In the years following his Navy service, he continued to support the troops. In 1950, he participated in a campaign with the Treasury Department to promote the purchase of U.S. savings bonds. In 2009, he received the Lone Sailor Award. and, in 2010, he was honored with the Audie Murphy Award for his Navy service.
Draft operations ran relatively smoothly before and during World War II and again during the Korean War and the 1950s. By the mid-1960s, as the United States drafted more troops for the Vietnam War and opposition to the war heightened, some men viewed the public destruction of their draft cards as an effective form of symbolic protest against both the war and the draft system that supported it.
The arrest is captured on video and broadcast, leading to rioting and looting in Baltimore, a city of 620,000 inhabitants, of which nearly two-thirds are black. A state of emergency is declared and the authorities call in troops.
In addition to a dramatic increase in U.S. personnel and ground troops illustrated above, the United States began launching offensive air raids on North Vietnam.[x] The first of these air campaigns, Rolling Thunder, was waged between March 2, 1965 and October 31, 1968. The primary objectives of Rolling Thunder were to end the infiltration of men and supplies into South Vietnam and force Hanoi to peace negotiations.[xi] Military, industrial, and civilian targets were hit as Rolling Thunder moved further north. In an effort to maximize the destruction of the air war, American officials also lifted the restrictions on the type of weapons used in the air war. Beginning in the fall of 1965, the U.S. used napalm, white phosphorus and cluster bombs.[xii] Even with this unquestionable technological superiority, the United States was not making the progress it had been promising the public.
American forces under General William Westmoreland were tasked with defending South Vietnam against the insurgent VC and the regular North Vietnamese Army (NVA). But no matter how many troops the Americans sent or how many bombs they dropped, they could not win. This was a different kind of war. Progress was not measured by cities won or territory taken but by body counts and kill ratios. Although American officials like Westmoreland and secretary of defense Robert McNamara claimed a communist defeat was on the horizon, by 1968 half a million American troops were stationed in Vietnam, nearly twenty thousand had been killed, and the war was still no closer to being won. Protests, which would provide the backdrop for the American counterculture, erupted across the country.
The 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry advanced to secure the bridge with close air support from Marine F-4 Phantom jets. Securing the area around the bridge was a hazardous undertaking, requiring house-to-house clearing operations while under fire from rebel forces. The effort was further complicated by the fact that the rebels were assisted by Dominican military defectors who wore the same uniforms as loyalist forces allied with the United States. By mid-afternoon on April 30, both the bridge and the cityAca,!a,,cs main power station were secure. By the following morning, the 82nd had advanced further west and linked up with Marine forces. Additional troops worked to permanently secure the east-west transportation route and this Line of Communication (LOC) was dubbed the \"All-American Expressway\" by the 82nd. To demonstrate that the U.S. military was firmly in control, Maj. Gen. York marched the 82nd Airborne Division band all the way through the corridor.
By the end of the first week, 500 Marines and two full battalions from the 82nd were conducting security operations on the ground, and by the end of May, the entire division was in country. Lt. Gen. Palmer directed subordinate commanders to begin stability operations. Soon the troops were conducting constabulary operations and distributing food, water, and medical supplies to the members of both factions. Ultimately, more than 40,000 U.S. troops participated in Operation Power Pack.
On the morning of October 1, Suharto arrived at KOSTRAD, which for some reason had not been targeted or neutralized by the September 30th Movement, even though it sat directly across from Independence Square, which they occupied that morning. At an emergency meeting in the early morning, he took over as commander of the Armed Forces. In the afternoon, he told the troops at Independence Square to disperse and put an end to the rebellion or he would attack. He retook central Jakarta without firing a single shot, and went on the radio himself to declare the September 30th Movement had been defeated.
Over the next few years, so-called \"Americanization\" of the Vietnam War developed rapidly. The United States launched a long and deadly air bombing campaign against North Vietnam during this time. It also sent hundreds of thousands of American soldiers into South Vietnam to fight Viet Cong guerrillas (small groups of fighters who launch surpriseattacks) and North Vietnamese troops. Finally, U.S. officials continued with their efforts to rebuild South Vietnam's weak and unpopular government.
