Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The Vietnam War
I found some statistics on the Vietnam War a few days ago and thought I would share them with all of you. The information comes from the Veterans Administration.
Source: U.S. Government (VA Web Site Stats)
Vietnam Vets: 9.7% of their generation
9,087,000 Military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era. Aug. 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975.
8,744,000 GIs Were on active duty during the war. Aug. 5, 1964 - March 28, 1973
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.)
2,594,000 Personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam. Jan. 1, 1965 - Mar. 28, 1973
Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
Of the 2.6 million, between 1 - 1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
7,484 Women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1969)
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez Casualties.) Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.
8 Nurses died - 1 was KIA
Married men killed: 17,539
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger..
Highest state death rate: West Virginia - 84.1 (National Average 58.9 for every 100,000 males in 1970.
Wounded: 303,704 --- 153,329 Hospitalized + 150,375 Injured requiring no hospital care
Severely disabled: 75,000-----23,214 100% Disabled; 5,283 Lost limb; 1,081 Sustained multiple amputations.
Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WW II and 70% higher than Korea. Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WW II.
Missing in action: 2,338.
POWs: 766 (114 Died in captivity.)
25% (648,500) Of total forces in country were draftees.
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
Reservist killed: 5,977
National Guard: 6,140 Served; 101 Died
Total draftees (1965-73): 1,728,344.
Actually served in Vietnam 38%.
Marine Corps Draft: 42,633
Last man drafted June 30, 1973.
76% Of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds
Three fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds..
Some 23% Of Vietnam Vets had fathers with professional, managerial, or technical occupations.
79% Of the men who served Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service. (63% Of Korean War Vets and only 45% of WW II Vets had completed high school upon separation).
Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South-31;
West-29.9; Midwest-28.4; Northeast-23.5.
88.4% Of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were Black; 1% belonged to other races.
86.3% Of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (Includes Hispanics); 12.5% (7,241) Were Black; 1.2% Belonged to other races.
170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% Of total) died there.
70% Of enlisted men killed were of Northwest European Descent.
86.8% Of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were Black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
14.6% (1,530) Of Non-Combat deaths were among Blacks.
34% Of Blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall , Blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of Blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
Religion of dead; Protestant -- 64.4%; Catholic -- 28.9%; Other/None 6.7%
82% Of Veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
Nearly 75% Of the public agrees it was a failure of political will not of arms.
97% Of Vietnam Era Veterans were honorably discharged.
91% Of actual Vietnam War Veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
66% Of Vietnam Vets say they would serve again if called upon.
87% Of the public now holds Vietnam Veterans in high esteem.
All told, some fairly surprising information. I believe that it dispels a great deal of what we have been told about the Vietnam War. One of the most interesting myths that it shatters is the Civil Rights-era idea that the government sent black soldiers to the front line specifically to get black men killed and save the lives of whites. As you can see, the numbers simply do not bear out this theory. In fact, it quite clearly shows that the opposite was true. The numbers prove that African Americans served in Vietnam, served in combat and were killed in action at much lower rates than Caucasians and served in smaller numbers than their proportion of the population. This is not meant to cast any disparagement on anyone who did serve, but merely to disprove a vicious and divisive lie that has pretty much been accepted as the truth for the last 40 years. and Anyways, food for thought.
For those of you who wish to know more, visit the site that I got the info from: