US Casualties in Vietnam - History

US Casualties in Vietnam - History

US Casualties in Vietnam - History

Vietnam War Casualties
by Race, Ethnicity and Natl Origin

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V'nam Casualties by Race, Ethnicity and Natl Origin

Of all enlisted men who died in V'nam, blacks made up 14.1% of the total. This came at a time when they made up 11.0% of the young male population nationwide. If we add officer casualties to enlisted then the black percentage is reduced to 12.5% of all casualties.

Of the 7262 blacks who died, 6, 955 or 96% were Army and Marine enlisted men. The combination of our selective service policies, our AFQT testing of both drafted and volunteers, the need for skilled enlisted men in many areas of the armed forces, all conspired to assign blacks in greater numbers to the combat units of the Army and Marine Corps. Early in the war, when blacks made up about 11.0% of our V'nam force, black casualties soared to over 20% of the total (1965, 1966). Black leaders protested and Pres Johnson ordered that black participation should be cut back in the combat units. As a result, the black casualty rate was cut to 11.5% by 1969.

The DoD database contains no info on Hispanic-Amer casualties. Hispanics can be of any race, but the 1980 census revealed that only 2.6% regard themselves as black. In a massive sampling of the database we were able to establish that between 5.0 and 6.0> had Hispanic surnames. These were Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and other Latino-Americans with ancestries based in Central and South Amer. The 1970 census which we are using as our V'nam era population base, estimated Hispanic-Americans at 4.5% of the US population.

Thus we think it is safe to say that Hispanic-Americans were over-represented among V'nam casualties-an estimated 5.5% of the casualties against 4.5% of the 1970 population. These casualties came largely from California and Texas with lesser numbers from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida and New York and some from many states across the country.

During the V'nam war, the Navy and Air Force became substantially white enclaves. Of the 4953 Navy and Air Force casualties, both officer and enlisted, 4, 736 or 96% were white.

Officer casualties of all branches were overwhelmingly white. Of the 7877 officer casualties, 7595 or 96.4% were white, 147 or 1.8% were black 24 or .3% were Asian, 7 or .08% were Amer Indian and 104 (1.3%) were unidentified by race.

In terms of natl origin/ancestries our massive sampling of the database reveals that Americans of Italian, French Canadian, Polish and other Southern and Eastern European surnames made up about 10% of the casualties. These casualties came largely from the Northeast and North Central regions, many from the traditionally patriotic working class neighborhoods.

It becomes apparent that the remaining 70% of V'nam enlisted casualties were of English/Scottish/Welsh, German, Irish, and Scandinavian-Amer ancestries, more from the South and Mid-West than the other regions, many from the small towns with a family military tradition.

The officer corps has always drawn heavily on English, German, Irish and Scandinavian-Amer ancestries from lower-middle and middle class white collar homes with other large percentages from ambitious blue-collar and career military families. By region, officer casualties came more from the South and West (4.1 per 100000 population) to 3-5 from the Northeast and North Central.

Data compiled William F. Abbott from figures obtained shortly after the construction of the Vietnam War Memorial

Mailing Address: The American War Library
14817-C Chadron Avenue
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Telephone/Fax: 1-310-355-0455

History Lists

Famous Battles with few comparable deaths: 400 Colonists died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Only 267 Died with Custer at the Little Big Horn. 183 Texans died in the Alamo. If you take out the yellow fever epidemic, only 379 U.S. Troops died in the entire Spanish –American War. The entire Persian Gulf War saw only 148 U.S. deaths.

The U.S. has had far fewer deaths than other countries in the same battles. The top 7 deadliest battles in world history have all been fought in Russia! Four Million people died in the sieges of Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad during World War II. That is more than all U.S. Deaths in all wars combined. In World War II, Russia lost 23 Million people and China lost 20 million while the U.S. lost 418,000.