The first American combat troops arrived in South Vietnam in the spring of 1965. Of course, thousands of U.S. advisors, clerks, pilots, and other military personnel had served in Vietnam prior to 1965. But they had been responsible only for assisting the South Vietnamese military and government. They had not been ordered to Vietnam to fight the Viet Cong (VC) or North Vietnamese military. When U.S. marines arrived in Vietnam on March 8 to guard important facilities, a new stage of the war began.
As American forces poured into South Vietnam, General Westmoreland expressed great confidence that the United States would whip the Viet Cong and their NVA (North Vietnamese Army) allies. He planned to use some of his American troops to defend important U.S. bases and fortify strategic areas of the South like the Central Highlands, located in the heart of the country. He then planned to launch a series of \"search-and-destroy\" missions, using America's tremendous advantages in weapons, helicopters, airplanes, and other resources to locate and wipe out the enemy. Finally, he intended to introduce a new \"pacification\" scheme in the South's Viet Cong-infested rural areas.
The American military leadership also worked to improve the performance of South Vietnam's armed forces. But many of the South's officers were corrupt or showed little motivation to fight. In addition, most South Vietnamese troops received poor equipment, low pay, and little respect from their superiors. By 1966, many South Vietnamese soldiers relied on extra supplies of American rice for their meals. Not surprisingly, some members of the South Vietnamese army became reluctant to risk their lives for a government that did not seem to care about them. Finally, some of these soldiers had been waging war against the Viet Cong for years, and they were weary of all the bloodshed and violence.
In 1965 and 1966, America's armed forces claimed several significant military triumphs in Vietnam. For instance, U.S. and South Vietnamese naval forces established control over much of Vietnam's coastline. This prevented North Vietnam from sending supplies by sea to Viet Cong and NVA troops operating in the South. In addition, U.S. Navy gunboat patrols loosened the Communist grip on the rivers, canals, and delta areas of South Vietnam, especially in the Mekong Delta region.
U.S. troops also won a number of notable clashes with the enemy during this period. For example, in November 1965, U.S. forces met the North Vietnamese Army at the Battle of Ia Drang, a longtime Communist sanctuary. This was the first major engagement between U.S. troops and NVA troops in the Vietnam War. NVA troops had begun moving into the South in late 1964, when Ho Chi Minh and other North Vietnamese leaders decided that the Viet Cong needed additional help.
Despite these triumphs, however, the American forces struggled in other aspects of the war. For example, they failed to shut down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the primary route used by Communists to transport soldiers and supplies. This roadway ran through the thick jungles of Laos and Cambodia, the countries immediately to the west of Vietnam. From 1965 to 1968, American planes bombed the trail every day, using sophisticated detection devices and spy reports to select their targets. But the Communists continued to use the route, making repairs as needed. By 1967, an estimated 20,000 NVA troops used the trail to enter South Vietnam each month, despite the heavy bombing.
The Americans also found it very difficult to remove Viet Cong forces from rural areas permanently. The U.S. forces repeatedly chased theenemy out of villages or strategic jungle areas. The military made heavy use of ground troops in these efforts, but their biggest weapon was air power. They targeted many suspected Communist strongholds with bombings of explosives or napalm, a gasoline-based chemical that sent large sections of forest up in flames. But as soon as the American forces left the area, the Communists would creep back and resume their guerrilla operations.
As American troops traveled deeper into the countryside, they found that fear of the Viet Cong kept many villagers from cooperating with them. As South Vietnamese General Lu Mong Lan noted in Al Santoli's To Bear Any Burden, \"in areas close to their sanctuaries in Cambodia, the North Vietnamese were never more than a two-day march from any village. There was always a fear of reprisal [consequences] among people who cooperated with our forces . . . . And there were well-informed VC agents who monitored every villager's activities.\"
As time passed, many of these helpless South Vietnamese families became resigned to the grim situation. Helpless to protect themselves from either side, they simply tried to survive until the war ended. \"The villagers were horrified because they couldn't win at all,\" remembered one U.S. soldier in To Bear Any Burden. \"If they didn't submit to the Viet Cong and pay their bounty, the chiefs were killed or the young men or women taken away. And then here we come along or the South Vietnamese troops. And they'd have to submit to our will at the same time. So they didn't have a chance. I pitied them.\" 59ce067264