones in the Democratic National Committee offices. Later investigations will tie the five perpetrators to the White House.
1972 June Aided by U.S. Navy gunfire and B-52 bombardments, on June 28th, the South Vietnamese troops commence a counter-offensive to retake Quang Tri Province.
1972 June Gen. Abrams is replaced on June 30th by General Frederick C. Weyand as the MACV commander in Vietnam.
1972 July July 11, 1972 - NVA attack on An Loc is thwarted by .
South Vietnamese troops aided by B-52 air strikes are able to thwart a NVA attack on An Loc on July 11th.
1972 July The Paris peace talks resume on July 13th.
1972 July Senator George McGovern an outspoken critic of the war, advocates "immediate and complete withdrawal." :Mc Govern is chosen on July 14th as the Democratic Nominee for President.
1972 July On July 18th, during a visit to Hanoi, North Vietnam, Jane Fonda is heard on Hanoi Radio spouting anti-war messages.
1972 July South Vietnamese troops begin a major counter-offensive, on July 19th, against NVA troops in Binh Dinh Province.
1972 July From July 29th to August 12th former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark travels, on behalf of the Communist Stockholm International Commission for Inquiry, to Hanoi, North Vietnam. U.S. bombing of North Vietnam is denounced by Ramsey Clark. Having visited American POWs he reports that they are in good health and the conditions "could not be better."
1972 Aug. In August President Nixon announced that 12,000 more troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam.
1972 Aug. Henry Kissinger meets with Le Duc Tho in Paris on August 1st.
1972 Aug. August 23, 1972 - The last American combat troops leave Vietnam on August 23rd.
1972 Aug. South Vietnamese troops recapture Quang Tri City on September 16th.
1972 Sept. Ten percent of the North Vietnamese air force is destroyed on September 29th by heavy U.S. air raids.
1972 Oct. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho agree to major concessions on October 8th ending the diplomatic stalemate.  North Vietnamese troops already in South Vietnam will remain and North Vietnam will not demand the removal of South Vietnam's President Thieu and the dissolution of the South Vietnamese government.
Kissinger's staff expressed concern over allowing NVA troops to remain in South Vietnam. Kissinger dismisses them saying, "I want to end this war before the election."
1972 Oct. On October 12th on the Navy aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, almost 50 sailors are injured in a 100 sailor brawl that began with an altercation of racial overtones. The Kitty Hawk was en route to the Gulf of Tonkin.
1972 Oct. Henry Kissinger briefs Thieu about the peace proposal on October 22nd. Displaying obvious emotion Thieu vehemently opposes NVA troops remaining in South Vietnam indefinitely. Angered, Kissinger reports to President Nixon, who threatens total cut-off of American aid. President Thieu refuses to back down as Kissinger returns to Washington.
1972 Oct. Operation Linebacker I ends on October 22nd.
U.S. warplanes had flown 40,000 sorties dropping over 125,000 tons of ordnance, disrupting North Vietnam's Eastertide Offensive. 40,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died fending off the offensive in the heaviest warfare of the entire war.
North Vietnam had approximately 100,000 military casualties. Half of the North's tanks and artillery were lost during the failed offensive. General Vo Nguyen Giap, legendary for past victories, was forced out after the failed offensive and replaced by deputy Gen. Van Tien Dung.
1972 Oct. South Vietnam's President Thieu public announcement, on October 24th, denouncing Henry Kissinger's peace proposal.
1972 Oct. North Vietnam on October 26th released the terms of the peace proposal and accuses the U.S. for attempting to sabotage the agreement. With the election a week away, Henry Kissinger declares in a press conference, "We believe that peace is at hand. We believe that an agreement is in sight."
1972 Oct. Veteran's Health Care Expansion Act of 1972 failed to become law when President Nixon" left the bill unsigned and Congress had adjourned prior to the ten day limit. health care services for veterans and their dependents would have increased by $85 million.
1972 Oct. In October the U.S. Supreme Court remained staunch in its refusal to rule on the constitutionality of America's involvement in Vietnam. Sarnoff vs. Schultz was a case where taxpayers challenged the use of foreign aid funds to finance American operations in Vietnam. The court declined to hear the case voting 7 to 2. Dissenting Justices, Douglas and Brennan, said that since the Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to declare war, and thus "impliedly bars its exercise by the executive branch."
1972 Nov. In the biggest Presidential landslide to date in U.S. history, Richard M. Nixon wins re-election on November 7th.
