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Author Topic: Vietnam: Facts, Figures, Data and Tidbits  (Read 11991 times)
Mad_Russian
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« on: 21 February 2011, 23:57:50 »
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This thread is about all things Vietnam War from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident 2 August 1964, until the fall of Saigon in 1975.

The major resources for the thread are:

"The Vietnam War: An Illustrated History of the conflict in Southeast Asia" by Salamander Books primarily pages 12 - 16

"NAM: The Vietnam Experience 1965-1975" by Tim Page and John Pimlott Select sections throughout the book.

"Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War" by Harry S. Summers, Jr. Select sections throughout the book.

Select books and sections from the Vietnam Studies Series published by the Department of the Army.

"Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War" by James A. Dunnigan and Albert A. Nofi


I hope this thread has interesting and unusual information, as well as that chart or set of data you've been looking for. For the most part this thread will not have OOB or TO&E information in it. That's to be put where it's more easily located and concentrated.

Enjoy.

Good Hunting.

MR
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« Reply #1 on: 22 February 2011, 00:06:34 »
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Average Age of Soldiers in 3 American Wars

Civil War - 26
WWII - 26
Vietnam War - 22

Average Percentages of Volunteers

Civil War:
   Drafted - 0.4%
   Volunteered - 99.6
WWII:
   Drafted - 65%
   Volunteered - 35%
Vietnam War:
   Drafted - 35%
   Volunteered - 65%

Soldiers by Race

Civil War:
   Black - 8%
   White - 92%
   Other - 0.5%
WWII:
   Black - 8%
   White - 91%
   Other - 1%
Vietnam War:
   Black - 12.5%
   White - 86.3%
   Other - 1.2%


Good Hunting.

MR
« Last Edit: 23 February 2011, 04:52:36 by Mad_Russian » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: 22 February 2011, 00:14:46 »
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American Military Personnel Who Died in Vietnam

Grades E-1 through E-9
Deaths - 50.274
Percent - 86.46%
Average Age - 22.37

Grades W-1 through W-4
Deaths - 1,276
Percent - 2.19%
Average Age - 24.73

Grades O-1 through O-8
Deaths - 6,598
Percent - 11.35%
Average Age - 28.43


8 nurses died-1 was killed in action.


The youngest known US service man to die in the Vietnam War as a US Marine that was believed to be 13. Since he lied about his age to get into the USMC his exact age has never officially been given.

One man killed in Vietnam was only 16 years old (RABER, PAUL J.)

The oldest man killed was 62 years old (TAYLOR, KENNA CLYDE)

11,465 KIAs were less than 20 years old.

One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,169 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.59 million who served. Although the percent who died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled.

MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded who survived the first 24 hours died.



E ranks are for Enlisted personnel.

W ranks are for Warrant Officer personnel.

O ranks are for Officer personnel.


The different services use different nomenclatures for the positions. Lower numbers are the most junior on the rank scale, while higher numbers are the most senior.



Good Hunting.

MR
« Last Edit: 23 February 2011, 08:50:08 by Mad_Russian » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: 22 February 2011, 00:21:17 »
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Death By Race for US Soldiers in 3 American Wars

Percentage of Battle Deaths by Race

Civil War
   Black - 2.7%
   White - 97%
   Other - 0.3%

WWII
   Black - 3%
   White - 96%
   Other - 1%

Vietnam War
   Black - 12.5%
   White - 86%
   Other - 1.2%



Good Hunting.

MR
« Last Edit: 22 February 2011, 19:03:32 by Mad_Russian » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: 22 February 2011, 16:50:35 »
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“Chu Lai” was not an actual “place” – not found on any map, not even a Vietnamese name - but rather an unnamed “flat spot to build a runway on”. Unnamed, that is, until Marine LtGen. Victor Krulak, FMFPac Commander, while flying over the area on a recon to find a suitable place to build an airfield and supporting cantonment, named it. “Chu Lai” which are the Mandarin Chinese characters for “Victor Krulak”.

http://mcvthf.org/VPAStarlite.htm

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MR
« Last Edit: 22 February 2011, 19:03:50 by Mad_Russian » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: 22 February 2011, 19:02:52 »
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The Viet Minh's Foreign Legion

One of the genuine "dirty little secrets" of the First Indochina War was the fact that the Viet Minh had serving in it's ranks some former Imperial Japanese Army troops as well as some of Nazi German nationality.

When Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, there were between 1,500 and 4,000 IJA troops that stayed in Indochina. These troops joined the Viet Minh in their fight against the French. Led by Lieutenant Colonel Mukayama, who was later killed in action fighting French forces, these forces included among others, some members of the feared Kempetai, or military secret police. Many of the Japanese troops served as technicians and trainers for the Viet Minh. Some served in combat as well.

The Japanese 51st Mountain Artillery Regiment, almost 900 men strong, appears to have been the core for the first Viet Minh artillery units. It would be around these men that the Viet Minh would build and train their own artillery branch.

Joining these Japanese troops were some former Nazi officials and even German troops recruited in Asia by the Nazi Auslander organization who had been serving in Indochina, preferring to take their chances with the Communists, rather than face Allied war crimes tribunals.

The Viet Minh also acquired some ex-Nazi troops by capturing a number of French Foreign Legionnaires(FFL), which immediately after WWII was heavily populated with ex-Nazi servicemen. Ho Chi Minh  went so far as to adopt one of these ex patriots. The man took the name of Ho Chi Long in an attempt to entice other FFL members to defect.

This grabbing of any nations military troops to use for your own purposes was by no means an unusual occurrence in the Far East after WWII had ended.  Both sides in the Chinese Civil War used former Japanese personnel who, for various reasons preferred not to return to Japan.

There is even a rumor that the famous Nazi commando, Otto Skorzeny, served as a technical advisor to the ARVN, for a time, in the 1950's.

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MR
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« Reply #6 on: 22 February 2011, 19:23:07 »
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While the Vietnam War gained all the headlines there were in-fact several other Communist Insurgencies around the world from the end of WWII until the mid-60's.

Communist Insurgencies 1944 through 1966

Greek Civil War 1944-1949
Spanish Republic Insurgency 1944-1952
Chinese Civil War 1945-1949
First Indochina War 1945-1954
Iranian Communist Uprising 1945-1946
Philippine Huk War 1946-1954
Madagascan National Revolt 1947-1949
Korean Partisan War 1948-1953
Malayan Emergency 1948-1960
Kenyan Mau-Mau Rebellion 1952-1955
Cuban Revolution 1956-1958
Sarawak/Sabah "Confrontation" 1960-1966

This table lists only those insurgencies that are either communist or apparently communist inspired.

Government Winners
Communist Winners

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MR
« Last Edit: 2 March 2011, 06:06:50 by Mad_Russian » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: 22 February 2011, 20:46:35 »
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The First Indochina War (called the Indochina War in France and French War in Vietnam) began after World War II ended and lasted until the French defeat in 1954. After a long campaign of resistance Viet Minh forces had claimed a victory after Japanese and Vichy French forces surrendered in the North at the end of World War II. During World War II, the South was temporarily occupied by the British forces, who restored French Republic colonial control. In the United Nations and alliance with the British and U.S., the French demanded return of their former Indochina colony prior to agreeing to participate in the NATO alliance opposing Soviet expansion beyond the Warsaw Pact countries in the Cold War. The communist/nationalist Viet Minh, whom the Allies had supported during the war, continued fighting the French with support from China and the USSR, ultimately driving the NATO-backed French out of Indochina.


The Second Indochina War (called the Vietnam War in the West and the American War in Vietnam) began as a conflict between the United States-backed South Vietnamese government and its opponents, both the South Vietnamese-based communist National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), now known as the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN). It began in the late 1950s and lasted until 1975. The United States, which supported France in the first war, backed the South Vietnam government in opposition to the National Liberation Front and the Communist-allied NVA. The North benefited from military and financial support from China and the Soviet Union, members of the Communist bloc. Fighting also occurred during this time in Cambodia between the US-backed government, the NVA, and the Communist-backed Khmer Rouge (known as the Cambodian Civil War, 1967–1975) and in Laos between the US-backed government, the NVA, and the Communist-backed Pathet Lao (known as the Laotian Civil War or Secret War, 1962–1975).


