Author: The Vietnam War Era

MCDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II of US Navy Strike Fighter…

MCDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II of US Navy Strike Fighter Squadron (VF) 161 off the USS Midway, circa 1972.

From the source, Bob Coveney: “On the wall above my bed at Lane…

From the source, Bob Coveney: “On the wall above my bed at Lane Army Heliport. I still have both of these, the wings were from my time with the 203rd RAC while flying O-1G Birdogs. 1971″

Alpha Company, 2/8th Cavalry, circa 1965

Alpha Company, 2/8th Cavalry, circa 1965

vietnamwarera: Ho Chi Minh Basics Date of Birth: 19 May 1890Date…

vietnamwarera:

Ho Chi Minh

Basics

Date of Birth: 19 May 1890
Date of Death: 2 Sep 1969
Occupation during Vietnam War: Prime Minister (1945-1955)/President (1945-1969)

Significance/Contribution to the War

Spending much of his life away from Vietnam proved to be the foundation for Ho Chi Minh’s education. He learned about Western culture and politics, and embraced communism while abroad. In France, he cemented his belief that anticolonial nationalism and socioeconomic revolution were inseparable. To break free from colonial rulers, it was necessary for the native people to establish socioeconomic standards that did not rely upon those of the European nations that for so long lorded over them.

Upon returning to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh led the Viet Minh independence movement beginning in 1941, first against Japanese occupation (and the Vichy French collaborators) and then against the French following the Declaration of Independence of Vietnam on 2 Sep 1945. For this he is regarded as the father of his country.

As opposed to the First Indochina War, Ho Chi Minh was not as active in policy during the Vietnam War. His failing health had much to do with this.

Other Notes

  • 1920 – Founded the French Communist Party
  • Organized the Thanh Nien Cach Menh Dong Chi Hoi (Revolutionary Youth League) to advocate and campaign for Vietnamese indepedence
  • 1930 – Helped to organize the Indochinese Communist Party
  • 1941 – Founded the Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Moi (League for Vietnamese Independence), or Viet Minh
  • Worked with the Allied powers against the Japanese during WWII
  • The name Ho Chi Minh is a pseudonym meaning “He Who Enlightens”. He was born Nguyen Sinh Cung and went by a number of other names as well.

Controversy

Disagreement among scholars still exists around a few aspects of Ho Chi Minh’s life and beliefs. The main controversy is whether communism was a means to an end for him in which nationalism truly was the foundation for his actions, or whether nationalism was a convenient line. Another point of contention is the extent to which he was involved in the planning of the 1968 General Offensive-General Uprising (otherwise known as the Tet Offensive). 

Sources

Additional Reading

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usnatarchivesexhibits: Airborne: Lobo, 1968 Does your dog…

usnatarchivesexhibits:

Airborne: Lobo, 1968

Does your dog enjoy the breeze blowing in his face during a car ride? Maybe he would enjoy parachute jumping as Lobo here did. The pup almost appears to be grinning after finishing his first parachute jump with his handler, Sergeant Frank Spano.

Animals (war dogs, mascots, pets) – 1968

Learn more about “Remembering Vietnam.”

newhistorybooks:“Psychological warfare (PSYOP) has always played…

newhistorybooks:

“Psychological warfare (PSYOP) has always played an important role on the battlefield. In this important and well-researched study, Mervyn Roberts explores PSYOP techniques employed by the United States in Vietnam through the 1968 Tet Offensive and concludes that while these registered considerable success, this went for naught given the US decision to depart Vietnam.”

A lot of people in the past have asked me about PSYOP, and from what I can tell, this looks like a great book to read for those interested in the topic. This isn’t just about the psychological operations themselves, but also how they were impacted by the broader context of the Cold War.

The Psychological War for Vietnam, 1960-1968 by Mervyn Edwin Roberts III is on my wishlist and I think it should be on yours too.

Would you happen to have any information about/knowledge of the contribution of Canadian volunteers to the American war effort in Vietnam? Apparently one Medal of Honour recipient, Peter C. Lemon, was from Toronto, Ontario!

There isn’t a ton out there, largely because Canada didn’t send its own units as part of the Free World Forces (like Australia, Republic of Korea, etc). Those who served as part of the US military arguably had a harder time of it upon returning home. The US military did not keep explicit records about their foreign volunteers either.

Here are a couple of snippets:

  • “An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 Canadians served in the American military in Vietnam, although nearly half were Canadian citizens living in the United States. Seventy-eight Canadians are listed on the wall of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, DC.” [Source: The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War edited by Spencer Tucker]
  • Peter C. Lemon was indeed from Toronto, Ontario, and the only Canadian to be awarded the Medal of Honor in Vietnam. The medal was for actions that took place at Fire Support Base Illingworth on 1 April 1970. [Wiki]

Articles:

From the source:Vietnamese Marines Fight Communist Infiltrators…

From the source:

Vietnamese Marines Fight Communist Infiltrators in Gia Dinh – A Vietnamese tanker fires his 50 Caliber machine gun into a Viet Cong position in Gia Dinh during heavy street fighting June 4. Viet Cong infiltrators had dug in along a wall in a yard and had to be blasted out.

Bell UH-1 Huey at work, 1970

Bell UH-1 Huey at work, 1970

Radio telephone operator, 6th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment,…

Radio telephone operator, 6th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 1970.