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Vietnam War - Timeline

August 2nd - North Vietnamese torpedo boats attack the destroyer USS Maddox.
August 4th - The destroyer USS C. Turner Joy reports a similar attack.
August 5th - American Seventh Fleet carrier aircraft retaliate by attacking the bases used
by the torpedo boats and other military targets in North Vietnam.
August 7th - The US Congress adopts the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, endorsing whatever
measures the President may consider necessary to repel attacks on American forces to
prevent further aggression.
November 1st - After two months of political turmoil, Tran Van Huong becomes South
Vietnam’s Premier.
December 24th - Terrorist bombings in Saigon kill two Americans and injures 52.
December 31st - Total US strength in South Vietnam is 23,000.

January 8th - Two thousand South Korean troops arrive in South Vietnam.
February 7th - Vet Cong attack the US base at Pleiku.
February 8th - US Air Force and South Vietnamese planes retaliate by attacking
military targets in North Vietnam.
February 10th - Vet Cong terrorists bomb a billet at Qui Nhon, killing 23 Americans.
March 2nd - 'Operation Rolling Thunder', the sustained aerial bombardment of North
Vietnam, gets underway.
March 8th - The first US Marine infantry battalion arrives at Da Nang, South Vietnam.
March 30th - A terrorist bomb, detonated outside the American Embassy in Saigon, kills
two Americans and wounds, among others, Deputy Ambassador U. Alexis Johnson.
May 3rd - The US Army’s 173d Airborne Brigade begins landing in South Vietnam.
June - Nguyen Cao Ky emerges as head of the Saigon government.
June 18th - B-52 bombers from Guam make their first strikes against targets in South
June 27th - The 173d Airborne Brigade launches a major offensive Northeast of Saigon.
The number of Marines, sailors, and airmen in South Vietnam exceeds 50,000.
October - A South Korean combat division begins landing in South Vietnam.
October 27th - American troops launch the month long la Drang campaign.
November - Anti-war demonstrations are widespread in the United States.
December 31st - Total US strength in South Vietnam is 181,000.

January 31st - US bombing of North Vietnam resumes after a 37-day pause.
March - Communists capture a US Special Forces camp in the A Shau Valley, gaining
control of this vital access route into South Vietnam
March 2nd - Secretary of Defense McNamara announces that American forces in South
Vietnam number 215,000 with another 20,000 en route.
April 12th - For the first time B-52s bomb targets in North Vietnam, attacking near Moo
Gina Pass.
June 23rd - South Vietnamese troops seize Buddhist headquarters at Saigon, bringing to
an end a wave of protests that had begun in March with agitation against military rule.
October - Some 2,000 non-combatant Filipino troops arrive in South Vietnam
October 23rd-24th - Manila Conference of Free World nations committed to the
Vietnam conflict.
December 31st - Total US strength in South Vietnam is 385,000

January 8th - American and South Vietnamese forces launch "Operation Cedar Falls", a
sustained offensive north of Saigon against the Communist-controlled Iron Triangle.
February 23rd - "Junction City", largest operation of the war to date, begins in Tay
Ninh province.
February 28th - The commander, Naval Forces, Vietnam, establishes the Mekong Delta
Mobile Reverie Force.
May 1st - American military strength in South Vietnam reaches 436,000.
May 4th - Ambassador Robert W. Comer becomes General Westmoreland’s deputy for
Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS).
September 29th - A contingent of Thai combat troops arrives in South Vietnam.
October 4th - The North Vietnamese siege of Con Thien is broken.
December 31st - American military strength in South Vietnam is 486,000.

January 22nd-April 7th - The combat base in Khe Sahn sustains a 77-day siege and is
successfully relieved.
January 30th-31st - The Tet Offensive erupts throughout South Vietnam, lasting until
late February.
March 31st - President Johnson restricts the bombing of North Vietnam to the panhandle
region, he announces that he will not seek re-election.
April 10th - President Johnson accepts a North Vietnamese offer to conduct preliminary
peace discussions in Paris.
May 4th-5th - A wave of attacks; less severe then those of the Tet Offensive; hits 109
cities, towns, and bases in South Vietnam.
May 13th - Delegates from the United States and North Vietnam hold their first formal
meeting in Paris.
May 31st - "Operation Toan Thang" comes to an end: for 60 days, 42 American and 37
South Vietnamese battalions have searched out the enemy near Saigon.
June 23rd - The Khe Sahn combat base is abandoned.
October 31st - President Johnson announces that the bombing of North Vietnam will end
the following day, although reconnaissance flights will continue.
November - President Richard M.Nixon elected; he promises a gradual troop withdrawal
from Vietnam.
December 31st - American military strength in South Vietnam is 536,100

