Courtesy of The Vietnam War, The illustrated history of the
Crown Publisher Inc.
I offer the following
very limited time-line for my fellow
troopers of the 3/17th Air Cavalry Squadron, as a supplement to our
Squadron history leading up to, during, and following our Squadron’s deployment
September 2. The
Communist-dominated Viet Minh Independence League
seizes power; Ho Chi Minh establishes the Government
of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (GRDV) in
French troops return to
December 19. The Viet Minh initiate the eight-year Indochina War with an attack on French troops in the North.
1950 [the seeds are planted]
January. The newly established People’s Republic of
May 8. US announces military and economic aid to the pro-French
May 7. The remnants of the French
October 11. The Viet Minh formally assume control over
October 24. President
Dwight D. Eisenhower advises Diem that the
April 28. An
American Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) takes over the training of
South Vietnamese forces, the French Military High Command disbands and French
May 29. Communist Pathet Lao attempt to seize
Communist guerrillas attack a plantation north of
April. A branch of the Lao Dong (Worker’s Party of Vietnam), of which Ho Chi Minh became Secretary-General in 1956, is formed in the South, and Communist underground activity increases.
July 8. Communist South Vietnamese wound American advisers during an attack on Bien Hoa.
General Phoumi Nosavan
seizes control in
May 8. MAAG strength is increased from 327 to 685 members.
January 4. Prince
Boun Oum organizes a
pro-Western government in
Viet Cong forces carry out a series of attacks in Kontum
September 18. A
Viet Cong battalion seizes the provincial capital of Phuoc
Vinh, some 55 miles (89km) from
President John F. Kennedy announces that his principal military adviser, General
Maxwell D. Taylor, USA, will go to
November 16. As a
result of the
American military strength in
August. First Australian Military Aid Forces (MAF)
January 2. Battle of Ap Bac, ARVN with US advisers is defeated.
April. Inception of the Chieu Hoi (“Open Arms”) amnesty program, aimed at rallying VC to support of the government.
May 8. Riots in
June 11. The
first of seven Buddhist monks to commit suicide by fire in protest against government
repression dies in
November 1-2. A military coup overthrows Diem; he and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu are murdered.
Following a prediction by Defense Secretary McNamara that the
November 22. John F.
Kennedy is assassinated at Dallas,
June 20. General William
July 2. General
Maxwell D. Taylor is named as US Ambassador to
August 2. North Vietnamese torpedo boats [reportedly] attack the destroyer USS Maddox.
August 4. The destroyer USS C. Turner
Joy [currently a floating museum at
August 5. The US
Seventh Fleet aircraft retaliate by attacking the bases used by the torpedo
boats and other military targets in
August 7. The
November. President Johnson is re-elected.
November 1. The Viet Cong shell Bien Hoa, killing two Americans.
Terrorist bombing in
January 8. Two
thousand South Korean troop arrive in
February 7. Viet
Cong attack the
February 8. US Air Force and South Vietnamese planes retaliate by
attacking military targets in
February 10. Viet Cong terrorists bomb a billet at Qui Nhon, killing 23 American soldiers.
March 2. “Operation Rolling Thunder”; the sustained aerial bombardment of
March 8. The first
March 30. A
terrorist bomb detonated outside the American Embassy at
May 3. The US
Army’s 173d Airborne Brigade begins landing in
June. Nguyen Cao Ky
emerges as head of the
June 18. B-52 bombers
June 27. The 173rd
Airborne Brigade launches a major offensive northeast of
October. A South Korean combat division begins
October 27. American troops launch the month-long Ia Drang campaign.
Anti-war demonstrations are widespread in the
[November 14. The 1st
Battalion, 7th Cav of the 1st Cavalry
Division, lands at LZ X-Ray. The battle at X-Ray rages until the morning of the
16th. This marks the first major engagement of
[November 17. Elements of the 2/7th and A/1/5th march from LZ X-Ray to LZ Albany; are ambushed by NVA and take heavy casualties].
December 31. Total
January 31. US
February 7-8. President
March. Communist capture a US Special Forces camp
in the A Shau Valley,
gaining control of this vital access route into
March 2. Secretary
of Defense McNamara announces that American forces in
April 12. For the
first time, B-52s bomb targets in
June 23. South
Vietnamese troops seize Buddhist headquarters at
Some 2,000 non-combatant Filipino troops arrive in
Manila Conference of Free World nations committed to the
October 25. Two
US Navy destroyers launch operations against enemy junks trying to infiltrate
American and South Vietnamese forces launch “Operation Cedar Falls”, a
sustained offensive north of
February 22. “
February 28. The
Commander, Naval Forces,
May 1. American
military strength in
May 4. Ambassador Robert W. Komer becomes General Westmoreland’s deputy for Civil Operations and Rural Development (CORDS).
September 3. General Nguyen Van Thieu is elected President of South Vietnam. Nguyen Cao Ky is Vice-President.
September 29. A
contingent of Thai combat troops arrives in
October 4. The North Vietnamese siege of Con Thien is broken.
[October 10. 3/17th Air Cavalry Squadron departs CONUS for Vietnam, arrives 2 Nov]
December 31. American military strength in
January 22-April 7. The combat base at Khe Sanh sustains a 77-day siege and is successfully relieved.
January 30-31. The Tet Offensive
March 16. The
March 31. President Johnson restricts the bombing of
April 1. Clark M.
Clifford is appointed
April 10. President Johnson announces that General Greighton W. Abrams will take over from General Westmoreland as Commander, MACV, in June.
May 3. President
Johnson accepts a North Vietnamese offer to conduct preliminary peace
May 4-6. A wave
of attacks—less severe than those of the Tet
offensive—hits 109 cities, towns, and bases in
May 13. Delegates
“Operation Toan Tang” comes to an end for 60 days, 42
American and 37 South Vietnamese battalions have searched out enemy units near
June 23. The Khe Sanh combat base is abandoned.
