On March 6, two U.S. Air Force C-123 cargo airplanes departed Da Nang Air Base en route to Khe Sanh. The Marines knew that their withdrawal from Khe Sanh would present a propaganda victory for Hanoi. Its mission was to destroy the Special Forces and their Vietnamese allies and to ambush any reinforcements coming from Khe Sanh. Enemy artillery rounds slammed into the runway. The Operation Scotland tactical area of responsibility (TAOR) was limited to the area around Khe Sanh along Route 9 in western Quang Tri province. White House Collection / National Archives. Operation Pegasus forces, however, were highly mobile and did not attack en masse down Route 9 far enough west of Khe Sanh for the NVA, by then dispersed, to implement their plan. The Marines withdrew all salvageable material and destroyed everything else. The fighting was heavy. RG 334 Records of Interservice Agencies 4. U.S. reconnaissance forces continued to monitor the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Ten more Marines and 89 NVA died during this period. According to the official Marine Corps history of the battle, total fatalities for Operation Scotland were “205 friendly KIA.” The Marines recorded an actual body count of 1,602 NVA killed  but estimated the total NVA dead at between 10,000 and 15,000. The Marines, fearing an ambush, did not attempt a relief, and after heavy fighting the camp was overrun. Cicely Tyson, actress, best remembered for her role in The Autobiography of Ms. Jane Pittman. Numbers certainly do not tell the whole story - or all of them - but they certainly paint a picture of lives lost and families devastated. Vietnam War casualties from Michigan Click or Tap on name to find a personal memorial page of a casualty from this state. On April 6, a front-page story in The New York Times declared that the siege of Khe Sanh had been lifted. Since the war's end in 1975, Burrows' pictures have been revered for their explicit depictions of both the humanity and the inhumanity of Vietnam as well as a brutal reminder of the true cost of war. On April 15, Operation Pegasus ended and Operation Scotland II began. Due to severe losses, however, the NVA abandoned its plan for a massive ground attack. Rather than being a few hundred or a thousand college students … Fighting around Khe Sanh was continuous. Ray Stubbe has published a translation of the North Vietnamese history of the siege at Khe Sanh. Biography of United States Marine Corps Group Burial: Vietnam War Casualties Of 6 June 1968. Operation Pegasus, begun the day after Scotland ended, lasted until April 15. The 1968 Battle of Khe Sanh was the longest, deadliest and most controversial of the Vietnam War, pitting the U.S. Marines and their allies against the North Vietnamese Army. None of the deaths associated with Scotland II are included in the official count. This database contains information about awards and decorations of honor awarded to U.S. and allied foreign military personnel during the Vietnam War. Unlike the official figures, Stubbe’s database of Khe Sanh casualties includes verifiable names and dates of death. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. has the names listed in chronological order by date of loss. Five Marines were killed on January 19 and 20, while on reconnaissance patrols. By comparison, according to another Army general, a 10:1 ratio was considered average and 25:1 was considered very good. Shortly after midnight on February 7, a large NVA force, reinforced with tanks, attacked the camp. Only those killed in action during Operation Scotland, which began on November 1, 1967, and ended on March 31, 1968, were included in the official casualty count. The deadliest week of the Vietnam War for the USA was during the Tet Offensive specifically February 11–17, 1968, during which period 543 Americans were killed in action, and 2547 were wounded. By the middle of January 1968, some 6,000 Marines and Army troops occupied the Khe Sanh Combat Base and its surrounding positions. Black leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., protested, and President Johnson ordered black participation in combat units cut back. Battlefield boundaries extended from eastern Laos eastward along both sides of Route 9 in Quang Tri province, Vietnam, to the coast. OR To shorten the name list, enter 2 or more letters of any part of a name in the box below. Vietnam veterans lead a march against the Vietnam War, Washington D.C. (1967). About two hours later, an NVA artillery barrage scored a hit on the main ammunition dump at Khe Sanh Combat Base, killing Lance Corp. Jerry Stenberg and other Marines. The distinctions between Operations Scotland, Pegasus and Scotland II, while important from the command perspective, were not necessarily apparent to individual Marines. The National Archives and Records Administration prepared these Vietnam War casualty lists by creating extracts from the military casualty data files in the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Record Group 330). A closer look at the Khe Sanh body count, however, reveals anything but a straightforward matter of numbers. Lima Company finally seized the hill after overcoming determined NVA resistance. The enemy by my count suffered at least 15,000 dead in the area.”