Western culture places high value on Human life, and the sacrifice of large numbers of people is unthinkable. 140,000 Japanese died on Okinawa including 80,000 civilians who committed suicide rather than surrender. The willingness of Japanese citizens to take their own life gave the U.S. the push they needed to use the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As horrible as the bombings were, the 150,000 people who died is only a fraction of the total number of Japanese deaths that would have occurred in the Invasion of Japan.

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20 Responses to 󈫺 Deadliest Battles in American History”

What about the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest? How many Americans were lost in this battle. I have heard that there were very high casualties during the battle. Thanks for your answer.

Thanks for the post. There was an estimate of 33,000 Americans KIA in the Hurtgen Forest between Sept, 1944 and Feb, 1945. To me, it seems like more of an operational campaign than a singe battle, so I did not include Hurtgen on the list.

If this is considered a battle, then it would be the deadliest in U.S. history.

The Hurtgenforest, is propably the bloodiest campaign (battle) the USA ever did fight. I don’t think you can seperate the battle of the Hurtgenforest from the battle of the Bulge. Germans trying to keep USA troops behind the Rur river so the could build up for the battle of the Bulge and the USA getting pissed and wanting to destroy the Germans in the forest. It includes the heaviest bombardment on German soil with operation Queen at the 16 th of november 1944. For 100 days fighting in a area of arround 8 by 15 miles. Sounds like a battle to me. It is one of the least mentioned battles, but USA did bleed very much in that forest. That propably is the main reason why this battle is never mentioned.

what was the deadlist battle during WW II causing the most casualties?

Gettysburg,PA 51,000 total (US 23,000 CS 28,000)
Spotsylvania Court House, VA 30,000 total (US 18,000 CS 12,000)
Wilderness, VA 29,800 total (US 18,400 CS 11,400)
Chancellorsville,VA 24,000 total (US 14,000 CS 10,000)
Manassas II , VA 22,180 total (US 13,830 CS 8,350)
Shiloh, TN 23,746 total (US 13,047 CS 10,699)

these numbers are est. but still greater than most your list. est 376500 solders died in VA from 1861-1865

gettysburg’s 51,000 was CASUALTIES, not deaths… So, that is death plus injury…..

actually…casualty…. looks like it includes mia and captured
1. An accident, especially one involving serious injury or loss of life.
2. One injured or killed in an accident: a train wreck with many casualties.
3. One injured, killed, captured, or missing in action through engagement with an enemy. Often used in the plural: Battlefield casualties were high.
4. One that is harmed or eliminated as a result of an action or a circumstance: The corner grocery was a casualty of the expanding supermarkets.

I don’t understand why Hurtgen Forest is considered an operational campaign but guadalcanal is not. they both ran about six months and there were numerous naval battles for four months to start the campaign. also i believe there were about 998 marine kia’s while not very many army could the u.s. navy really lost 6,000 kia’s. thanks alot for your post and your help semper fi

The casualty figures you posted represent killed, wounded and missing. In most cases, the killed and missing is somewhere in the range of thirty percent. That would put the death toll at some fifteen thousand which would move Gettysburg into third place. The 20th Century numbers are far more reliable than those from the Civil War

[…] BBC, PBS, US Army, US Defense Department,, HistoryList Photo Credit: Andrew […]

The battle at Antietam had more casualties according to other sources and is known as the deadliest day in US history with 22,717 dead on both sides. Not sure where your number comes from.

how many died in Gettysburg? better recount

You need to read your history the civel war saw over 680,000 americans lost thier lives Gettiesbuurg over 53000 dead
Antietium over 23,000 killed in one day in ww2 over 480,000 americans lost thier lives as an old Marine Those that gave thier lives for our freedom should never be left of the count of the dead!

