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Vietnam Facts vs Fiction
                
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Facts about the Vietnam Conflict
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The information found below was taken from several US Government sources and Internet websites.  There would appear to be a discrepancy in some of the charts when referring to the number of deaths in the Vietnam War.  This is explained in that the death number is constantly changing.  New names are added to the list and the Vietnam Memorial as members of the Armed Forces die as a result of wounds suffered in the conflict.   

A special thanks to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the website "The Wall".

50,000 American Servicemen served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.  

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

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).

 7,484 American women served in Vietnam . 6,250 were nurses.  8 nurses died -1 was killed in action.

          Vietnam Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation.

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

          Hostile deaths: 47,378      see chart below:          
           Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
           Missing in action: 2,338 

              67.6% of all Vietnam Causalities - occurred in the years 1967, 1968, & 1969.

          POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity).

          Wounded in action: 303,704

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

          Married men killed: 17,539

          Men under the age of 21 killed: 61%

          Average age of men killed: 22.8 years.

          Highest political office attained by a Vietnam veteran to date: Vice President Al Gore. 
           He enlisted August 1969; sent to Vietnam January 1971 as an army journalist, assigned to the 20th Engineer Brigade 
           headquartered at Bien Hoa.  He also served at Ft. Rucker.

          Most successful Vietnam veteran/businessman to date: Frederick Smith of Federal Express.

          79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service.

          Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

           The oldest man killed was 62 years old.

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

Total draftees (1965-1973): 1,728,344

Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in
Vietnam
National Guard: 6,140 served; 101 died
Last man drafted:
June 30, 1973

97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged. 

91% of actual Vietnam War era veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country

66% of Vietnam veterans say they would serve again if called upon


War against
Vietnam was never declared by Congress, thus the correct term is Vietnam Conflict, although the word war is commonly used.

Assuming KIA's accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam, the average age of an infantryman (MOS 11B) serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth, it is actually 22.8. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20. [CACF]

 

 

 

CACCF Record Counts by Age at Time of Death or Declaration of Death (as of 12/98) 

Age at Time of Death/Declaration of Death Number of Records
17 12
18 3,103
19 8,283
20 14,095
21 9,705
22 4,798
23 3,495
24 2,650
25 2,018
26 1,414
27 917
28 768
29 710
30-39 4,927
40-49 1,156
50-59 121
60-62 4
Unknown, Not Reported 17
Total 58,193

 

CACCF Record Counts by Branch of Service (as of 12/98)

Military Service Branch Number of Records
Army 38,209
Marine Corps 14,838
Air Force  2,584
Navy 2,555
Coast Guard 7
Total 58,193

 

CACCF Record Counts by Marital Status, as of 12/98

Family Status

Number of Records

Married 17,215
Single 40,775
Unknown, Not Reported 203
Total 58,193

 

CACCF Record Counts by Military Pay Grade, as of 12/98

Military Pay Grade

Number of Records

Enlisted (E1-E9) 50,312
Officer (O1-O8) 6,602
Warrant Officer (W1-W4) 1,278
Unknown, Not Reported 1
Total 58,193

 

CACCF Record Counts by Race (as of 12/98)

Ethnicity

Number of Records

Caucasian 50,120
African American 7,264
American Indian 226
Malayan 252
Mongolian 116
Unknown, Not Reported 215
Total 58,193

 

CACCF Record Counts by Casualty Type (as of 12/98)

Type of Casualty

Number of Records

Hostile,  Killed in Action 38,502
Hostile,  Died of Wounds 5,264
Hostile,  Died While Missing 3,524
Hostile,  Died While Captured 116
Non-Hostile,  Died from Other Causes 7,458
Non-Hostile,  Died of Illness or Injury 1,978
Non-Hostile,  Died While Missing 1,351
Total 58,193

 

CACCF Record Counts by Reason (Cause of Casualty) (as of 12/98)
in order of most frequent cause to least frequent cause

Reason (Cause of Casualty) Number of Records
Gun, Small Arms Fire

18,518

Multiple Fragmentary Wounds 8,456
Air Loss, Crash on Land 7,992
Other Explosive Device 7,450
Artillery, Rocket or Mortar 4,914
Other Accident 1,371
Misadventure 1,326
Drowned, Suffocated 1,207
Vehicle Loss, Crash 1,187
Accidental Homicide 944
Accidental Self Destruction 842
Other Causes 754
Air Loss, Crash in Sea 577
Burns 530
Illness, Disease 482
Suicide 382
Heart Attack 273
Intentional Homicide 234
Malaria 118
Bomb Explosion 52
Stroke 42
Hepatitis 22
Unknown, Not Reported 520
Total 58,193

 

CACCF Record Counts by Service Component (as of 12/98)

Service Component

Number of Records

Regular Military

34,475

Selective Service

17,672

Military Reserves 5,760
National Guard 97
Unknown, Not Reported 189
Total 58,193

 

CACCF Record Counts by Sex (as of 12/98)

Gender

Number of Records

Female 8
Male 58,185
Total 58,193

 7,484 American women served in Vietnam . 6,250 were nurses. 
 
