The Vietnam war was fought in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975. It involved the north Vietnamese and the national liberation front that was in conflict with the united states and the south Vietnamese army. From 1946 till 1954, the Vietnamese had struggled for their independence from France during the first indo-china war. At the end of this war, the country was temporarily divided into north and south Vietnam. North Vietnam came under the Vietnamese communists who had opposed France and who aimed for a united Vietnam under communist rule. The south was controlled by the Vietnamese who had collaborated with the French. The united states became involved in Vietnam because they were afraid if Vietnam fell under communist rule that communism would spread along southeast Asia.
Branch of Service Battle Deaths Other Deaths Non-fatal wounds
Army- 30,922 7,373 96,802
Navy- 1,631 931 4,178
Marines- 13,084 1,753 51,392
Air Force- 1,741 842 931
total- 47,378 10,749 153,303
Pictures of the Vietnam War
A Viet Cong base camp being destroyed. In the foreground is Private First Class Raymond Rumpa, St Paul, Minnesota, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, with 45 pound 90mm recoilless rifle.
Pictures of Vietnam (cont.)
President Lyndon B. Johnson in Vietnam: Decorating a soldier in a hospital. 12/23/1967
My name is Shane Wilson-south and my father Micheal Kevin South was in the Vietnam war as a young man. I took an interview of him, so that we could understand a little more about the war.
Q: how old were you when you were enlisted, where were you, & what happened?
A: “ I was just 22, and I got drafted. I tried to run from the draft, but officers caught me heading towards the Canadian border, and arrested me. I had the choice of enlistment or prison time, so I chose to enlist in the navy.”
Q: what was your view on the war?
A: “I thought that it was wrong for the U.S to go into that war. I believe that it was a mistake, and many young men died.”
Q: did anyone you knew die?
A: “no. Many went crazy, but I didn’t know any who died.”
Q: what was your position and rank on the ship?
A: “I was the lowest rank possible, I cleaned the barrels on those gigantic cannons.”
Q: When and how did you get out of the war?
A: “Well, we were about to deploy from san diego California, to the Philipines, and from there to the Vietnam coast were our ship would begin bombing the coast of nam. I refused to bomb the coast and kill innocent children and people that had nothing to do with this political war. I refused, and was discharged, and got off the boat in San Diego. Vietnam was a horrible war. Truly.”
Q: what was your daily routiene like?
A: “ Lot’s of sweeping. Lots of manual labor, moving crates and stuff. Standing on post a lot too. Guarding nothing for an enemy that doesn’t exist. We did that a lot. That’s pretty much it”
Q: What did you miss most?
A: “ I missed my mother, who acctually died while I was in service, I missed my home, I missed the culture of the time. Everything. I missed everything.”