Vietnam War 1954-1980

  • The French Suffer their final defeat

    The French Suffer their final defeat
    The French commander orders his troops to cease fire after 55 days of fighting. The battle left 3,000 French troops dead and 8,000 wounded. The Viet Minh lost 8,000 troops and 12,000 were wounded. Despite this the Vietnamese troops occupied the French command post at Dien Bien Phu. The defeat shattered the French's resolve to continue fighting.
  • American Helicopters arrive in South Vietnam

    American Helicopters arrive in South Vietnam
    President Kennedy orders more help to be sent to South Vietnam to fight against the Viet Cong guerilla fighters. On December 11, 1961 American helicopters arrive at the docks in South Vietnam. Addtitionally, 400 more personnel arrive who would fly and maintain the aircraft.
  • Operation Chopper

    Operation Chopper
    Operation Chopper marked America's first combat mission against the Viet Cong. U.S. Army Pilots ferried 1,000 South Vietnamese soliders to sweep an NLF (National Liberation Front) stronghold near Saigon.
  • Victory at Ap Bac

    Victory at Ap Bac
    The Viet Cong alongside local guerilla forces ambush the South Vietnamese army at Ap Bac. This marks the first time the Viet Cong stood their ground against the South Vietnamese army and American machinery. During this battle nearly 400 South Vietnamese soliders were killed or wounded and 3 American advisors were dead. This victory boosted morale amongst the Viet Cong fighters.
  • Attack on Hon Me and Hon Ngu

    Attack on Hon Me and Hon Ngu
    A US destroyer, the USS Maddox, sat 123 miles south of the islands of Hon Me and Hon Ngu as the South Vietnamese commandos attacked the islands. The USS Maddox was ordered to electronically simualte an air attack and draw the North Vietamese boats away from the commandos.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Incident

    Gulf of Tonkin Incident
    Captain of the USS Maddox reports being fired upon and that an attack is imminent. Bullets did strike the warship, but when jets flew over there was no sign of an attack. President Johnson, who was looking for a reason to intensify U.S. involvement in the war, tells the American people that the USS Maddox was in fact attacked and he orders a retalitation.
  • Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution

    Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution
    The U.S. Congress passes the Gulf Tonkin Resolution giving President Lyndon B. Johnson the power to take whatever necessary actions to defend Southeast Asia.
  • Shelling at Bien Hoa Air Base

    Shelling at Bien Hoa Air Base
    The Viet Cong shells Bien Hoa Air Base with mortars just days before the Presidental election. 4 Americans were killed, 76 were wounded. 5 B-57's were destroyed and 15 were damaged
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

    Operation Rolling Thunder
    The U.S. launches its first sustained bombing offensive against the North Vietnamese which would last through 1968.
  • Offer of economic aid to North Vietnam

    Offer of economic aid to North Vietnam
    The U.S. offers economic add in exchange for peace to North Vietnam. They reject the offer and in turn President Johnson raises troop strength to 60,000. Troops from Korea and Australia also join in for added support.
  • Operation Crimp

    Operation Crimp
    The goal of Operation Crimp was to capture the Viet Cong headquarters in the Saigon area which they believed to be in the district of Chu Chi. It is the largest American operation, but the forces fail to find them.
  • Assault on American Forces

    Assault on American Forces
    American forces are assaulted by the Viet Cong on Route 13 which connects Vietnam to Cambodia. American air and artillery supports prevents a major disaster.
  • Attack on Airfields

    Attack on Airfields
    Americans begin an attack on North Vietnamese airfields inflicting heavy damage. By the end of 1967 all but one of the North Vietnamese Mig bases have been hit.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    During a temporary truce for the Chinese New Year, the Viet Cong launches a surprise attack in cities throughout South Vietnam. As a result, they capture nearly all of the cities and briefly took control of the U.S. embassy. The U.S. will counter attack and gradually regain them, but it is a political disaster. President Johnson withdraws his re-election campaign.
  • U.S. Charlie Company

    U.S. Charlie Company
    The U.S. Charlie Company kills 200 civilians at My Lai. Only one member of the division, William Laws Calley Jr., is tried and convicted. The repercussions are felt throughout the army and raises questions about the conduct of war.
  • Nixon Inauguration

    Nixon Inauguration
    Richard Nixon is inaugurated into the office of President of the United States. He speaks of "peace with honor" and withdrawing U.S. troops from Vietnam, while allowing the South Vietnamese to stand alone.
  • Announcement of Withdrawing troops

    Announcement of Withdrawing troops
    At Midway Island, President Nixon meets with the South Vietnamese President, Nguyen Van Thieu, and announces that the U.S. will withdraw 25,000 troops immediately.
  • Ground War left to South Vietnam

    Ground War left to South Vietnam
    Two thirds of American troops have gone home by this time and only 130,000 troops remain. The ground war is left almost exclusively to the South Vietnamese.
  • North Vietnam crosses the DMZ

    North Vietnam crosses the DMZ
    Nearly 20,000 North Vietnamese army artillery troops cross the DMZ and push into South Vietnam. It sends the Southern defense into a state of chaos and forces them to retreat.
  • Operation Linebacker 2

    Operation Linebacker 2
    A new bombing campaign is launched against the North Vietnamese as ordered by President Nixon. It lasts for 12 days and during this time the U.S. aircraft drop nearly 20,000 tons of bombs.
  • Cease Fire signed

    Cease Fire signed
    Peace talks resumed in Paris and on January 27, all warring parties sign a cease fire.
  • Nixon Resignation

    Nixon Resignation
    In the wake of the Watergate scandal President Richard Nixon resigns as President of the United States.
  • Hue falls to the North Vietnamese

    Hue falls to the North Vietnamese
    Hue, South Vietnam's third largest city falls to the North Vietnamese despite the cease fire agreeement. By this time the NVA had also captured Dong Xoai, Phuoc Long, and the Quang Tri Province.
  • Massive Airlifts out of North Vietnam

    Massive Airlifts out of North Vietnam
    The U.S. Marines and Air Force begin massive airlifts out of South Vietnam. In approximately 18 hours time they airlift out 1,.000 American civilians and nearly 7,000 South Vietnamese refugees.
  • NVA rolls into Saigon

    NVA rolls into Saigon
    At dawn, the last of the Marines guarding the U.S. embassy are airlifted out of Saigon. Shortly after, the embassy is looted and the NVA tanks roll in ending the war.