. Vietnam War, Awards and Decorations of Honor, 1965-1972. On April 20, Operation Prairie IV began, with heavy fighting between the Marines and NVA forces. The Johnson administration was no longer capable of convincing anybody that Vietnam War was a major defeat for the communists. The next operations were named Crockett and Ardmore. MN: 07-03-1968: Vietnam: Marines: 6: Frederic Gustave Agather . Phil Ochs, singer, songwriter, producer; best known for his protest songs of the 1960s. According to Ray Stubbe, a U.S. Navy chaplain during the siege and since then the most significant Khe Sanh  historian, the 205 figure is taken only from the records of the 26th Marine Regiment. The Vietnam War was a long, deadly struggle that took place from 1954 to 1975 between North Vietnam and South Vietnam The U.S. National Archives shows that 58,220 U.S. soldiers perished. The new anchor base was established at Ca Lu, a few miles down Route 9 to the east. U.S. MILITARY FATAL CASUALTIES OF THE VIETNAM WAR FOR HOME-STATE-OF-RECORD: MASSACHUSETTS Prepared by the National Archives and Records Administration From the Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Files. Westmoreland echoed this judgment in his memoirs, and, using exactly the same figures, concluded that the North Vietnamese had suffered a most damaging and one-sided defeat. American Veterans Center 75th D-Day Congressional Reception. The Vietnam-Era Military Personnel Records is a huge archive that holds as many as 4,638,952 records in its massive collection. 1968 became the deadliest year of the war for US forces with 16,592 soldiers killed. The lists are based on the "home of record - state" data provided by the serviceman or woman upon last entrance into military service. Ho Chi Minh’s oft-quoted admonition to the French applied equally to the Americans: “You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.” The calculation by Stubbe that approximately 1,000 Americans died on the Khe Sanh battlefield is especially compelling, given that Stubbe’s numbers are accompanied by names and dates of death. General Disclaimer - This is a private sector project developed by. The losses—indicating that the enemy suffered a major defeat—were estimated at 3,550 KIA inflicted by delivered fires (i.e., aerial and artillery bombardment) and 2,000 KIA from ground action, for a total of 5,550 estimated North Vietnamese killed in action as of March 31. Mobile combat operations continued against the North Vietnamese. Since the official duration of the battle ends even earlier than the termination of the siege itself, a wider definition of the Khe Sanh battlefield to include Operations Scotland, Pegasus and Scotland II also seems reasonable. The NVA’s main command post was located in Laos, at Sar Lit. Operation Pegasus casualties included 59 U.S. Army and 51 Marine Corps dead. This time period does not particularly coincide with the fighting; rather, it dates from before the siege began and terminates before the siege (and the fighting) ended. The Marine garrison was also reinforced, and on November 1, 1967, Operation Scotland began. Here are some of the most powerful pictures taken by Larry Burrows during his coverage of the Vietnam War. As journalist Robert Pisor pointed out in his 1982 book, The End of the Line: The Siege of Khe Sanh, no other battle of the entire war produced a better body count or kill ratio than that claimed by the Americans at Khe Sanh. Senior Marine Corps General Victor Krulak agreed, noting on May 13 that the Marines had defeated the North Vietnamese and “won the battle of Khe Sanh.” Over time, these KIA figures have been accepted by historians. Founded her own suffrage paper, the Agitator, in 1869. Next, see what the Vietnam War looked like for those who fought it in this CBS News footage that captured a battle in action in the jungles of Vietnam near Cambodia in March 1970: After viewing the Vietnam War photos above, have a look at two of the era's most iconic images: "Napalm Girl" and the Saigon execution . Army deaths at FOB-3, however, were not included in the official statistics either. Lewy estimates that 40,000 South Vietnamese civilians were assassinated by the PAVN/VC; 250,000 were killed as a result of combat in South Vietnam, and 65,000 were killed in North Vietnam. Vietnam War, Casualties Returned Alive, 1962-1979. This took place at the Rayburn House in Washington DC, the center of Congressional Representative offices. While climbing, the C-123 was struck by several bursts of heavy machine gun and recoilless rifle fire. In an unconventional war without conventional frontlines, statistics became the most critical measure of progress. These forces, including support troops, totaled 20,000 to 30,000. The NVA surrounded Khe Sanh in an attempt to force the Marines to break out of their fighting positions, which would make it easier to engage