January 25th - Formal truce negotiations begin in Paris.
February 23rd-24th - Communist forces carry out rocket and mortar attacks against 115
bases, towns, and cities in South Vietnam.
June 5th - American planes make the first raids against North Vietnam since the
bombing halt of 1 November 1968, in retaliation for the shooting down of a
reconnaissance aircraft.
June 8th - While meeting at Midway Island with President Thieu, President Nixon
announces the planned withdrawal of 25,000 American combat troops.
September 4th - Radio Hanoi announces the death of Ho Chi Minh.
September 16th - President Nixon reveals a plan to withdraw an additional 35,000 men.
September 30th - The US and Thai governments announce a planned withdrawal of
6,000 Americans, mostly airmen from Thailand.
October 8th - Souvanna Phouma requests increased American aid to meet heavier
Communist pressure in Laos.
November 15th - "Moratorium": massive anti-war demonstration in USA.
December 15th - President Nixon announces that an additional 50,000 Americans will
be withdrawn from South Vietnam by 15 April 1970.
December 18th - Congress prohibits the use of current Department of Defense
appropriations to introduce ground combat troops into Laos or Thailand.
December 21st - Thailand announces plans to withdraw its 12,000-man contingent from
South Vietnam. South Korea will maintain its 50,000-man force. The Filipino
non-combatants have already departed.
December 31st - US troop strength in South Vietnam is 474,000.

February 10th - Souvanna Phouma states he will take no action against Communist
supply activity along the Ho Chi Minh Trail if North Vietnam will withdraw combat
troops from Laos.
March 18th - General Lon Noi ousts Prince Norodom Sihanouk and seizes power in
March 27th - South Vietnamese forces, supported by US helicopters, attack Communist
base camps across the Cambodian border.
April 4th - An estimated 50,000 persons gather at Washington, D.C., to support
President Nixon’s conduct of the war.
April 29th - MACV announces American participation in a South Vietnamese offensive
into Cambodia.
May 2nd - Anti-war demonstrations break out on a number of US collage campuses.
May 9th - An estimated 75,000 to 100,000 demonstrators gather in Washington to
oppose the Cambodian involvement. Protests, exacerbated by the fatal shootings of four
Kent State University students by the Ohio National Guard during a demonstration
against the war, continue at some 400 colleges.
June 29th - U.S. ground troops withdraw from Cambodia, President Nixon having
declared that their combat roles would end by June 30th. Air Operations would continue.
October 15th - President Nixon announces that a further 40,000 American Troops will
be withdrawn from South Vietnam by the end of the year.
December 29th - Congress adopts legislation that denies funds for the introduction of
ground combat troops into Laos or Thailand but does not include a proposed ban on
further operations elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
December 31st - Congress repeals the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. American military
strength in South Vietnam is 335,800.

April 7th - President Nixon announces that 100,000 American troops will leave South
Vietnam by the end of the year.
April 24th - Up to 500,000 anti-war protesters converge upon Washington, DC; at least
150,000 take part in a similar demonstration in San Francisco, California.
June 13th - The New York Times begins releasing the Pentagon Papers, a study of the
American involvement in Vietnam that was originally prepared for Secretary Of Defense
August 18th - Australia and New Zealand declare that they will withdraw their troops
from South Vietnam.
September 29th - South Korea announces that most of its 48,000 troops in South
Vietnam, will depart by June 1972.
October - Presidential elections result in the confirmation of Nguyen Van Thieu as
president of South Vietnam.
November 12th - President Nixon states that an additional 45,000 American troops will
leave South Vietnam during December and January.
December 26th-30th - In reaction to a North Vietnamese buildup, American planes
attack airfields and other military targets in the southern part of the country - the most
extensive air operations against the Communists since the November 1968 bombing halt.

