The last of U.S. combat troops out of Vietnam, 50 years ago today

| March 29, 2023

Vietnam Service Medal and ribbon. (Staff Sergeant Alexx Pons/US Air Force)

In January 1973, representatives from the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Vietcong met. They signed the peace agreement that ended the Vietnam War for the U.S. military. The peace treaty established a cease-fire and the withdrawal of the U.S. military. The treaty also required the release of U.S. POWs, and the eventual unification of Vietnam. On March 29, 1973, the last of the U.S. Combat troops left Vietnam.


During the next few years, the extended length of the war, the high number of U.S. casualties, and the exposure of U.S. involvement in war crimes, such as the massacre at My Lai, helped turn many in the United States against the Vietnam War. The communists’ Tet Offensive of 1968 crushed U.S. hopes of an imminent end to the conflict and galvanized U.S. opposition to the war. In response, Johnson announced in March 1968 that he would not seek reelection, citing what he perceived to be his responsibility in creating a perilous national division over Vietnam. He also authorized the beginning of peace talks.

In the spring of 1969, as protests against the war escalated in the United States, U.S. troop strength in the war-torn country reached its peak at nearly 550,000 men. Richard Nixon, the new U.S. president, began U.S. troop withdrawal and “Vietnamization” of the war effort that year, but he intensified bombing. Large U.S. troop withdrawals continued in the early 1970s as President Nixon expanded air and ground operations into Cambodia and Laos in attempts to block enemy supply routes along Vietnam’s borders. This expansion of the war, which accomplished few positive results, led to new waves of protests in the United States and elsewhere.

Finally, in January 1973, representatives of the United States, North and South Vietnam, and the Vietcong signed a peace agreement in Paris, ending the direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Its key provisions included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam, the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the release of prisoners of war, and the reunification of North and South Vietnam through peaceful means. The South Vietnamese government was to remain in place until new elections were held, and North Vietnamese forces in the South were not to advance further nor be reinforced. has the article here.

The article describes the peace treaty as a face-saving measure by the U.S. However, there was another factor at play. The U.S. was supposed to provide replacement military ammunition and equipment to South Vietnam in case of aggression from North Vietnam. However, the U.S. Congress did not do this part. Bruce Herschensohn, senior fellow with the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy at the time of this video, provided a missing piece of this history.

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Category: Historical, Vietnam

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Democrats… not an American enemy they don’t like.
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Last edited 8 months ago by Anonymous

My blood boils every time I see the photos of that bitch in Vietnam.


She got invited to the Kent State incident 50th Anniversary bash (not there in ’70) just for being Hanoi Jane in ’72.

Happily, it got canceled on account of COVID.

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Last edited 8 months ago by Anonymous

Ditto, here.


Uncle Ho’s ho


She love Giap long time.


I remember watching that on TV. Then those terrible mutants showed up and ruined everything.

Old tanker

Johnson was right in one regard. He does own the war since in reality he started it.

Army-Air Force Guy

To any future Vietnam vet poseurs: Make sure you were at least 17 years old by the date above before you start spouting your tales of uncommon valor at the local bar or family reunion.


And at least make sure you can find it on a map.
You can also check the spelling by looking at the tag on your underwear.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

have a couple of those tags on some cargo shorts made from the rip stop nylon material that was left there when the troops went home


It was my experience that, at least for the Army, no 17-year-olds were shipped off to Viet of the Nam. There were two guys in my 67N AIT class at Fort Rucker who were 17 and after graduation (July 71) they went to Germany and Korea. All the rest of us went to the Land of Little-Bitty Peoples. / s

USMC Steve

I know it was Marine Corps policy not to send them over. They would be held in CONUS until they turned 18, then shipped over.


As I recall, the deal was that if I joined I was guaranteed
Germany for at least a year.
I joined,got Germany for a year then a year in Viet of the Nam.
The war was supposed to be over while I was vacationing in Germany.
Too bad Soo sad GI.


You too? I enlisted for an extra year for what the SSGT at the processing center told me was a “guarantee” that I wouldn’t go to RVN. Eighteen months later I was home on a “delay en route” to RVN watching the TET festivities of 1968 on television. After returning from RVN I went to the IG to see if I could get that extra year back because it was pretty obvious that “guarantee” didn’t work. Surprise, surprise, surprise! (as Gomer would say). There was no guarantee in my records. Imagine that.


Born in 1955 or earlier, or they’re lyin’ about kickin’ ass in ‘Nam. Marines left in ’71 (so that’s 1953 or before) unless they were the DAO/embassy contingent for ’71- 75.

USMC Steve

Well, to be fair, the 9th MEB went back while the embassy was being evacuated, and they did engage the NVA outside the MEB’s perimeter.


When I attended the Infantry Vietnam Orientation course, we were told that it was Army policy that no more persons under 20 were to be ordered to Vietnam. That was in May, 1970; but I imagine there were exceptions. I never had anyone in my companies that was under 20. That is a sample of over 200 infantrymen in two different divisions.


Paul Hardcastle may been taking some license and/or focused only upon earlier:

Last edited 8 months ago by Anonymous
Prior Service

the subsequent Dem legislation would foreshadow everything they’ve in the fifty years since.



“A Tribute to Vietnam Veterans Featuring the Voice of Mr. Sam Elliott”

“Featuring the voice of renowned actor Mr. Sam Elliott, this video is a tribute to the 7.2 million living veterans and the 9 million families of all who served from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. Thank you for your service and sacrifice!”


“Vietnam tribute to those who served”


For OAM.

“I Fought For You”

Never Forget.


And, from Canada, about Nov 11th:


Streamed live 4 hours ago:

“Welcome Home Ceremony – National Vietnam War Veterans Day”

“We will commemorate National Vietnam War Veterans Day with FREE Museum admission for all and a Welcome Home Ceremony for our Veterans, live from our Great Hall. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the last U.S. combat troops departing Vietnam and repatriation of our remaining Prisoners of War.”

“Our keynote speaker, Captain J. Charles (Charlie) Plumb, U.S. Navy (Retired), will share his journey as a jet fighter pilot, six years as a Vietnam POW and how he now uses his experiences to help others face their challenges with his story, “Who Packs Your Parachute.”

1 Hour and 36 Minutes.

Salute. Never Forget.

RGR 4-78

Welcome Home Viet Nam Veterans.

And a special thanks to those of you who were my NCO’s and Officers.


Point of order…until the remaining 1244 American Troops listed as MIA in the Viet of The Nam are returned, we still have troops there. Bring them ALL home.

Never forget!