1972 Nov. In continued Vietnamization of the war, the United States Army transfers the Long Binh military base to South Vietnam.
1972 Nov. President Nixon in a letter to President Thieu on November 14th, secretly pledges "to take swift and severe retaliatory action" against North Vietnam if it violates the proposed peace treaty.
1972 Nov. On November 22nd the first U.S. B-52 Stratofortress is lost in the war. The crew of six is rescued two days later on November 24th.
1972 Nov. White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler, on November 30th, tells the press that there will be no more public announcements concerning American troop withdrawals from Vietnam. The reason given was the fact that troop levels were down to 27,000. Shortly after, the American troop withdrawal from Vietnam is completed, though 16,000 Army advisors and administrators remained to assist South Vietnam's military forces.
1972 Dec. ON December 2nd in Australia the Labor Party gains the office of Prime Minister for the first time in 23 years. Gough Whitlam becomes Australia's Prime Minister who is sworn in on election night and with his first use of executive power orders the withdrawal of all Australian personnel from the Vietnam War.
1972 Dec. The Paris Peace Talks collapse on December 13th, when the Communist's position changes after Kissinger presented a list of new demands by South Vietnam's President Thieu. President Nixon sends an ultimatum to North Vietnam to resume serious negotiations within 72 hours. Receiving no reply from North Vietnam, Nixon orders Operation Linebacker II.
1972 Dec. U.S. bombing of North Vietnam is renewed in Operation Linebacker II on December 18th, with eleven days and nights of B-52 bombers attacking military targets, that includes the Christmas day raids, ending on the 30th. The bombings spark more anti-war protests.
1972 Dec. The so called 'Christmas bombings' of Operation Linebacker II are condemned by the media, politicians, various world leaders and the Pope. The outrage is further fueled by North Vietnamese film footage showing civilian casualties. POW, downed B-52 pilots are filmed, by the North Vietnamese, making coerced statements against the bombing.
1972 Dec. Operation Linebacker II is suspended, by President Nixon on December 24th., for 36 hours to mark the Christmas holiday.
1972 Dec. Bob Hope gives his last of 9 consecutive Christmas shows in Vietnam on December 24th. The show is performed in Saigon for U.S. servicemen.
1972 Dec. Operation Linebacker II is resumed on December 25th.
1972 Dec. On December 26th, North Vietnam agrees to resume peace negotiations within five days if President Nixon ended the bombing.
1972 Dec. Nixon orders on December 29th, the end of Operation Linebacker II to stop the bombings on December 30th, in response to the North Vietnamese promise to return to the peace table.
1972 Dec. Operation Linebacker II ends on December 30th. 121 B-52 bombers delivered more than 100,000 bombs that were dropped on Hanoi and Haiphong. Fifteen B-52s participating were shot down by the North Vietnamese who fired 1200 surface to air missiles.
Operation Proud Deep from December 26th to the 30th, of Linebacker II was the most  intensive bombing campaign of the war. 1,025 sorties were flown in those four days.
Collateral damage from the bombings claimed 1318 civilian deaths, according to Hanoi.
1972 Dec. The North Vietnamese announce a return to the Paris Peace Talks. Hanoi cites violations of agreements surrounding the 1968 bombing halt. Peace Negotiations resumed during the first week of January, 1973.
1972 Info. Late in 1972 Congress had voted to eliminate funding for any military operations in Indochina.
It is estimated that by 1972, 70,000 "Draft Dodgers" had evaded military service by leaving the country to live in Canada.

© Copyright 2007 Roger W Hancock 

1973 - Vietnam War
1973 Jan. Resuming negotiations in Paris on January 8th Kissinger and Le Duc Tho begin meaningful negotiations that lead to the signing of a cease fire set for January 27th.
1973 Jan. Kissinger and Le Duc Tho have worked out all remaining differences on January 9th.
South Vietnam President Thieu unwillingly accepts the peace agreement, having once again been threatened by Nixon with a total cut-off of American aid. Thieu calls the treaty, "tantamount to surrender" for South Vietnam. North Vietnamese troops are allowed to remain in South Vietnam.
1973 Jan. President Nixon citing progress in the peace negotiations on January 15th announces a suspension of all U.S. offensive action in North Vietnam.
1973 Jan. United States, South Vietnam, and North Vietnam sign the Paris Peace Accords on January 23rd, ending America's combat involvement.
1973 Jan. President Richard Nixon announced on January 23rd an agreement has been reached to "end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and S.E. Asia."