President Johnson and Premier Thieu meet in
President Johnson announces that the bombing of
President Richard M. Nixon elected; he promises a gradual troop withdrawal from
American military strength in
Formal truce negotiations begin in
February 23-24. Communist
forces carry out rocket and mortar attacks against 115 bases, towns, and cities
June 5. American
planes make the first raids against
June 8. While
July 8-August 29. The 25,000-man troop withdrawal is completed.
September 16. President Nixon reveals a plan to withdraw an additional 35,000 men.
September 30. The
US and Thai governments announce a planned withdrawal of 6,000 Americans,
mostly airmen, from
October 8. Souvanna Phouma requests
increased American aid to meet heavier Communist pressure in
“Moratorium”: massive anti-war demonstrations in
President Nixon announces that an additional 50,000 Americans will be withdrawn
December 18. Congress
prohibits the use of current Department of Defense appropriations to introduce
ground combat troops into
February 10. Souvanna Phouma states that he will take no action against Communist
supply activity along the Ho Chi Minh Trail if
March 18. General Lon Nol
ousts Prince Norodom Sihanouk (who had visited
March 27. South Vietnamese forces, supported by
April 4. An
estimated 50,000 persons gather at
Senators Frank Church and John Sherman Cooper propose an amendment forbidding
the funding of American ground operations in
April 14. Cambodian President Lon Nol appeals for foreign military assistance.
April 29. MACV
announces American participation in a South Vietnamese offensive into
May 2. Anti-war
demonstrations break out on a number of
May 9. And
estimated 75,000 to 100,000 demonstrators gather in
President Nixon announces that a further 40,000 American troops will be
Congress adopts a Department of Defense appropriations bill – with an amendment
that denies funds for the introduction of ground combat troops into
December 31. Congress repeals the
February 8. President
Thieu announces “Operation Lam Son 719” – the advance
towards Tchepone in
March 25. “Operation Lam Son 719” ends.
President Nixon announces that 100,000 American troops will leave
April 24. Up to 500,000 anti-war protesters converge
June 13. The New
York Times begins releasing the Pentagon
Papers, a study of the American involvement in
August 18. Australia and New Zealand declare they will withdraw their troops from South Vietnam.
October. Presidential elections result in the confirmation of Nguyen Van Thieu as President of South Vietnam.
President Nixon states that an additional 45,000 American troops will leave
December 26-30. 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.
President Nixon announces withdrawals that will reduce American troop strength
[February-April. The Troops of the 3/17th Air Cavalry Squadron Stand Down]
March 30. North
Vietnamese forces invade
April 3. USS Kitty Hawk is the first of four
additional aircraft carriers to join the two carriers already on station off
April 5. US Air
Force fighter-bombers begin reinforcing the units in
April 6. Marine
aircraft begin landing at
April 26. President
Nixon states that American strength in
May 8. President Nixon announces the mining of North Vietnamese harbors.
June 12. South Vietnamese troops break the siege of An Loc, begun on 5 April.
[June. Watergate break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters]
June 29. General
Frederick C. Weyand,
August 12. The last American ground combat troops
President Nixon announces withdrawals that will reduce total
September 16. The South Vietnamese recapture Quang Tri city, but most of Quang Tri province remains in Communist hands.
December 18. President
Nixon orders the resumption of bombing north of the 20th parallel, [the “Christmas bombings”] following a
two-month pause; the
December 30. Bombing north of the 20th parallel comes to an end after the North Vietnamese agree to negotiate a truce.
January 15. Because of the progress in talks between Dr. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho initial an agreement ending the war and providing for the release of prisoners of war; the agreement is formally signed on 27 January.
January 28. Lon Nol proposes a cease-fire in
February 21. Souvanna Phouma and the
Communists conclude a cease-fire in
March 17. A
Cambodian pilot bombs the presidential palace at
March 29. The
last American troops leave
April 1. The last
American [those released] held prisoner
April 9. Prince Sihanouk, acting as spokesman for the Cambodian rebels, reject Lon Nol’s truce proposal.
June 29. Congress
bans aerial bombing in
[July 1. Congress passes a law forbidding the use of any funds for US combat in, over, or off the shores of Cambodia, Laos, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam as of August 15, 1973]
1974 [only key, limited excerpts follow]
President Thieu claims that the war in
Communist insurgents overrun six outpost protecting
August 5. US
Congress places a $1-billion ceiling on military aid to
[August 9. Richard M. Nixon resigns as President over the Watergate scandal, Vice-President Ford succeeds him. Soon after Nixon’s resignation, Congress further reduces US military aid to South Vietnam]
March 5. North Vietnamese troops launch determined attacks in the Central Highlands.
April 1. Lon Nol flees
April 10-15. After heavy fighting, North Vietnamese
troops capture Xuan Loc, 38 miles east of
April 12. The
April 21. President Thieu resigns.
April 28. Duong
Van Minh, who helped overthrow Diem in 1963 [Diem was assassinated], takes over the
April 30. North Vietnamese troops enter
May 15. US Marines land on Koh Tang Island to free the American freighter SS Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian Communists.
June. Pathet Lao troops seize US Embassy property in
August 23. The Pathet Lao consolidates the Communist takeover of
December 3. The Lao coalition headed by Souvanna Phouma is abolished;
The Congress of the National United Front of
March 26. Dr. Kissinger, US
Secretary of State, announces that the
April 2. Sihanouck resigns as Head of State in Kampuchea, and Khieu Samphan takes his place; Pol Pot becomes Prime Minister
July. Relations between
June. Refugees from
Webmaster comments: Are we to believe historians today that state the “domino theory” was only a theory???