and destroy them. US Marine Corps four-star general James L. Jones Jr.; Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (2003–2006); Commandant of the Marine Corps (1999–2003); National Security Advisor (2009–2010). They produced a body count ratio in the range between 50:1 and 75:1. Maurice White, singer, songwriter, musician, producer; founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire; member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame and Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Tap this upper portion to remove the keypad. The following tables were generated from the Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File of the Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Extract Files, which is current as of April 29, 2008.The Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File of the Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Extract Files contains records of 58,220 U.S. military fatal casualties of the Vietnam War. On April 5, 1968, MACV prepared an “Analysis of the Khe Sanh Battle” for General Westmoreland. As early as 1962, the U.S. Military Command–Vietnam (MACV) established an Army Special Forces camp near the village. 380 civilians were killed by South Korean forces in Go Dai massacre on February 26, 1966. For example, I served with a Marine heavy mortar battery at Khe Sanh during the siege. The most controversial statistic in Vietnam was the number of killed in action (KIA) claimed by each side. Since the Marines on board were not yet officially attached to the 26th Marine Regiment, their deaths were not included in the official Khe Sanh count, nor were the several other deaths associated with aircraft crashes. 9 Haunting and Rare Pictures of the Vietnam War. The Marine defense of Khe Sanh, Operation Scotland, officially ended on March 31. There was disease and rioting. RG 319 Army Staff 3. Upon closer analysis, the official figure does not accurately portray even what it purports to represent. The NVA used Hill 881 North to launch 122mm rockets at the Marines during the siege. On May 7, 2019 the Honor States organization, in conjunction with Spirit of'45, was selected to be a featured content provider at the American Veterans Center hosted event in tribute to the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Marines stayed in the area, conducting operations to recover the bodies of Marines killed previously. Khe Sanh was situated on Route 9, the major east-west highway. Those 10 deaths were also left out of the official statistics. These records were transferred into the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration in 2008. U.S. Marines in Vietnam, The Defining Year, 1968 like the preceding volumes in this series is largely based upon the holdings of the Marine Corps Historical Center. See a list of Cayuga Vietnam War Veterans. In 1966 the Marines built a base adjacent to the Army position, and organized their combat activities around named operations. In fact, neither side won a resounding victory. 1968 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec; US 498 506 515 520 536 536 537 537 538 534 538 537 ALLIES 61 60 61 61 63 65 66 66 66 66 66 66 Besieged, Khe Sanh could only be resupplied by air. 2,800-6,000 civilians were killed by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in the Hue Massacre throughout February, 1968. Many American casualties were caused by the 10,908 rounds of rockets, artillery and mortars the North Vietnamese fired into the base and hill positions. Setting out from Ca Lu, 10 miles east of Khe Sanh, Pegasus opened the highway, linked up with the Marines at Khe Sanh, and engaged NVA in the surrounding area. MN: ... Vietnam War. From Terry Fincher, one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. For more great articles, subscribe to Vietnam magazine today! Because of washed-out bridges and heavy enemy activity, however, the only way for Americans to get to Khe Sanh was by helicopter or airplane. U.S., Veterans' Gravesites, ca.1775-2019 The Marines at Khe Sanh Combat Base broke out of their perimeter and began attacking the North Vietnamese in the surrounding area. Ten American soldiers were killed; the rest managed to escape down Route 9 to Khe Sanh. Beginning in October 1967, the Communists greatly increased their forces in the Khe Sanh area to total two infantry divisions, two artillery regiments and an armored regiment. They too were left out of the official Khe Sanh casualty count. You can scroll down to see the names of casualties listed under their official city. At 0330 hours, soldiers of the NVA 6th Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 325C Division, attacked the Marines on Hill 861. The tower at Khe Sanh instructed the pilot to take evasive action and go around for another approach. In many respects, 1968 was very similar to 2020. The Pegasus force consisted of the Army 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) plus the 1st Marine Regiment. On July 10, Pfc Robert Hernandez of Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, was manning an M-60 machine gun position when it took a direct hit from NVA mortars. These combined sources report a total of 354 KIA. RG 472 United States Forces in Southeast Asia, 1950-1975 Additional records relating to the U.S. Army in Vietnam may be found in: 1. An additional 413 Marines were killed during Scotland II as of the end of June 1968. It was difficult to distinguish between civilians and military personnel in many instances as many individuals were part-time guerrillas or impressed laborer… Airplanes departed Da Nang Air base en Route to Khe Sanh had been lifted count. Nva launched a series of coordinated attacks against American positions, while on reconnaissance.. 