January 13th - President Nixon announces withdrawals that will reduce American troop
strength in South Vietnam to 69,000 by 1 May.
March 30th - North Vietnamese forces invade South Vietnam.
April 3rd - USS Kitty Hawk is the first of four additional carriers to join the two carriers
already on station off Vietnam.
April 6th - Marine aircraft begin landing at Da Nang ; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff; Admiral Thomas W. Moorer, USN, announces the resumption of aeiral attacks
and naval bombardment against North Vietnam.
April 26th - President Nixon states that American strength in South Vietnam will fall to
49,000 by 1 July.
May 1st - Quang Tri City falls to the North Vietnamese.
June 12th - South Vietnamese troops break the siege of An Loc, begun on 5 April.
June 29th - General Fedrick C. Weyand, USA, replaces General Abrams as commander,
US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
August 12th - The last American ground combat troops leave South Vietnam; 43,500
airmen and support personnel remain.
August 29th - President Nixon announces withdrawals that will reduce total US strength
in South Vietnam to 27,000 by 1 December.
September 16th - The South Vietnamese recapture Quang Tri City, but most of the
province remains in Communist hands.
December 18th - President Nixon orders the resumption of bombing north of the 20th
Parallel, following a two-mouth pause; the Paris peace talks are suspended until 8
January 1973.
December 30th - Bombing north of the 20th Parallel comes to an end after the North
Vietnamese agree to Negotiate a truce.

January 15th - The President suspends American military operations against North
January 27th - The Paris peace accords are signed and the Vietnam War officially ends.
January 28th - Lon Nol proposes a cease-fire in Cambodia.
February 12th - Five hundred eighty eight Americans being held by the North
Vietnamese, Pathet Lao or Viet Cong are released during Operation Homecoming.
February 21st - Souvanna Phouma and the Communists conclude a cease-fire in Laos.
March 17th - A Cambodian pilot bombs the Presidential palace at Phnom Penh in an
unsuccessful attempt to kill Lon Nol.
March 29th - The last American troops leave South Vietnam, only a Defense Attaché
Office remains.
April 1st - The last Americans held prisoner in North Vietnam arrive at Clark Air Base,
April 9th - Prince Sihanouk acting spokesman for the Cambodian rebels, rejects Lon
Nol’s truce proposal.
June 29th - Congress bans aerial bombing in Cambodia after 15 August.

January 4th - President Thieu claims that the war in South Vietnam has resumed; 55
government soldiers are killed in two clashes with Communist troops.
January 15th-28th - Cambodian rebels inflict large number of civilian casualties when
shelling Phnom Penh.

January 27th - Saigon reports that 13,778 government soldiers; 2,159 civilians; and
45,057 Communists have died since the January 1973 truce.
April 5th-7th - Communist insurgents overrun six outposts protecting Phnom Penh.
July 9th - Prince Sihanouk rejects another request by Lon Nol for turce talks.
November 30th - Lon Nol again proposes a cease-fire in Cambodia.

April 1st - Lon Nol flees Cambodia.
April 9th-11th - Clashes occur between Communist insurgents and Laos government
April 10th-15th - After heavy fighting, North Vietnamese troops capture Zuan Loc, 38
miles east of Saigon.
April 12th - The US Ambassador to Cambodia and his staff leave Phnom Penh.
April 13th - The Department of Defense announces that US aircraft are parachuting
supplies into Phnom Penh; the airport has been colsed by enemy fire.
April 17th - Phnom Penh falls to the insurgents.
April 21st - President Thieu resigns.
April 28th - Duong Van Minh, who helped overthrow Diem in 1963, takes over the
government of South Vietnam.
April 30th - North Vietnamese troops enter Saigon, as the remaining Americans and
many of their South Vietnamese allies are evacuated. President Duong Van Minh
announces unconditional surrender.
May 15th - US Marines land on Koh Tang Island to free the USS Mayaguez, siezed by
the Cambodian Communists.
May 16th - In Laos, the Pathet Lao sieze Pakse.
May 20th - Savannakhet falls to the Pathet Lao.
June - Pathet Lao troops sieze US Embassy property in Vientiane.
August 23rd - The Pathet Lao consolidates the Communist take over of Laos.
December 3rd - The Lao coalition headed by Souvanna Phouma is abolished; Laos
becomes a Communist state with Souphanouvong as President.
December - The Congress of the National United Front of Cambodia approves a new,
republican constitution; the state is renamed Democratic Kampuchea.

June 24th - The National Assembly of Vietnam meets for the first time; the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam is proclaimed on 2 July and, among other decisions, Hanoi becomes
the capitol of United Vietnam and Saigon is renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
September 15th - Vietnam is admitted to membership of the International Monetary
November 15th - The US vetoes Vietnam’s application for membership of the United
Nations on the grounds of the country’s "brutal and inhumane" attitude to US servicemen
still listed as missing in Vietnam.

March 16th - Refugees report that anti-Communist guerrillas have blown up the Long
Binh ammunition dump, near Ho Chi Minh City; similart acts of resistance are reported
throughout the Year.