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Actually, there should be an asterisk next to the title -- Paris Peace Accord Ending the War in Vietnam* -- to make it historically correct as the fighting continued until the capture of Saigon by the Vietnam People's Army in April 1975 and the reunification of North and South Vietnam the following year.  However, with the signing of the peace accord an immediate cease fire was enacted, all U.S. military personnel were withdrawn within 60 days and all American POWs were released within 60 days.

Solider in Vietnam
The average age of the US Serviceman appeared to be age 19 or 20

Sixty-one percent of the men who were killed in the Vietnam War were 21 years of age or younger

7,484 women served in Vietnam.  6,250 (approximately 83.5% were nurses)

88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian

10.6% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Black

1% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were of other races

A helicopter takes off from a clearing near Du Co Special Forces camp, Vietnam in 1965.
A helicopter takes off from a clearing near Du Co Special Forces Camp, Vietnam in 1965.
The Vietnam War was the first conflict that saw wide scale tactical deployment of helicopters. The mountainous terrain and broad canopy of jungle made the use of helicopters a necessity. The Bell UH-1 Iroquois was used extensively in counter-guerilla operations both as a troop carrier and a gunship. In the latter role, the "Huey" as it became affectionately known, was outfitted with a variety of armaments including M60 machineguns, multi-barreled 7.62 mm Gatling guns and unguided air-to-surface rockets. The Hueys were also successfully used in MEDEVAC and search and rescue roles.

The H-21 Shawnee was the first US helicopter to undertake a combat role in Vietnam. Nicknamed the ‘Flying Banana’, this odd-looking helicopter was responsible for dropping 1,000 South Vietnamese paratroopers inside a Viet Cong complex on the outskirts of Saigon on January 12th 1962. At the time, members of the Viet Cong would flee at the sight of helicopters. But they soon realized that lightly-armored, cumbersome machines like the Shawnee could be fought against. They changed their tactics and devised specific training methods to countenance the new threat. Nevertheless, the US Army began making massive troop movements, sometimes using up to 100 helicopters at a time.

In all, some 16 types of helicopter were employed during the Vietnam War. Along with ‘utility’ and ‘attack’ types, a number of ‘observation’, ‘cargo’ and ‘heavy’ versions buzzed the Vietnamese skies between the early 1960s and mid-70s. Sadly, nearly 5,000 of them would never return from what became the world’s first helicopter war.

Vietnam Era Zippo Lighter
The movement against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War began small--among peace activists and leftist intellectuals on college campuses--but gained national prominence in 1965, after the United States began bombing North Vietnam in earnest. Anti-war marches and other protests, such as the ones organized by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), attracted a widening base of support over the next three years, peaking in early 1968 after the successful Tet Offensive by North Vietnamese troops proved that war's end was nowhere in sight.

The peace movement spawned a host of protest songs along with the iconic peace symbol.


Since 1973, the remains of more than 900 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

For more than a decade the United States has conducted joint field activities with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover the remains of missing Americans. Throughout those countries, teams continue to investigate crash and burial sites, as well as interview locals to gain additional knowledge. The United States also continues to obtain access to historical wartime records and archives that provide information relevant to the fates of missing Americans.

Today, more than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the conflict.

The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1961. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.

On this date in 1973, Lt. Col. William B. Nolde was the last American solider to die in combat in Vietnam.

58,148 were killed in Vietnam.

75,000 were severely disabled.

23,214 were 100% disabled.

5,283 lost limbs.

1,081 sustained multiple amputations.

Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21.

11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.

Of those killed, 17,539 were married.

Average age of men killed: 23.1 years.

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

The oldest man killed was 62 years old.


Source Material for Additional Reading:

Vietnam War Statistics

Interesting Vietnam War Facts, Statistics & Myths

The History Place presents The Vietnam War

Vietnam War Protests

Vietnam - The Helicopter War

Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office

Protest Songs from the Vietnam War

Vietnam War - End of the Conflict

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