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This Month in the Vietnam War: July 1965 - 1973


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1972-Delta-Airlines-DC-10-Jumbo-Jet-StewDelta Airlines Ad - 1972

July 1, 1965 - Viet Cong stage a mortar attack against Da Nang air base and destroy three aircraft.

July 8, 1965 - Henry Cabot Lodge is reappointed as U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam.

July 21-28 - President Johnson meets with top aides to decide the future course of action in Vietnam.

July 28, 1965 - During a noontime press conference, President Johnson announces he will send 44 combat battalions to Vietnam increasing the U.S. military presence to 125,000 men. Monthly draft calls are doubled to 35,000. "I have asked the commanding general, General Westmoreland, what more he needs to meet this mounting aggression. He has told me. And we will meet his needs. We cannot be defeated by force of arms. We will stand in Vietnam."
"...I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battle. I have spoken to you today of the divisions and the forces and the battalions and the units, but I know them all, every one. I have seen them in a thousand streets, of a hundred towns, in every state in this union-working and laughing and building, and filled with hope and life. I think I know, too, how their mothers weep and how their families sorrow."


AnitaEkberg1.jpgAnita Ekberg


July 6, 1966 - Hanoi Radio reports that captured American pilots have been paraded through the streets of Hanoi through jeering crowds.

July 11, 1966 - The U.S. intensifies bombing raids against portions of the Ho Chi Minh trail winding through Laos.

July 15, 1966 - Operation Hastings is launched by U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese troops against 10,000 NVA in Quang Tri Province. This is the largest combined military operation to date in the war.

July 30, 1966 - For the first time, the U.S. bombs NVA troops in the Demilitarized Zone, the buffer area separating North and South Vietnam.




July 1967 - General Westmoreland requests an additional 200,000 reinforcements on top of the 475,000 soldiers already scheduled to be sent to Vietnam, which would bring the U.S. total in Vietnam to 675,000. President Johnson agrees only to an extra 45,000.

July 7, 1967 - North Vietnam's Politburo makes the decision to launch a widespread offensive against South Vietnam. Conceived in three phases, the first phase involves attacks against remote border areas in an effort to lure American troops away from South Vietnam's cities. The second phase (Tet Offensive) will be an attack against the cities themselves by Viet Cong forces aided by NVA troops, in the hope of igniting a "general uprising" to overthrow the government of South Vietnam. The third phase involves the actual invasion of South Vietnam by NVA troops coming from North Vietnam.

July 29, 1967 - A fire resulting from a punctured fuel tank kills 134 U.S. crewmen aboard the USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin, in the worst naval accident since World War II.


AnitaEkberg2.jpgAnita Ekberg


July 1968 - Congress passes a ten percent income tax surcharge to defray the ballooning costs of the war.

July 1, 1968 - General Westmoreland is replaced as U.S. commander in Vietnam by General Creighton W. Abrams.

July 1, 1968 - The Phoenix program is established to crush the secret Viet Cong infrastructure (VCI) in South Vietnam. The VCI, estimated at up to 70,000 Communist guerrillas, has been responsible for a long-standing campaign of terror against Americans, South Vietnamese government officials, village leaders and innocent civilians.
However, the Phoenix program, which is controlled through CORDS under the direction of Robert Komer, generates huge controversy in America concerning numerous alleged assassinations of suspected Viet Cong operatives by South Vietnamese trained by the U.S. The controversy, generated in part through North Vietnamese propaganda, eventually results in Congressional hearings. Testifying in 1971 before Congress, Komer's successor William E. Colby states, "The Phoenix program was not a program of assassination. The Phoenix program was a part of the overall pacification program." Colby admits that 20,587 Viet Cong had been killed "mostly in combat situations...by regular or paramilitary forces."

July 3, 1968 - Three American prisoners of war are released by Hanoi.

July 19, 1968 - President Johnson and South Vietnam's President Thieu meet in Hawaii.


AnitaEkberg3.jpgAnita Ekberg


July 1969 - President Nixon, through a French emissary, sends a secret letter to Ho Chi Minh urging him to settle the war, while at the same time threatening to resume bombing if peace talks remain stalled as of November 1. In August, Hanoi responds by repeating earlier demands for Viet Cong participation in a coalition government in South Vietnam.

July 8, 1969 - The very first U.S. troop withdrawal occurs as 800 men from the 9th Infantry Division are sent home. The phased troop withdrawal will occur in 14 stages from July 1969 through November 1972.

July 17, 1969 - Secretary of State William Rogers accuses Hanoi of "lacking humanity" in the treatment of American POWs.

July 25, 1969 - The "Nixon Doctrine" is made public. It advocates U.S. military and economic assistance to nations around the world struggling against Communism, but no more Vietnam-style ground wars involving American troops. The emphasis is thus placed on local military self-sufficiency, backed by U.S. air power and technical assistance to assure security.

July 30, 1969 - President Nixon visits U.S. troops and President Thieu in Vietnam. This is Nixon's only trip to Vietnam during his presidency.




July 1, 1971 - 6100 American soldiers depart Vietnam, a daily record.

July 15, 1971 - President Nixon announces he will visit Communist China in 1972, a major diplomatic breakthrough.

July 17, 1971 - The 'Plumbers' unit is established in the White House by Nixon aides John Ehrlichman and Charles Colson to investigate Daniel Ellsberg and to 'plug' various news leaks. Colson also compiles an 'enemies list' featuring the names of 200 prominent Americans considered to be anti-Nixon.


AnitaEkberg4.jpgAnita Ekberg


July 11, 1972 - NVA attack on An Loc is thwarted by South Vietnamese troops aided by B-52 air strikes.

July 13, 1972 - Paris peace talks resume.

July 14, 1972 - The Democrats choose Senator George McGovern of South Dakota as their presidential nominee. McGovern, an outspoken critic of the war, advocates "immediate and complete withdrawal."

July 18, 1972 - During a visit to Hanoi, actress Jane Fonda broadcasts anti-war messages via Hanoi Radio.

July 19, 1972 - South Vietnamese troops begin a major counter-offensive against NVA in Binh Dinh Province.


AnitaEkberg5.jpgAnita Ekberg


July 1973 - The U.S. Navy removes mines from ports in North Vietnam which had been installed during Operation Linebacker.

July 16, 1973 - The U.S. Senate Armed Forces Committee begins hearings into the secret bombing of Cambodia during 1969-70.

July 17, 1973 - Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger testifies before the Armed Forces Committee that 3500 bombing raids were launched into Cambodia to protect American troops by targeting NVA positions. The extent of Nixon's secret bombing campaign angers many in Congress and results in the first call for Nixon's impeachment.



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