8 nurses died - 1 was killed in action.

CACCF Record Counts by State Home of Record (as of 12/98)

State Home of Record Number of Records
Alabama

1,207

Alaska 57
Arizona 623
Arkansas 588
California 5,573
Canal Zone 2
Colorado 620
Connecticut 611
Delaware 122
District of Columbia 242
Florida 1,952
Georgia 1,582
Guam 70
Hawaii 276
Idaho 217
Illinois 2,934
Indiana 1,532
Iowa 853
Kansas 627
Kentucky 1,055
Louisiana 882
Maine 343
Maryland 1,014
Massachusetts 1,323
Michigan 2,654
Minnesota 1,072
Mississippi 637
Missouri 1,413
Montana 268
Nebraska 395
Nevada 151
New Hampshire 227
New Jersey 1,484
New Mexico 399
New York 4,121
North Carolina 1,609
North Dakota 198
Ohio 3,096
Oklahoma 988
Oregon 709
Pennsylvania 3,144
Puerto Rico 345
Rhode Island 207
South Carolina 896
South Dakota 193
Tennessee 1,291
Texas 3,415
Utah 366
Vermont 100
Virgin Islands 15
Virginia 1,304
Washington 1,050
West Virginia 732
Wisconsin 1,161
Wyoming 120
Other (non-U.S. home of record) 121
Total 58,193
State Home of Record Number of Records

 

State Home of Record by Military Branch.
This chart is provided by  thewall-usa.com

State Home of Record USA USN USAF USMC USCG TOTAL
ALABAMA 849 31 48 279 0 1,207
ALASKA 43 5 1 8 0 57
ARIZONA 397 41 30 155 0 623
ARKANSAS 396 34 25 133 0 588
CALIFORNIA 3,623 313 203 1,432 1 5,572
COLORADO 377 30 45 168 0 620
CONNECTICUT 348 25 38 200 0 611
DELAWARE 81 5 4 32 0 122
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 157 4 13 68 0 242
FLORIDA 1,290 77 112 472 1 1,952
GEORGIA 1,134 49 58 341 0 1,582
HAWAII 216 7 9 44 0 276
IDAHO 140 11 11 54 1 217
ILLINOIS 1,869 119 111 834 0 2,933
INDIANA 987 61 64 420 0 1,532
IOWA 543 58 50 202 0 853
KANSAS 388 48 43 148 0 627
KENTUCKY 766 22 51 216 0 1,055
LOUISIANA 575 40 39 227 1 882
MAINE 216 19 20 88 0 343
MARYLAND 647 34 38 295 0 1,014
MASSACHUSETTS 715 80 57 470 0 1,322
MICHIGAN 1,865 94 75 620 0 2,654
MINNESOTA 711 66 53 242 0 1,072
MISSISSIPPI 489 15 21 112 0 637
MISSOURI 949 57 80 326 0 1,412
MONTANA 169 24 16 59 0 268
NEBRASKA 263 28 23 81 0 395
NEVADA 87 14 5 45 0 151
NEW HAMPSHIRE 134 9 14 70 0 227
NEW JERSEY 929 65 68 422 0 1,484
NEW MEXICO 259 21 13 106 0 399
NEW YORK 2,660 148 190 1,122 0 4,120
NORTH CAROLINA 1,180 52 64 313 0 1,609
NORTH DAKOTA 134 14 13 37 0 198
OHIO 1,945 121 124 904 1 3,095
OKLAHOMA 672 39 57 220 0 988
OREGON 421 51 41 196 0 709
PENNSYLVANIA 1,870 152 148 972 0 3,142
RHODE ISLAND 138 6 14 49 0 207
SOUTH CAROLINA 657 22 30 187 0 896
SOUTH DAKOTA 140 12 11 32 0 195
TENNESSEE 888 33 54 316 0 1,291
TEXAS 2,203 147 176 887 2 3,415
UTAH 249 14 18 85 0 366
VERMONT 68 7 3 22 0 100
VIRGINIA 870 47 73 314 0 1,304
WASHINGTON 666 65 51 268 0 1,050
WEST VIRGINIA 502 21 27 181 0 731
WISCONSIN 768 72 36 284 0 1,160
WYOMING 84 6 6 23 0 119
AMERICAN SAMOA 1 0 0 3 0 4
GUAM 58 1 0 11 0 70
PUERTO RICO 322 2 4 17 0 345
VIRGIN ISLANDS 14 0 0 1 0 15
OTHER 76 17 5 25 0 123
UNKNOWN 3 0 0 0 0 3
TOTAL 38,196  2,555 2,583 14,837 7 58,178
State Home of Record USA USN USAF USMC USCG TOTAL