1973 Jan. President Nixon announces the cease-fire in Vietnam on January 24th. The military draft ends.
1973 Jan. The U.S., North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the Viet Cong sign the Paris Peace Accords on January 27th.The U.S. will cease all military actions and withdraw all such personnel within 60 days. North Vietnam agree to an immediate cease-fire and the release of all American POWs within 60 days.
Vietnam remains divided with South Vietnam having two governments, President Thieu's regime and one led by the Viet Cong.  150,000 NVA troops remain in South Vietnam.
1973 Jan. Lt. Col. William B. Nolde is killed on January 27th. He is the last American soldier to die before implementation of the cease-fire. His services were held at Arlington National Cemetery.
1973 Jan. January 27th is the official end to the Vietnam War.  North Vietnam released 591 military and civilian prisoners between January 27th and March 29th. In that two month period 23,000 U.S. troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam. 
1973 Jan. The Cease fire goes into effect on January 28th.
1973 Feb. Operation Homecoming begins in Hanoi on February 12th with the first release of American POWs of the Vietnam conflict. Hanoi claims somewhere around 591 American Soldiers held as POWs.
1973 March Maj. Kenneth Cordier an Air Force pilot, after 2,284 days as a POW is released on March 4th.  He stated the Vietcong incessantly repeated John Kerry's one-line statement, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"  Many other POWs had similar stories. George Day, Former POW is quoted in "Stolen Honor" as saying about Kerry, “This man committed an act of treason. He lied, he besmirched our name and he did it for self-interest. And now he wants us to forget.”
1973 March 67 more American POWs are freed in Hanoi on March 29th.
1973 March The last 2,500 U.S. combat troops leave Vietnam on March 29th, marking the actual end of American military involvement in Vietnam. President Nixon declared "the day we have all worked and prayed for has finally come." America's longest war and first "defeat" ends. Although there was not a military victory, thus a defeat there was an ambiguous victory; the cold war was stalled as attentions were pretty much kept upon North and South Vietnam.
1973 April President Nixon and President Thieu meet at San Clemente, California in April where Nixon reiterates his promise of a military response if North Vietnam violates the peace agreement.
1973 April Senate hearings confirm that secret bombings in Cambodia had started a year before the April 30th, 1970 incursions.
1973 April On April 1st Hanoi releases the last of the 591 American POWs. It is believed others were still kept prisoner as America will for many years seek more information on those unaccounted for. The last known American POW that was released was Captain Robert White.
1973 April H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, top Nixon aides resign on April 30th due to their involvement in the Watergate break-in.
1973 May Due to U.S. continued bombing of Laos and Cambodia the House of Representatives voted 219 to 188, on May 10th, in favor of cutting off Indochina funds.
1973 May The U.S. Senate took action on May 31st to prohibit use of appropriated funds  for combat activities in Laos or Cambodia.
1973 June In a veto-proof vote (278-124 in the House and 64-26 in the Senate) on June 19th the U.S. Congress forbids U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia beginning August 15th, by passage of the Case-Church Amendment. The Amendment will allow another invasion of South Vietnam by the NVA without concern for U.S. reprisals by bombing.
1973 June Graham Martin becomes the new U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam on June 24th.
1973 July Mines installed during Operation Linebacker are removed from North Vietnam ports in July by the U.S. Navy.
1973 July Hearings on the 1969-70 secret bombings of Cambodia begin on July 16th by the U.S. Senate Armed Forces Committee.
1973 July  On July 17th, the second day of the U.S. Senate Armed Forces Committee hearings, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger testified that 3500 bombing raids into Cambodia were launched against NVA positions for the purpose of protecting American troops.
The bombing campaign angers many of  President Nixon's adversaries in Congress, prompting the first calls for his impeachment.
1973 Aug. U.S. bombing in Cambodia is curtailed on August 14th, in compliance with the Case-Church Amendment. Thus ends 12 years of combat in Southeast Asia.
1973 Aug. President Nixon appoints Henry Kissinger, as Secretary of State on August 22nd, to replace William Rogers. 
1973 Sept. South Vietnamese troops attack the North Vietnamese Army near Pleiku on September 22nd.
1973 Oct. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigns on October 10th in response to a political scandal. Gerald R. Ford is appointed to the position of vice president.
1973 Nov. The U.S. Congress overrides President Nixon's veto of the War Powers Act on November 7th. The legislation limits presidential powers to commit American forces abroad without approval of Congress.