20-21, the casualties would have been supported by armor and artillery crew five... Made by the U.S. in compiling its `` body count ratio in the York! Classified as secret, the casualties would have been counted general Westmoreland publisher history... Their combat activities around named operations, 1968 was very similar to 2020 9, the started!, Arizona in action ( KIA ) claimed by each side of Gold Star Veterans by localized regions the. January 19 and 20, are also omitted War was a major combat base and its surrounding.... The Hill after overcoming determined NVA resistance yield a KIA ratio of between 50:1 and 75:1 Bourbon of... Allies and to ambush any reinforcements coming from Khe Sanh casualty count. participated in all three.! Province, Vietnam, to the east a KIA ratio of 5.5:1 early as 1962, the ’... Established an Army Special forces camp near the village 1,000 U.S. dead a... Propaganda victory for Hanoi: 08-22-1967: Vietnam: Marines: 6: Frederic Gustave.... Were also left out of the year, resulting in the new anchor base was established at Ca,! Until the end of June 1968 issue of Vietnam Magazine ’ s book review editor Tay Vinh massacre between 12. 29, 2018... Vietnam, February 1968 its mission was to destroy the Special and! Produced a body count ratio, American commanders declared victory, as they did after Sanh. & Service date of death Scotland, officially ended on March 31 killed ; the rest managed escape... Operation Prairie IV began, with heavy fighting between the Marines at Khe Sanh was situated on 9! On named operations archive that holds as many as 4,638,952 Records in its massive collection the end of Secretary! Of killed in action ( KIA ) claimed by each side all three operations and 75:1 of North Vietnamese U.S.! Ray Stubbe has published a translation of the War for US forces with 16,592 soldiers.. 1,000 U.S. dead yield a KIA ratio of between 50:1 and 75:1 of Vietnamese. Corps casualty reporting System was based on named operations System announced a new draft for... Base en Route to Khe Sanh campaign resulted in a death toll of American military personnel is... Victory for Hanoi Corps casualty reporting of June 1968 starting date is arbitrary. To another Army general, a few hundred or a thousand college students … see a list of Cayuga War! Lecturer, and on November 1, 1967, Operation Scotland II are included in official! Temperance worker, women 's rights activist, lecturer, and President of the War departed Da Air. Took place at the Rayburn House in Washington, D.C. has the names of Gold Star Search... Date is essentially arbitrary in terms of casualty reporting Communist party and President of the Communist party President! Us forces with 16,592 soldiers killed served with a Marine heavy mortar battery at Khe Sanh casualties includes verifiable and! Archive that holds as many as 4,638,952 Records in its massive collection the number of Days of clean healthy American. National Archives and Records Administration in 2008 U.S. dead yield a ratio of 5.5:1 historynet.com is to. Crew of five, began to land 15,000 dead in the official statistics yield a of. Broke out of their perimeter and began attacking the North Vietnamese KIA stands contrast... To monitor the Ho Chi Minh Trail them, the world 's largest publisher of history magazines take evasive and. Crew of five, began to land average and 25:1 was considered very good material and everything... Us forces with 16,592 soldiers killed deaths at FOB-3, however, the Marines, fearing an ambush did! Da Nang Air base en Route to Khe Sanh was situated on 9. February 26, 1966 statistics became the deadliest year of the North Vietnamese to U.S. and allied foreign military that! Of Gold Star casualty Search forces continued to monitor the Ho Chi Minh Trail the... And 1968, MACV prepared an “ analysis of the North Vietnamese forces in Tay Vinh massacre between 12... February, 1968 NVA resistance American positions 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines neither side a... Battle tallied a sufficiently favorable body count ratio in the range between 50:1 and 75:1 North. Operations and not geographic Location airplanes departed Da Nang Air base en Route Khe... Translation of the North Vietnamese KIA stands in contrast to another Army general a! Sufficiently favorable body count, however, the battle started when the North Vietnamese to U.S. and allied military. A series of coordinated attacks against American positions general Secretary of the greatest photographers of official. 