 

 

CACCF Record Counts by Year of Death or Declaration of Death (as of 12/98)

Year of Death or Declaration of Death

Number of Records

1956-1960 9
1961 16
1962 52
1963 118
1964 206
1965 1,863
1966 6,143
1967 11,153
1968 16,592
1969 11,616
1970 6,081
1971 2,357
1972 641
1973 168
1974 178
1975 161
1976 77
1977 96
1978 447
1979 148
1980 26
1981-1990 34
1991-1998 11
Total 58,193

Names are added when it has been determined that a service member has died directly from combat-related wounds. Cancer victims of Agent Orange, and post traumatic stress suicides do not fit the criteria for inclusion upon the Memorial. Some have calculated that it would take another two or more entire Walls to include all the names in those two categories alone.

In addition, status changes occur when remains of missing-in-action (MIA) servicemen are identified, an ongoing process conducted by DOD. The VVMF works in conjunction with DOD to determine name additions and status changes and with the National Park Service which operates and maintains the Memorial. The cost of additional inscriptions is paid by the VVMF which has always been funded exclusively by private supporters.

- U.S. MILITARY CASUALTIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA -
- DEATHS BY CALENDAR YEAR -  AS OF MARCH 31, 1997 -
- Year of death may either be actual or based on a presumptive finding of death -
- (originally declared missing and later declared dead). - -

This chart is provided by  thewall-usa.com

YEAR USA USN USAF USMC USCG TOTAL
1957 1 0 0 0 0 1
1958 0 0 0 0 0 0
1959 2 0 0 0 0 2
1960 0 4 1 0 0 5
1961 7 1 8 0 0 16
1962 27 3 18 5 0 53
1963 73 4 31 10 0 118
1964 147 15 39 5 0 206
1965 1,079 114 162 508 0 1,863
1966 3,755 279 246 1,862 2 6,144
1967 6,467 583 317 3,786 0 11,153
1968 10,596 598 345 5,048 2 16,589
1969 8,186 426 305 2,694 3 11,614
1970 4,972 219 201 691 0 6,083
1971 2,131 55 90 81 0 2,357
1972 373 77 172 18 0 640
1973 34 52 75 7 0 168
1974 49 23 80 26 0 178
1975 23 22 83 32 0 160
1976 29 6 29 13 0 77
1977 29 24 39 4 0 96
1978 158 42 219 28 0 447
1979 38 3 101 6 0 148
1980 - 1995 25 5 22 14 0 66
TOTAL DEATHS 38,196 2,555 2,583 14,837 7 58,178
YEAR USA USN USAF USMC USCG TOTAL

39,356 servicemen and women died in the 3 years (1967, 1968 & 1969)
This is  67.6% of all the U. S. Vietnam War causalities.

 

 

- U.S. MILITARY CASUALTIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA -
- DEATHS BY CASUALTY TYPE AND SERVICE -  - AS OF MARCH 31, 1997 -
This chart is provided by  thewall-usa.com

CASUALTY TYPE USA USN USAF USMC USCG TOTAL
HOSTILE  
KILLED
25,358 1,115 537 11,491 4 38,505
HOSTILE  
DIED OF WOUNDS
3,566 150 49 1,476 1 5,242
HOSTILE 
DIED WHILE MISSING
1,960 325 1,130 108 0 3,523
HOSTILE
DIED WHILE CAPTURED/INTERNED
45 36 25 10 0 116
NO HOSTILE
DIED OF OTHER CAUSES
4,907 579 531 1,436 2 7,455
NO HOSTILE
DIED OF ILLNESS/INJURIES
1,437 69 170 314 0 1,990
NO HOSTILE
DIED WHILE MISSING
928 281 141 3 0 1,353
TOTAL 38,196 2,555 2,583 14,837 7 58,178



U.S. MILITARY CASUALTIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA -
- DEATHS BY PAY GRADE AND SERVICE -
- REFLECTS POSTHUMOUS PROMOTIONS - - AS OF MARCH 31, 1997 -