The Cambodian–Vietnamese War followed the Second Indochina War, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and deposed the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. The war lasted from May 1975 to December 1989.
    

The Third Indochina War (called the Sino-Vietnamese War) was a short war fought in February-March 1979 between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The Chinese invaded Vietnam as "punishment" for the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, and withdrew a month later to prewar positions. Chinese combat units were severely mauled by the Vietnamese.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indochina_Wars


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« Reply #8 on: 23 February 2011, 05:24:49 »
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Engagements During the Vietnam War: US Forces in response to battlefield situations.

Ambush by Enemy Forces 23.3%
Ambush by US Forces 8.7%

Attack by Enemy Positions 17.9%
  Deliberate Attack (5.4%)  
  Spontaneous Attack (12.5%)

Defense of Position 30.4%
Hot Landing Zone 12.5%
Meeting Engagement 7.1%

Color Code:
US Forces on the Defensive
US Forces on the Offensive
US Forces on the Offensive/Defensive

Of the engagements that involved US troops 66.2% of the time they were on a defensive footing. 14.1% of the time they were on an offensive footing and 7.1% of the time they were involved in a Meeting Engagement. What that comes down to in simple terms is that 2/3 of the time the VC/NVA were initiating the combat.


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MR

« Last Edit: 23 February 2011, 05:34:46 by Mad_Russian » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: 23 February 2011, 05:37:49 »
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The HOT SPOTS....

Most US casualties in Vietnam occurred in two locations. In I Corps, up near the DMZ and down south near Saigon. The rest of the country saw sporadic fighting but these two areas were in constant action.

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« Reply #10 on: 23 February 2011, 08:12:33 »
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The Battle of Lima Site 85

The Battle of Lima Site 85, also called Battle of Phou Pha Thi, was a battle of the Vietnam War that resulted in the largest single ground combat loss of United States Air Force members in that war. The site was located atop Phou Pha Thi; a mountain in Viengxay District, Houaphanh Province, Laos, 15 miles (24 km) from the border of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV or North Vietnam) and 30 miles (48 km) from Sam Neua, capital of the Pathet Lao.

The term "Lima Site" was derived from the American acronym for map designations of "Landing Sites" within the Secret War zone of the Second Indochina War, an active though covert battleground in the larger Cold War. Because Laos was considered a neutral country by the International Agreement on the Neutrality of Laos signed in Geneva, Switzerland on 23 July 1962 by 14 nations (including the People's Republic of China, the Soviet Union, North and South Vietnam and the United States,) existence of these sites was not officially acknowledged until 1986. At the time of the battle, radar technicians whose parent unit was the 1st Combat Evaluation Group (1CEVG) manned LS-85. Like Raven Forward Air Controllerss, they had been temporarily discharged from the military in a process called "sheep-dipping," The technicians had no training in close quarters combat as there were plans in place to evacuate them before it came to that, but they remained on the mountain one day too long.

On 12 January 1968, four Vietnam People's Air Force Antonov An-2 (NATO reporting name "Colt") biplanes lifted off on a mission to destroy the base. The Antonovs reached LS 85 and two Antonovs began dropping 120-mm mortar rounds on the site and making strafing runs.

An Air America Bell 205 helicopter, carrying ammunition to the site, lifted off to avoid destruction. Captain Ted Moore said that the attack “Looked like World War I,” and gave chase to a Antonov as it turned back to the Vietnamese border. Moore positioned his helicopter above the biplane, as Crew Chief Glenn Woods fired an AK-47 rifle down on it. The pursuit continued for more than 20 minutes until the second AN-2 flew underneath the helicopter. Moore and Woods watched as the first AN-2 dropped and crashed into a ridge just west of the North Vietnamese border. The second Antonov hit the side of a mountain 5 km farther north. The other Antonovs escaped, inactive observers throughout. Within hours a CIA Special Activities Division team reached the crashed aircraft and found bullet holes in the downed planes.


