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Vietnam War Timeline: 1969 - 1970

1969

Jan.

Richard M. Nixon becomes President replacing Lyndon Johnson.

Henry Kissinger becomes the new Secretary of State.

March ‘Vietnamization’ of the war is announced by Secretary of Defence Melvin Laird

30th April

U.S. military personnel peak at 543,400.

11th-20th May

101st Airborne battle of Ap Bia which becomes known as ‘Hamburger Hill’.

8th June

Nixon announces the withdrawal of 25,000 troops from Vietnam.

27th Aug.

9th Infantry (less 3rd Brigade) returns home.

3rd Sept.

Ho Chi Minh dies at the age of 79 in Hanoi.

Nov.

My Lai massacre revealed

24th Nov.

Lt. William Calley will go on trial by General Court Marshall.

30th Nov.

3rd Marine Division withdraws from Vietnam.

11th Dec.

3rd Brigade 82nd Airborne Division leaves Vietnam.

31st Dec.

475,200 U.S. military personnel left in Vietnam, a decline of 68,200.


1970

26th Jan.

U.S. Navy pilot Lt. Everett Alvarez Jr. spends his 2000th day as a POW. Alvarez was shot down on 5th August 1964 during Operation Pierce Arrow, the air strikes launched against North Vietnam in retaliation for the Tonkin Gulf incidents.

20th Feb.

Kissinger begins secret peace talks in Paris

18th March

Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia over thrown by General Lon Nol.

26th March

Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division departs Vietnam.

15th April

1st Infantry Division leaves Vietnam.

29th April

The Cambodian ‘incursion’ begins to attack and clear out the NVA sanctuaries where the NVA have large supply and staging bases. It is also an attempt to capture COSVN, the communist’s ‘Central Office for South Vietnam’. Although the NVA withdraw before the US and ARVN troops can engage them, captured prisoners reveal that they knew a couple of days earlier from their spies in Saigon.

4th May

Four students are killed at Kent State University in Ohio during an anti-war rally.

16th June

Phnom Penh is virtually cut of by communist forces.

9th Oct.

Khmer Republic is proclaimed by the communists.

11th Oct.

3rd Brigade 9th Infantry returns home.

21st Nov. U.S. Special Forces perform an audacious raid on the Son Tay POW camp a few miles outside Hanoi, no prisoners are liberated as they were moved a few days earlier due to flooding.

7th Dec.

4th Infantry leaves Vietnam along with the 1st Logistic Command.

8th Dec.

25th Infantry Division (less 2nd Brigade) return home.

14th Dec.

44th Medical Brigade also leave Vietnam.

22nd Dec.

Congress prohibits US combat forces or advisors from Cambodia or Laos

31st Dec.

U.S. military personnel now total 334,600.

1968   1971-1972