Vietnam April 2021

Vietnam Magazine Presents the full & true stories from America’s most controversial & divisive war. Vietnam is the only magazine exclusively devoted to telling the full story of the Vietnam war, with gripping firsthand accounts and carefully researched articles by Vietnam war veterans of the conflict and top military historians.

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6 Números

en este número

1 min.
join the discussion at

CRITICAL GENERAL Retired Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, a veteran of World War II and Korea, was distressed by the malfeasance he saw in the ranks of the U.S. Army fighting the Vietnam War in April 1971, as recounted in this issue. To read more about Ridgway, visit Search: “Ridgway.” Through firsthand accounts and stunning photos, our website puts you in the field with the troops who fought in one of America’s most controversial wars. HISTORYNET NOW Sign up for our FREE monthly e-newsletter at: Let’s connect Vietnam magazine Go digital Vietnam magazine is available on Zinio, Kindle and Nook.…

3 min.
training recipes for sergeants

FEEDBACK I very much enjoyed your Shake ‘n Bake article in the December 2020 issue [about a fast-paced Army program to train sergeants for Vietnam]. I was in Company B, 1st Battalion. 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. You covered our unit in an April 2018 article about Operation Pegasus [in April 1968]. Prior to that battle we had received a large group of badly needed replacements, including two Shake ‘n Bake sergeant E-5s. [lowest sergeant level]. Our three rifle platoons were being led by draftee sergeant E-5s, no lifers, no officers at the platoon level. I was platoon leader for 2nd Platoon and was assigned one of the new sergeants. Until I read your article I had no idea of the training they went through. I believed then and do now…

2 min.
defense act widens agent orange benefits eligibility

Agent Orange benefits will now be available to Vietnam veterans suffering from three illnesses not previously eligible for the benefits. The National Defense Authorization Act, passed Jan. 1, 2021, gives “presumptive” benefits status to bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson’s-like symptoms. Presumptive status means that veterans who served on the ground or in the waters of Vietnam do not have to provide documentation to prove they were exposed to Agent Orange. The Department of Veterans Affairs presumes that specified diseases among Vietnam vets are linked to Agent Orange because the poisonous herbicide was sprayed widely across South Vietnam to kill jungle vegetation that offered food and cover for communist forces. An estimated 83,000 Vietnam veterans suffer from the three conditions now eligible for Agent Orange benefits, according to Military Times. Most of them…

3 min.
a controversial question

ONE FREQUENTLY DEBATED QUESTION of the Vietnam War concerns North Vietnam’s motive for laying siege to the U.S. Marine Corps base at Khe Sanh in northwestern Quang Tri province just south of the Demilitarized Zone and about 10 miles from Laos. Actually, North Vietnam had several motives, some rarely discussed in the literature of the war. Hanoi had short-ng Tet attacksterm, medium-term and long-term reasons for besieging Khe Sanh, a conclusion drawn from both American sources and postwar Vietnamese histories. The short-term goal for the siege, which began Jan. 21, 1968, was to provide a diversion for the communists’ Tet Offensive, which would strike all across South Vietnam the night of Jan. 30-31. The North Vietnamese Army’s 304th and 325th divisions closed in around the Khe Sanh base in early January,…

4 min.
sizing up north and south

North and South Vietnam, although dramatically different in their governments and economy, were almost identical in their physical size and population. In square miles, South Vietnam was slightly larger than Florida, the 22nd largest state. North Vietnam was slightly larger than Georgia, the 24th largest state. In a 1960 census, North and South both had populations roughly the same as California, the second-most populous state at the time. Today, the unified Vietnam is 1 27,881 square miles, slightly larger than New Mexico, the 5th largest state. Vietnam’s population in July 2020 was 97.3 million, according to a United Nations estimate, roughly 2½ times the estimated July 2020 population of California, now the most populous state. SOURCES: CIA WORLD FACTBOOK; VIETNAM STUDIES, U.S. ARMY ENGINEERS 1965-1970, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, 1973; ANTHROPOMETRIC SURVEY…

7 min.
‘i’m going to get that gun’

REFLECTIONS A company of the 3rd Marine Division was patrolling in South Vietnam’s A Shau Valley on Feb. 22, 1969, when it was ambushed. A mortar round struck the command group, seriously wounding the platoon leader and others. A young first lieutenant, Lee Roy Herron, found himself in charge. Pfc. Terry Presgrove, hurt in the mortar blast, explained what happened next. “Lee came up to me shortly after the mortar had hit in our midst. I was lying on my back on top of another wounded Marine.” Screaming above the roar of the firefight, “Lee knelt down and asked me where my battle dressing was, seeing that I was bleeding.” The two men exchanged a few words. Then, Presgrove recounted, Herron “used the only four-letter word I ever heard him say: ‘Damn.’…