Guide Advice and Support: The Final Years, 1965-1973 The U.S. Army in Vietnam - Part 2

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As early as June , Richard Steinke, a West Point graduate in Vietnam, refused to board an aircraft taking him to a remote Vietnamese village.

Army Journals

The following year, three army privates, one black, one Puerto Rican, one Lithuanian-Italian-all poor-refused to embark for Vietnam, denouncing the war as "immoral, illegal, and unjust. He said they were "murderers of women and children" and "killers of peasants. The colonel who presided at the trial said: "The truth of the statements is not an issue in this case. The individual acts multiplied: A black private in Oakland refused to board a troop plane to Vietnam, although he faced eleven years at hard labor.

A navy nurse, Lieutenant Susan Schnall, was court-martialed for marching in a peace demonstration while in uniform, and for drop ping antiwar leaflets from a plane on navy installations. In Norfolk, Virginia, a sailor refused to train fighter pilots because he said the war was immoral. An army lieutenant was arrested in Washington, D. As the war went on, desertions from the armed forces mounted. Most deserters crossed into Canada; some estimates were 50,, others , Some stayed in the United States.

A few openly defied the military authorities by taking "sanctuary" in churches, where, surrounded by antiwar friends and sympathizers, they waited for capture and court-martial. At Boston University, a thousand students kept vigil for five days and nights in the chapel, supporting an eighteen-year old deserter, Ray Kroll. Kroll's story was a common one. He had been inveigled into joining the army; he came from a poor family, was brought into court, charged with drunkenness, and given the choice of prison or enlistment. He enlisted. And then he began to think about the nature of the war.

On a Sunday morning, federal agents showed up at the Boston University chapel, stomped their way through aisles clogged with students, smashed down doors, and took Kroll away.

From the stockade, he wrote back to friends: "I ain't gonna kill; it's against my will Everything ripens at its time and becomes fruit at its hour. The GI antiwar movement became more organized. Near Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the first "GI coffeehouse" was set up, a place where soldiers could get coffee and doughnuts, find antiwar literature, and talk freely with others.

It was called the UFO, and lasted for several years before it was declared a "public nuisance" and closed by court action. But other GI coffeehouses sprang up in half a dozen other places across the country. An antiwar "bookstore" was opened near Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and another one at the Newport, Rhode Island, naval base.

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Underground newspapers sprang up at military bases across the country; by more than fifty were circulating. These newspapers printed antiwar articles, gave news about the harassment of GIs and practical advice on the legal rights of servicemen, told how to resist military domination. Mixed with feeling against the war was resentment at the cruelty, the dehumanization, of military life. In the army prisons, the stockades, this was especially true. In , at the Presidio stockade in California, a guard shot to death an emotionally disturbed prisoner for walking away from a work detail. Twenty-seven prisoners then sat down and refused to work, singing "We Shall Overcome.

The dissidence spread to the war front itself. When the great Moratorium Day demonstrations were taking place in October in the United States, some GIs in Vietnam wore black armbands to show their support. A news photographer reported that in a platoon on patrol near Da Nang, about half of the men were wearing black armbands. One soldier stationed at Cu Chi wrote to a friend on October 26, , that separate companies had been set up for men refusing to go into the field to fight. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. James C. McNaughton ,.

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1965 in the Vietnam War

From mid to mid, the Viet Cong continued to ambush shipping on the Long Tau with mines, millimeter rockets, rocket-propelled grenades, recoilless rifles, machine guns, and small arms. Quick action by allied reaction forces, however, often cut short these assaults.

Thus, ship damage and personnel casualties were relatively light. Consequently, the Communists were unable to sever the vital lifeline to Saigon, even when their forces were fighting for survival during the Tet and post-Tet battles of In two-boat random patrols Task Force sailors checked the cargo and identity papers of junks and sampans plying the waterways, set up night ambushes at suspected enemy crossing points, supported the SEALs with gunfire and transportation, and enforced curfew restrictions in their sector, usually no more than 35 nautical miles from the base.

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Game Warden operations in the central delta registered only modest success from to Only PBRs were on station to patrol many miles of river and canal. As a result, they could canvass only the larger waterways. Still, the Task Force patrol forced the Viet Cong to divert troops and other resources to defense and to resort to less efficient transportation on smaller rivers and canals. During the task force refined its tactics, evaluated the performance of its boats and weapons in combat, and regularized its operational procedures.

At the same time naval leaders repositioned the LSD and LST support ships inland because heavy seas at the river mouths made operations from there difficult. These events foreshadowed a busy and dangerous year for the Game Warden sailors who boarded over , vessels and inspected them for enemy personnel and contraband.

In the process, the River Patrol Force destroyed, damaged, or captured over 2, Viet Cong craft and killed, wounded, or captured over 1, of the enemy. However, the U. Navy suffered the loss of 39 officers and men killed, wounded, and 9 missing in battle.

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The Tet Offensive of fully engaged Task Force Because of their firepower and mobility, the PBRs stiffened the defenses of numerous delta cities and towns that were under siege by the enemy. Despite this and a few other temporary setbacks, Task Force reestablished firm control of the major delta rivers by mid-year and helped cut short the Viet Cong attacks on Saigon. The river sailors also gave critical support to allied forces fighting to contain the enemy surge in I Corps. The mission of the task force was to secure the Perfume River which gave access to Hue from the sea and the Cua Viet River.

America in Vietnam - Vietnam: The 10,000 Day War (1 of 13)