1973 Dec. The Viet Cong attack a fuel storage facility near Saigon on December 3rd, destroying 18 million gallons of fuel.
  Info. U.S. "military involvement" ended in Vietnam during 1973.
Henry Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize.
The war has cost 150 billion American dollars.
Over 2,000,000 Americans served in Vietnam during the conflict. 500,000 of those saw actual combat.
47,244 Americans were killed in action during the conflict with 8000 of those being airmen. There were 10,446 non-combat deaths. Among the 300,000 wounded, 153,329 were seriously wounded with 10,000 of those being amputees.
Vietnamese deaths will be calculated at just under 5,000,000 of which 4,000,000 were civilians.
As of 1973 there were over 2,400 American POWs/MIAs that were unaccounted for.

© Copyright 2007 Roger W Hancock 

1974 - Vietnam War
1974 May Congress initiates impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon on May 9th regarding involvement in the Watergate break-in.
1974 Aug. Richard M. Nixon resigns as President on August 9th rather than take the country through impeachment proceedings.  Gerald R. Ford becomes the 6th president to cope with Vietnam when he is sworn in as the 38th President of the United States of America.
1974 Info. During 1974, North Vietnam, in violation of the Paris Peace Treaty, initiates minor attacks into South Vietnam to test America's response. There was no military response by the U.S.
1974 Sept. In September, Congress appropriates a limited $700 million for South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese Army is left under-funded reducing military readiness.
1974 Sept. President Gerald R. Ford announced on September 16th the implementation of a clemency program for Vietnam War draft evaders and military deserters. The program required an oath of allegiance and up to two years of community service. Less than 20 percent of those eligible will avail themselves of the amnesty program; 22,5000 out of 124,000 eligible men. The amnesty program ended on March 31st in 1975.
1974 Oct. In October the Politburo of North Vietnam makes plans to invade South Vietnam in 1975.
1974 Nov. Convicted for murder of 22 civilians at My Lai and having served 3 1/2 years under house arrest, William Calley is freed on November 19th.
1974 Dec. On December 13th North Vietnam tests President Ford's resolve violating the Paris peace treaty. The NVA attack Phuoc Long Province in South Vietnam. Ford delivers diplomatic protests only. The Congressional ban on U.S. military activity in Southeast Asia prevents a military retaliation.
1974 Dec. Leaders of North Vietnam meet on December 18th in Hanoi to draw up plans for a final victory.

© Copyright 2007 Roger W Hancock 

1975 - Vietnam War  -  ends
1975 Jan. The North Vietnamese Army, supplied by the Soviet Union has become the fifth largest army in the world. The North Vietnamese Army's general staff had planned a 20 division invasion of South Vietnam anticipating a two year campaign before victory. The plan is approved by North Vietnam's Politburo on January 8th. South Vietnam's forces will collapse within just 55 days of the offensive.
1975 Jan. Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger testifies before Congress on January 14th, stating the U.S. is not living up to an earlier promise to President Thieu of South Vietnam. The promise was for "severe retaliatory action" should North Vietnam violated the Paris peace treaty.
1975 Jan. During a January 21st press conference, President Ford says the U.S. is unwilling to re-enter the war.
1975 Feb. NVA General Van Tien Dung secretly crosses into South Vietnam on February 5th to personally command the planned two year offensive.
1975 March 22 Divisions of NVA forces begin the offensive against South Vietnam by attacking Ban Me Thuot in the Central Highlands on March 9th.
1975 March On March 10th while the battle at Ban Me Thuot continues other NVA troops continue on towards Saigon.
1975 March Ban Me Thuot falls on March 11th after half of 4000 defending South Vietnamese soldiers surrender or desert.
1975 March On March 13th President Thieu abandons the Highlands and two northern provinces to the NVA. Roads are clogged causing a general chaos by the mass exodus of civilians and soldiers. This retreat becomes known as "the convoy of tears."
1975 March With the South Vietnamese Army nearing collapse, NVA command met on March 18th to modify the objective of victory by May 1st rather then the original two years.
1975 March Quang Tri City falls to the North Vietnamese Army on March 19th.
1975 March Tam Ky is over-run on March 24th by the North Vietnamese Army.
1975 March After a three day siege, Hue falls on March 25th without resistance. South Vietnamese troops begin to break off running from other threatened areas.  Refugees numbering in the millions flee southward.
1975 March Chu Lai is evacuated on March 26th in anticipation of a NVA attack.
1975 March 35,000 NVA troops prepare on March 28th to attck Da Nang as shelling begins.
1975 March Da Nang falls on March 30th when 100,000 South Vietnamese soldiers surrender after their commanding officers fled, abandoning them.
