REMEMBERING 50 YEARS AGO: THE GROUND WAR IN VIETNAM BEGINS

On March 8, 1965, the first U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam as 3500 Marines landed at China Beach to defend the American air base at Da Nang. They joined 23,000 American military advisors already in Vietnam. This marked the start of the ground war in South Vietnam. By year’s end there would be more than 184,000 American troops in South Vietnam--and that was just the beginning. Thus began the conflict that would consume a generation of Americans. In that time more than 3,000,000 soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen served in the Southeast Asia theater, including 514,300 offshore. The theater included Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors on Yankee st

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