Ted Moore and Glenn Woods gained the distinction of having shot down a fixed-wing aircraft from a helicopter, a singular aerial victory in the Vietnam War.


On 27 July 2007, the CIA officially dedicated a painting entitled "An Air Combat First" in an event attended by members of the Air America Board; pilot Ted Moore; Sawang Reed, the wife of flight mechanic Glenn Woods; CIA paramilitary legend Bill Lair; and the donors of the painting, former Air America officers Marius Burke and Boyd D. Mesecher.

The Vietnam People's Air Force Museum, Hanoi has on display an Antonov used in the attack.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lima_Site_85

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« Reply #11 on: 23 February 2011, 08:41:50 »
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And Then There Were Helicopters:

Approximately 12,000 helicopters saw action in Vietnam (all services).

It is believed that the Huey along with the Huey Cobra have more combat flight time than any other aircraft in the history of warfare assuming you count actual hostile fire exposure versus battle area exposure.  As an example, heavy bombers during World War II most often flew missions lasting many hours with only 10 to 20 minutes of that time exposed to hostile fire.  Helicopters in Vietnam seldom flew above 1,500 feet which is traffic pattern altitude for bombers and were always exposed to hostile fire even in their base camps.

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« Reply #12 on: 23 February 2011, 08:43:36 »
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Census Stats and "Been There" Wanabees:

1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 (census figures).

    * During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country was: 9,492,958.
    * As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between '95 and '00. That's 390 per day. During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE VIETNAM VETS ARE NOT.

http://www.uswings.com/vietnamfacts.asp

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« Reply #13 on: 23 February 2011, 08:59:36 »
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Those Who Served

3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China sea waters).

9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era (Aug.5, 1964-May 7, 1975).

7,484 American women served in Vietnam. 6,250 were nurses.

Wounded in action: 303,704

Hostile deaths: 47,378

Severely disabled: 75,000--23,214 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.

Married men killed: 17,539

Missing in action: 2,338

50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964

Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1969)

National Guard: 6,140 served; 101 died

Last man drafted: June 30, 1973

97% of Vietnam veterans were honorably discharged

The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. (Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor at the University of California, Berkley a renowned expert on the Vietnam War) [Westmoreland] This included Tet 68, which was a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.

240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam era.

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« Reply #14 on: 23 February 2011, 09:18:27 »
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The Medal Count

Medals Awarded During the Vietnam War

Purple Heart - more than 300,000

Bronze Star for Service 26,215

Bronze Star for Achievement 2,159

Bronze Star for Valor 6,215

The Army awarded 1.3 million “meritorious” Bronze Stars and Army Commendation Medals in Vietnam, this was hardly unique. After World War II, Army Regulation 600-45 authorized every soldier who had received either a Combat Infantryman’s Badge or a Combat Medical Badge to also be awarded a meritorious Bronze Star. The Army has no data regarding how many soldiers received Bronze Stars through this blanket procedure.


Compare the top three actual gallantry awards, the Army awarded:

289 Medals of Honor in World War II and 155 in Vietnam
4,434 Distinguished Service Crosses in World War II and 846 in  Vietnam
73,651 Silver Stars in World War II against 21,630 in Vietnam

The Marine Corps, which lost 103,000 killed or wounded out of some 400,000 sent to Vietnam, awarded:

47 Medals of Honor (34  posthumously)
362 Navy Crosses (139 posthumously)
2,592 Silver Stars

http://www.jameswebb.com/articles/americanlegion-whywefought.html

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« Reply #15 on: 24 February 2011, 21:24:55 »
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Free World Manpower in South Vietnam 1964-1972

Australia
1964 - 200
1965 - 1,557
1966 - 4,525
1967 - 6,818
1968 - 7,661
1969 - 7,672
1970 - 6,763
1971 - 2,000
1972 - 130

