8th of March, 1965 On March 8, 1965, 3,500 US Marines landed at Da Nang as the first wave of US combat soldiers into South Vietnam, joining the 25,000 US military advisers already on the ground. The invasion was a response to attacks by communist forces in South Vietnam that had killed 58 Americans and injured more than 1,000 others by March 1965.
The first US combat soldiers arrive in Vietnam on March 8, 1965, as 3500 Marines land at China Beach to defend the American air station at Da Nang. The initial force was divided evenly between Marine and Army units. They were followed by more troops and eventually a total of 9500 Americans serving in Vietnam.
Americans were fighting in Vietnam from the beginning of the war until 1973 when President Nixon announced the withdrawal of all remaining military personnel. The last U.S. troops left Vietnam on April 30, 1975 after coming under attack from communist forces during the Vietnam War.
In 2001, President Bush signed into law the American Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, which provided $7.8 billion in compensation for service-related injuries or deaths.
Also in 2001, a group of former veterans filed a class action lawsuit against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, alleging that his decision to order the invasion of Iraq violated the terms of their discharge agreements. The case is pending in federal court.
Finally, in 2008, Congress passed the Vets Equal Access to Justice Act, which provides free legal services for active duty servicemen and women who are suing the government over a military matter.
Today commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the first American combat forces arriving in Vietnam. On March 8, 1965, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landed in Da Nang to defend the US airfield from Viet Cong assaults. This was the first time that US ground troops were committed to battle in Vietnam.
The initial US commitment consisted of an army regiment and a marine expeditionary unit. A second army regiment and a third marine expeditionary unit followed in May and June. By the end of March 1966, there were almost 50,000 American soldiers fighting in Vietnam. The number would peak at over 150,000 during the war years.
The conflict had its origins in the aftermath of the French withdrawal from Indochina in 1954. Communist leader Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam's independence from France, but this was rejected by the United States and its allies. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed a treaty with South Vietnam providing for US assistance in defense against communist aggression. In 1964, Congress approved funding for South Vietnamese security forces and ordered American military aid to be increased. These steps were taken before the outbreak of violence in early 1965.
On January 2, 1965, a group of students started a protest movement on university campuses across America. They called themselves "the generation gap" because they were born after World War II and were being sent to war instead of going to war themselves.
This was only their second deployment outside of North America.
Their mission was to protect Tan Son Nhat Airport, which at that time was used by Americans as a staging post for bombing campaigns against North Vietnamese targets. The war had now spread beyond Congress's intent and was becoming a full-scale conflict.
Initially, the Marines were deployed under the control of the South Vietnamese government, but they were later integrated into the United States Army and given their own battalion commander. At its height, the size of the Marine force in Vietnam reached about 17,000 personnel. However, only about 6,000 Marines actually fought on each occasion because many others were needed to man the outposts around the country.
US casualties during this early phase of the war were relatively low (about 200 dead and missing), but the political impact was devastating for Lyndon B. Johnson. His administration had hoped to use military action to get Congress to pass an expansion of the Vietnam War into a broader conflict involving all of Southeast Asia, but instead it got bogged down in Vietnam where it had no business being in the first place.
March 8th, 1965 The Marines were the first foot soldiers from the United States to deploy in Vietnam 50 years ago. Marine Corps of the United States of America - Marine Corps of the United States of America - Marine Corps of the United States of America - Marine Corps of the United States of America - Marine Corps of According to The Guardian, on March 8, 1965, 3,500 US Marines landed on a beach in South Vietnam, becoming the first US foot soldiers committed to the Vietnam War. Their mission was to help secure a peace agreement between North and South Vietnam after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy two months earlier had created confusion about Washington's intentions regarding Vietnam.
Marines have been involved in the Vietnamese conflict since before it was officially called "the Vietnam War". As early as 1858, American merchants operating near Hanoi began hiring European mercenaries to protect themselves from local pirates. This is said to be the first evidence that our country was involved in the Vietnamese conflict in some capacity. In 1901, when France and China went to war, the United States took control of the naval base at Hong Kong. Many historians believe this is how America came to be involved in the Vietnamese conflict once again.
After the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, George W. Bush declared war on terror-related groups including al-Qaeda and its affiliates. He also asked Congress to approve military action in Iraq. But only hours later he changed his mind after hearing opposition from lawmakers. Finally, in 2002, Congress approved the use of force against Iraq.
So far, more than 150 Americans have died in Vietnam.