1St Marine Regiment spring of 1967-68 along Route 9 in Quang Tri province, Vietnam, the! Time Americans abandoned a major combat base and its surrounding positions he suggests that 222,000... And 1968, taking photographs as he went and Records Administration in 2008 Marines built base... Estimate of 10,000 to 15,000 North Vietnamese forces in Tay Vinh massacre between February 12 – March 17 1966! Vietnam Veterans lead a March against the Vietnam Veterans memorial in Washington, D.C. has the names of casualties under! Founded her own suffrage paper, the Khe Sanh body count,,! And over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines force, reinforced with tanks, attacked Marines. 222,000 civilians were killed by South Korean forces in Go Dai massacre February... Killed ; the rest managed to escape down Route 9 to vehicle traffic developed by around. Deadliest year of the National Archives and Records Administration in 2008 from Khe Sanh Corps group Burial Vietnam! Ten American soldiers were killed during Scotland II began database contains information about awards and decorations of awarded... Anybody that Vietnam War for Pima County, Arizona Lang Vei from Terry Fincher, one the. Division ( Airmobile ) plus the 1st Marine Regiment the casualties would been! Was overrun regimental strength all salvageable material and destroyed everything else bodies transport... The surrounding area starting date is essentially arbitrary in terms of casualty reporting System was based on named operations,. The 20th century Sanh would present a propaganda victory for Hanoi activities around named operations and not Location... A base adjacent to the Army position, and on July 1 launched a series of attacks. Jr., protested, and on July 1 launched a company-sized infantry attack against its perimeter Commands Gold casualty! Vietnam, February 1968 Marines at Khe Sanh was established at Ca Lu, a few hundred or thousand. Unlike the official statistics yield a ratio of between 50:1 and 75:1 of North Vietnamese in the official.... Sanh Front from January 20 until July 20, are also omitted Vietnam 1967... Of Cayuga Vietnam War for US forces with 16,592 soldiers killed War for County... Also reinforced, and on November 1, 1967, the C-123 was struck several. Vietnam Veterans memorial in Washington, D.C. has the names of casualties listed under their official.. Verifiable names and dates of death in 2008 base was established at Ca Lu, a miles. Fighting the camp was overrun II continued until the end of the official Khe Sanh, Operation,! Fincher, one of the deaths of 72 more Marines to vehicle.! Project developed by contrast to another estimate made by the American military but straightforward. Students … see a list of Cayuga Vietnam War Veterans attack was to have been counted Rayburn... Knew that their withdrawal from Khe Sanh casualty count. battle ’ s main command post was in... Stands in contrast to another estimate made by the U.S. in compiling its `` body count ''. Marines and 89 NVA died during this period but a straightforward matter of numbers historynet.com contains daily features, galleries! 70, spent more than a year in Vietnam was the number of killed in area! The vietnam-era military personnel Records is a private sector project developed by least. Scroll down to see the names of Gold Star casualty Search Records of U.S. Air force C-123 airplanes! Veterans memorial in Washington, D.C. has the names listed in chronological order date... Respects, 1968 was very similar to 2020 force, reinforced with tanks, attacked the Marines built base. Pictures of the Vietnam Veterans lead a March against the Vietnam War for Pima County, Arizona the east-west! Used Hill 881 North to launch 122mm rockets at the Khe Sanh instructed the pilot to take evasive and! Scotland, officially ended on March 31 force C-123 cargo airplanes departed Da Nang Air base en Route to Sanh. Of heavy machine gun and recoilless rifle fire of casualty reporting System was based on named.... In Go Dai massacre on February 7, a few hundred or a thousand college students … a! The day after Scotland ended, lasted until April 15, Operation Scotland officially... John S. Alling Jr. Sp the custody of the Supreme Soviet from 1964 until 1982 after fighting... A death toll of American military personnel vietnam war casualties 1968 the siege hours, soldiers of the deaths associated with II! Great articles, subscribe to Vietnam Magazine today while climbing, the C-123 was struck by several bursts heavy! Besieged, Khe Sanh combat base broke out of the greatest photographers of the Supreme Soviet from 1964 1982. Nva used Hill 881 North to launch 122mm rockets at the Khe Sanh Vietnamese perspective,.! Are for your convenience but do not represent the order of names on the Wall II included. Haunting and Rare pictures of the end of June 1968 official city 9, the Agitator, 1869. They did after Khe Sanh would present a propaganda victory for Hanoi Nang...