1975 March The Ho Chi Minh Campaign begins on March 31st with a final push by the NVA toward Saigon.
1975 April A United States Air Force C-5A Galaxy transporting orphaned children, in Operation Baby Lift, having just taken flight crashes near Saigon killing 172 of those on board.
1975 April 38 miles from Saigon. 40,000 NVA attack Xuan Loc, on April 9th, encountering the first real resistance from South Vietnamese troops.
1975 April The Cambodian government surrenders, on April 17th, to Khmer Rouge forces.
1975 April U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin meets with President Thieu on April 20th to pressure a resignation. Washington considered the gravity of the situation and unlikely negotiations between Thieu and the Communists.
1975 April President Thieu resigns on April 21st. In a TV speech to the South Vietnam people Thieu, bitter and teary-eyed rambles for 90 minutes.  Thieu read from Nixon's 1972 letter pledging "severe retaliatory action" should North Vietnam threaten South Vietnam. Thieu blasts the Paris peace Accords, Henry Kissinger and the U.S. Thieu charges that, "The United States has not respected its promises. It is inhumane. It is untrustworthy. It is irresponsible." The CIA then ushers Thieu into exile in Taiwan.
1975 April After two weeks of battling the 18th Army Division of the South Vietnam Army Xuan Loc falls to the NVA on April 22nd.  The resitance against the NVA inflicted 5,000 casualties delaying the Ho Chi Minh Campaign by two weeks.
1975 April Saigon is overflowing with refugees as 100,000 NVA soldiers advance on April 23rd.
1975 April On April 23rd, President Ford delivers a speech at Tulane University stating the Vietnam conflict is "a war that is finished as far as America is concerned."  President Ford had asked Congress for $750,000,000 to help America's ally.
1975 April April 25 - Vietnam War: As NVA forces approach the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy is evacuated, and closes nearly ten years since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.
1975 April Saigon is besieged by the NVA on April 27th. Within the city are 30,000 Vietnamese soldiers that are without leadership.  The NVA fire rockets into densely populated Civilian areas causing chaos and looting.
1975 April "Neutralist" General Duong Van "Big" Minh, on April 28th, becomes president of South Vietnam and appeals to North Vietnam for a cease-fire but is ignored.
1975 April The Tan Son Nhut air base in Saigon is shelled by the NVA on April 29th. Two U.S. Marines at the gate to the compound are killed. Chaos ensues with South Vietnamese civilians looting the air base.
President Ford orders Operation Frequent Wind which was to evacuate 7,000 Americans and South Vietnamese from Saigon by helicopter. A pre-arraigned signal code is broadcast over the radio; the song "White Christmas." When the helicopters are swarmed by panicked civilians the mission is shifted to the American Embassy where the situation deteriorates also as thousands of civilians try to gain sanctuary inside.  Standing of the coast to take on incoming Americans and refugees were three U.S. aircraft carriers. Flying American made helicopters many South Vietnamese pilots also land on the carriers. Those helicopters were pushed overboard to provide room for more incoming crafts. Footage of $250,000 choppers being dropped over the side becomes a vivid record of the war's end.
1975 April As the evacuation of U.S. personnel and South Vietnamese refugees proceed, the NVA are sweeping the city. The last American Soldier is killed in Vietnam on April 29th.
1975 April America's official presence in Saigon ends at 8:35 a.m. on April 30th, with the last Americans (10 marines) being evacuated by helicopter from the roof of the U.S. Embassy. Hours later Saigon falls with South Vietnamese President Duong Van Minh broadcasting an unconditional surrender to the Viet Cong. At 11:00 a.m. the flag of the Viet Cong flies from the presidential palace.
1975 April Saigon falls to North Vietnam in the early hours of April 30th and is renamed Ho Chi Minh City. The Independent Socialist Republic of Vietnam is formed reuniting Vietnam under communist control. Washington extends the embargo of North Vietnam to all of Vietnam.
1975 May The American merchant ship SS Mayaguez, while in international waters of the Gulf of Siam, was seized by the Cambodian navy on May 12th. The Mayaguez was transporting non arms supplies, from Hong-Kong to Sattahip, for military bases in Thailand.
1975 May 38 service members are killed on May 15th when U.S. Navy and Marines rescue the The American merchant ship SS Mayaguez
© Copyright 2007 Roger W Hancock 


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