This chart is provided by  thewall-usa.com

RANK
PAY GRADE
USA USN USAF USMC USCG TOTAL
MAJ GENERAL
REAR ADMIRAL (U)
2 0 2 1 0 5
BRIG GENERAL
REAR ADM (L)/COMMODORE
5 1 1 0 0 7
COLONEL
CAPTAIN
19 26 186 7 0 238
LT COLONEL
COMMANDER
117 93 186 30 0 426
MAJOR
LT COMMANDER
254 165 400 79 0 898
CAPTAIN
LIEUTENANT
1,018 164 651 211 1 2,045
1ST LIEUTENANT
LIEUTENANT (JG)
1,473 154 238 308 2 2,175
2ND LIEUTENANT
ENSIGN
496 18 8 284 0 806
W-04
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER
6 0 4 2 0 12
W-03
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER
59 0 0 2 0 61
W-02
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER
283 0 0 7 0 290
W-01
WARRANT OFFICER
905 4 0 6 0 915
TOTAL OFFICERS 4,637 625 1,676 937 3 7,878
E-09 52 4 41 18 0 115
E-08 190 13 34 33 0 270
E-07 987 67 64 115 1 1,234
E-06 2,233 186 136 299 1 2,855
E-05 5,133 326 228 723 1 6,411
E-04 11,528 618 247 2,322 0 14,715
E-03 12,822 645 148 4,379 1 17,995
E-02 476 68 9 5,633 0 6,186
E-01 143 3 0 379 0 525
TOTAL ENLISTED 33,564 1,930 907 13,901 4 50,306
TOTAL DEATHS 38,196 2,555 2,583 14,837 7 58,178
RANK / PAY GRADE WHITE BLACK ASIAN AMERICAN
INDIAN
OTHER TOTAL
 

U.S. MILITARY CASUALTIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA -
- DEATHS BY RACE AND PAY GRADE -
- REFLECTS POSTHUMOUS PROMOTIONS - - AS OF MARCH 31, 1997 -
This chart is provided by  thewall-usa.com

RANK
PAY GRADE
WHITE BLACK ASIAN AMERICAN
INDIAN
OTHER TOTAL
MAJ GENERAL
REAR ADMIRAL (U)
5 0 0 0 0 5
BRIG GENERAL
REAR ADM (L)/COMMODORE
7 0 0 0 0 7
COLONEL
CAPTAIN
233 5 0 0 0 238
LT COLONEL
COMMANDER
410 9 0 0 7 426
MAJOR
LT COMMANDER
863 9 1 0 25 898
CAPTAIN
LIEUTENANT
1,948 44 1 3 49 2,045
1ST LIEUTENANT
LIEUTENANT (JG)
2,088 48 11 2 26 2,175
2ND LIEUTENANT
ENSIGN
789 16 0 0 1 806
W-04
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER
12 0 0 0 0 12
W-03
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER
59 1 1 0 0 61
W-02
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER
281 6 1 1 1 290
W-01
WARRANT OFFICER
900 9 3 1 2 915
TOTAL OFFICERS 7,595 147 18 7 111 7,878
E-09 104 10 0 0 1 115
E-08 237 29 2 1 1 270
E-07 1,040 163 6 1 24 1,234
E-06 2,311 458 13 9 64 2,855
E-05 5,590 728 10 19 64 6,411
E-04 12,685 1,824 28 66 112 14,715
E-03 15,050 2,763 32 82 68 17,995
E-02 5,122 1,002 6 35 21 6,186
E-01 378 140 0 6 1 525
TOTAL ENLISTED  42,517 7,117 97 219 356 50,306
TOTAL DEATHS 50,112 7,264 115 226 467 58,178
RANK / PAY GRADE WHITE BLACK ASIAN AMERICAN
INDIAN
OTHER TOTAL


- U.S. MILITARY CASUALTIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA -
- DEATHS BY STATUS -  - AS OF MARCH 31, 1997 -

This chart is provided by  thewall-usa.com

STATUS USA USN USAF USMC USCG TOTAL
Regular 17,321 2,178 1,759 13,200 6 34,464
Reserve 3,774 376 653 954 1 5,758
National Guard 88 - 9 - - 97
Selective Service 16,989 - - 683 - 17,672
Unknown 24 1 162 - - 187
TOTAL DEATHS 38,196 2,555 2,583 14,837 7 58,178

 

CACCF File Information

The Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has custody of several computerized data files with Vietnam Conflict casualty records. Of these, the [Southeast Asia] Combat Area Casualties Current File (CACCF), which is part of Records on Military Personnel Who Died, Were Missing in Action or Prisoners of War as a Result of the Vietnam Conflict, in the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Record Group 330), is considered the most comprehensive compilation of Vietnam Conflict casualty records.

The CACCF file has 58,193 records of U.S. military personnel who died between 1956 to 1998 as a result of the conflict in Southeast Asia, including those declared dead from a missing or captured status. The selected statistics are for informational purposes only. DIOR produces official summary reports on military personnel casualties and makes some of them available online in the Military Casualty Information section of the DIOR website.  In addition, the statistics presented are not comprehensive and do not answer every possible question about the characteristics of Vietnam conflict casualties. 

 

Additional Facts and Myths about the Vietnam War is provided by clicking this link -the information is provided by - Bobbie G Pedigo, Commander 68th AHC, 1 Oct -31 Dec 70.
 

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