Korea
1964 - 200
1965 - 20,620
1966 - 45,566
1967 - 47,829
1968 - 50,003
1969 - 48,869
1970 - 48,537
1971 - 45,700
1972 - 36,790

Thailand
1964 - 0
1965 - 16
1966 - 244
1967 - 2,205
1968 - 6,005
1969 - 11,568
1970 - 11,586
1971 - 5,700
1972 - 200

New Zealand
1964 - 30
1965 - 119
1966 - 155
1967 - 534
1968 - 516
1969 - 562
1970 - 441
1971 - 100
1972 - 50

Philippines
1964 - 17
1965 - 72
1966 - 2,061
1967 - 2,020
1968 - 1,576
1969 - 189
1970 - 74
1971 - 50
1972 - 50



Total Free World Commitment by Year:
1964 - 447
1965 - 22,352
1966 - 52,531
1967 - 59,406
1968 - 65,761
1969 - 68,850
1970 - 67,401
1971 - 53,550
1972 - 37,220


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« Reply #16 on: 27 February 2011, 08:30:15 »
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VIET CONG ASSASSINATIONS AND KIDNAPPINGS:

To 1960:
Assassinations - 1,700+
Kidnappings - 2,000+

1961:
Assassinations - 1,300+
Kidnappings - 1,318

1962:
Assassinations - 1,118
Kidnappings - 1,118

1963:
Assassinations - 827
Kidnappings - 1,569

1964:
Assassinations - 516
Kidnappings - 1,525

1965:
Assassinations - 305
Kidnappings - 1,730

1966:
Assassinations -1,732
Kidnappings - 3,810

1967:
Assassinations - 3,707
Kidnappings - 5,357

1968:
Assassinations - 5,399
Kidnappings - 8,759

1969:
Assassinations - 6,207
Kidnappings - 6,289

1970:
Assassinations - 5,951
Kidnappings - 6,892

1971:
Assassinations - 3,573
Kidnappings - 5,006

1972:
Assassinations - 4,405
Kidnappings - 13,119

Totals for 1960 through 1972:
Assassinations - 36,725
Kidnappings - 58,499


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« Reply #17 on: 2 March 2011, 05:56:40 »
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US SPECIAL FORCES RECIPIENTS OF THE MEDAL OF HONOR


Eugene Ashley, Jr.
Gary B. Beilkirch
Roy P. Benavidez
William M. Bryant
Brian L. Buker
Jon R. Cavaiani
Drew D. Dix
Roger H.C. Donlon
Loren D. Hagen
Charles E. Hosking Jr.
Robert L. Howard
john J. Kedenburg
Franklin D. Miller
George K. Sisler
Charles Q. Williams
Gordon D. Yntema
Fred W. Zabitosky



Source: "Green Berets At War: U.S. Army Special Forces in Southeast Asia 1956-1975" by Shelby L. Stanton 

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« Reply #18 on: 15 March 2011, 03:02:58 »
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In December 1966 the 3rd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division, completed Operation "Paul Revere" through phase IV, setting the U.S. Army record for the longest sustained combat operation. The operation, begun May 10th by the 3D Brigade Task Force, 25th Inf Div, reached the 230-day mark on 26 Dec. The previous record was 165 days, set by the 25th Infantry Division in WWII during the Philippine Campaign.

Setting such a record required nearly 32 weeks of field conditions and constant exposure to combat -- something never done for this long a time before.



Primary Source:

http://1-14th.com/OpPaulRevere.html


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« Reply #19 on: 15 March 2011, 19:15:31 »
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The Marines often named enemy base areas and "Free Fire Zones" after Wild West locations, examples would be "Dodge City" and the "Arizona Territory". Anybody found in these areas was considered a "gunfighter" and was therefore an enemy.

"Arizona Territory" was located west of An Hoa.  The region drew its name from the rugged and hostile badlands of the American Southwest.  The Marines and the North Vietnamese contested the Arizona Territory for the duration of the war.

Primary Sources:
"1st Marine Division in Vietnam" by Simon Dunston
http://www.usmcpress.com/heritage/1960svietnam/past38.htm

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