• Dien Bien Phu

    Vietnamese forces occupy the French command post. The battle lasted 55 days. Three thousand French troops were killed, 8,000 wounded. The Viet Minh had 8,000 dead and 12,000 wounded. The Vietnamese victory shattered France's resolve to carry on the war.
  • Creation of Ho Chi Minh Trail

    A North Vietnamese Army unit, Group 559, is formed to create a supply route from North Vietnam to Vietcong forces in South Vietnam.
  • United States becomes actively involved

    President Kennedy orders more help for the South Vietnamese government; including new equipment and more than 3,000 military advisors and support personnel.
  • Operation Ranchland

    The goal of Ranchhand is to clear vegetation alongside highways, making it more difficult for the Vietcong to hide. Lots of forest are sprayed with "Agent Orange." Guerrilla trails and base areas are exposed, and crops that might feed Vietcong units are destroyed.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Attack

    South Vietnamese attack two small North Vietnamese islands in the Gulf of Tonkin. The U.S. destroyer Maddox is 123 miles south with orders to electronically simulate an air attack to draw North Vietnamese boats away from the commandos.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, letting Pres. Johnson do whatever he sees necessary to defend southeast Asia.
  • Rolling Thunder Begins

    President Johnson authorizes Operation Rolling Thunder, its aim is to force North Vietnam to stop supporting Vietcong guerrillas in the South.
  • US offers peace for economic aid proposal

    The U.S. offers North Vietnam economic aid in exchange for peace, but the offer is summarily rejected. Two weeks later, President Johnson raises America's combat strength in Vietnam to more than 60,000 troops. Allied forces from Korea and Australia are added as a sign of international support.
  • Pres. Johnson commits over 60,000 troops to Veitnam

    Two weeks after the U.S. offers North Vietnam economic aid in exchange for peace, President Johnson raises America's combat strength in Vietnam to more than 60,000 troops.
  • First major battle of Vietnam War for American Units

    Ground forces, artillery from Chu Lai, ships and air support combine to kill nearly 700 Vietcong soldiers. U.S. forces sustain 45 dead and more than 200 wounded, but win!
  • American forces total 385,000

    American forces in Vietnam reach 385,000 men; more than 6,000 Americans have been killed in this year, and 30,000 have been wounded. An estimated 61,000 Vietcong have been killed. Their troops now number over 280,000.
  • Operation Junction City

    One of the largest air-mobile assaults ever; 240 helicopters sweep over Tay Ninh province, the goal being to destroy Vietcong bases and the Vietcong military headquarters for South Vietnam, all of which were located in War Zone C, north of Saigon. Some 30,000 U.S. troops take part in the mission, joined by 5,000 men of the South Vietnamese Army. After 72 days, Junction City ends.
  • Khe Sanh attacked by Vietcong

    At 5:30 a.m., the Marine base at Khe Sanh is attacked. Eighteen Marines are killed instantly, 40 are wounded. The initial attack continues for two days
  • Tet Offensive Begins

    Vietcong units attack more than 100 cities and towns; followed by wave after wave of supporting troops. By the end of the city battles, 37,000 Vietcong troops have been killed; the fighting had created more than a half million civilian refugees. The Americans, who lost 2,500 men, lose public support.
  • My Lai massacre

    In My Lai, U.S. Charlie Company kills about two hundred civilians. Only one member of the division is tried and found guilty of war crimes; it raised unsettling questions about the conduct of the war.
  • Rolling Thunder ends

    It cost more than 900 American aircrafts, 818 pilots that were dead or missing, hundreds in captivity, nearly 120 Vietnamese planes destroyed,182,000 North Vietnamese civilians killed and 20,000 Chinese support personnel also killed.
  • Nixon takes office

    President Nixon takes office as the new President. He promises to achieve "Peace With Honor."
  • Operation Menu

    President Nixon authorizes Operation Menu, the bombing of North Vietnamese and Vietcong bases within Cambodia.
  • Spraying of Agent Orange ends

    Herbicides containing Dioxin were banned for use by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1968; spraying of Agent Orange continues in Vietnam until 1971.
  • All but 133,000 US troops have come home

    Only 133,000 U.S. servicemen remain in South Vietnam; the ground war is now almost exclusively the responsibility of South Vietnam, which has over 1,000,000 men enlisted in its armed forces.
  • Peace talks breakdown

    In Paris, peace talks between the North Vietnamese and the Americans breakdown.
  • Peace talks resume

    North Vietnam and the United States resume peace talks in Paris.
  • Cease fire signed

    All warring parties in the Vietnam War sign a cease fire
  • Nixon resigns

    President Richard M. Nixon resigns, leaving South Vietnam without its strongest advocate.
  • Last casualties and final evacuation

    U.S. Marines and Air Force helicopters begin a massive airlift. In 18 hours, over 1,000 American civilians and almost 7,000 South Vietnamese refugees are flown out of Saigon.
    April 30- Looters ransack the embassy, and North Vietnamese tanks role into Saigon, ending the war. In 15 years, nearly a million NVA and Vietcong troops and a quarter of a million South Vietnamese soldiers have died. Hundreds of thousands of civilians had been killed as well.