James I’m an old Marine also but the facts are that at Gettysburg for example 51,000 plus were CASUALTIES not killed in action. Casualties as you know are wounded not KIA. Same for Antietam 23,000 plus casualties in one single day not all are KIA. I see the same mistakes all the time from tv anchors who don’t know much about military history. They almost always say medal of honor winner instead of recipient. War isn’t an athletic competiton. Another one is ex-Marine, there is no such thing as an ex Marine. Only retired Marine, reserve Marine, and veteran Marine. And according to Gunny Hartman in the movie Full Metal Jacket .. dead SEMPER FI

[…] For Cap and many of the men of the 365th Regiment, September 1918 offered a brutal introduction to combat: constant artillery bombardments, trench warfare, nighttime raids, even a few gas attacks. It really does seem to be the month that weathered Cap, turning him from a young bloke from Massachusetts into a grizzled officer of the U.S. Army. It was also the month that launched the final assault of the war, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The months-long battle stretched along the entire Western Front and involved some 1.2 million American troops. While it ultimately brought an end to the war, the battle remains the bloodiest in American history. […]

[…] For Cap and many of the men of the 365th Regiment, September 1918 offered a brutal introduction to combat: constant artillery bombardments, trench warfare, nighttime raids, even a few gas attacks. It really does seem to be the month that weathered Cap, turning him from a young bloke from Massachusetts into a grizzled officer of the U.S. Army. It was also the month that launched the final assault of the war, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The months-long battle stretched along the entire Western Front and involved some 1.2 million American troops. While it ultimately brought an end to the war, the battle remains the bloodiest in American history. […]

Seriously? You’re not even freakin’ close. Normandy was probably the bloodiest single battle in American history.

Where do you get your information? 1.465 KIA? Surely you mean that number for D Day, June 6, 1944, but the Battle for Normandy followed until July 24, 1944, just over a month in which the U.S. Army sustained 63,360 casualties, with 17,386 KIA and 43,221 WIA. That was a 30.73 % casualty rate, 8.43 % KIA rate, and 20.96 % WIA rate, all three of which would be the highest percentage rates in American history if not for Anzio, with 23,364 casualties (51.49%), 6,017 KIA (13.37%), and 15,558 WIA (34.57%). And by the way, those figures for June 6 are not even correct. The U.S. Army KIA figure for D Day is 2,499.

Then you can add the Battle for France which followed Normandy from July 25-September 14, in which the U.S. Army sustained 72,014 casualties, with 17,844 KIA and 49,919 WIA.

Then you can add the Siegfried Line Campaign, in which the U.S. Army suffered 62,704 casualties, with 15,009 KIA and 44,475 WIA. Southern France, 15,574 casualties, with 7,301 KIA in a single month. Oh and, you forgot Luzon, which was by far the bloodiest island battle of the Pacific War.

Your number for Saipan is far too low. Your number for Guadalcanal is far too high, unless you are including naval casualties, which you definately are doing with Okinawa, as only 7,000 some odd died in the land battle. The Meuse Argonne did take 26,277 KIA, but 1.25 million AEF soldiers participated in the battle, making it only a 2.10% KIA rate, paltry by World War II standards.

I think it’d be fair to refer to Huertgen Forest as part of the Siegfried Line Campaign. Per the web link, there were a bit more than 8000 combat deaths in that campaign which had 57K casualties overall. I’d say HF makes the top ten and is not well remembered only because it was overshadowed by the Battle of the Bulge.

The Battle of Normandy lasted from June 6 to July 24 1944. It cost the lives of 16,293 Americans killed. The Battle of Hurtgen Forest killed 12,000 Americans.

Ummmm…… i’m pretty sure battle of Antietam should be on the list and also battle of Hurtgen Forest should to.

According to the last update in 2008 from the National Archives, there were 58,220 U.S. military fatal casualties during the Vietnam War. All their names were honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

Death by Casualties Type

Among 58,220 U.S. fatal casualties, there were 47,434 hostile deaths and 10,786 non-hostiles.

Casualty Type Number of Records
Killed (Hostile) 38,505
Died Of Wounds (Hostile) 5,242
Died While Missing (Hostile) 3,523
Died While Captured (Hostile) 116
Died Of Other Causes (Non-Hostile) 7,455
Died Of Illness (Non-Hostile) 1,990
Died While Missing (Non-Hostile) 1,353
Total 58,178 (1)

Death by Years

Year of Death Number of Records
1956-1962 78
1963 122
1964 216
1965 1,928
1966 6,350
1967 11,363
1968 16,899
1969 11,780
1970 6,173
1971 2,414
1972 759
1973 69
1974 1
1975 62
After 1975 7
Total 58,220

The first American soldier died in the Vietnam War was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, Jr., a U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant. He was not killed in action but murdered by another U.S. airman and later died of his wounds on 8 June, 1956. On October 22, 1957, the U.S. forces suffered their first hostile casualties. Thirteen Americans were wounded in three terrorist bombings. Since then, number of terrorist incidents rose quickly. In the last quarter of 1957, 75 local officers were assassinated and kidnapped.

The U.S. casualties increased proportional to its growing military intervention in Vietnam. 1968 was the year when American troop strength in Vietnam peaked at around 540,000, which also happened to be the deadliest year with 16,899 deaths. The high casualty in 1968 also was caused by the first massive offensive from North Vietnam, widely known as Tet Offensive. In later years of the conflict, after President Nixon began to implement the Vietnamization policy, the number of soldiers decreased gradually and so did the number of deaths.

Charles McMahon and Darwin Lee Judge were the last American soldiers died during the war. The two men, both U.S. Marines, were killed on a rocket attack on April 29, 1975 – one day before the Fall of Saigon and South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, seven more soldiers died by the wounds they had suffered in Vietnam.

Death by Rank

There were 7,878 (1) American officers died in Vietnam War, including 1,278 Warrant Officers, 2,981 Lieutenant, 2,045 Captain, 898 Major/Lt Commander, 426 Lt Colonel/Commander, 238 Colonel, and 12 who had reached the rank of general. Major general/Rear Admiral was the highest ranking personnel died in Vietnam. Among five major general’s deaths, there were two served in the United States Army, two in the United States Air Force, and the other one in the United States Marine Corps.

Death by Race

By race, the ratio of men who died was nearly proportional with the ratio of men who served.

White 88.4 85.6 49,830
Black 10.6 12.4 7,243
Other 1.0 2.0 1,147

Other Facts:

Dan Bullock is believed as the youngest Vietnam KIA at 15 years old.
Dwaine McGriff, the oldest person was honored on the Wall, died at 63 years old.
At least 25,000 soldiers who died in Vietnam War were 20 years old or younger.
There were eight women who died in Vietnam, seven of them served in the United States Army and one in the United States Air Force. The oldest woman died was Lt. Colonel Annie Ruth Graham, when she was 52. Annie was also the highest ranking woman died in Vietnam.


Since the goal of the United States in the Vietnam War was not to conquer North Vietnam but rather to ensure the survival of the South Vietnamese government, measuring progress was difficult. All the contested territory was theoretically “held” already. Instead, the US Army used body counts to show that the US was winning the war. The Army’s theory was that eventually, the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army would lose after the attrition warfare.

According to historian Christian Appy, “search and destroy was the principal tactic and the enemy body count was the primary measure of progress” in General Westmoreland’s war of attrition. Search and destroy was coined as a phrase in 1965 to describe missions aimed at flushing the Viet Cong out of hiding, while the body count was the measuring stick for the success of any operation.

The combination of geopolitics and geography meant that there were no clear “front lines” in the conflict, as the US military was familiar with from its experiences in WWII and Korea. traditional measures of military progress such as capturing territory or taking a hill were practically meaningless. Without this traditional means of gauging success, the US Army high command had to find a new way of reporting their strategic situation.

The “body count” strategy was implemented in the aftermath of the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. the battle featured a new experimental US doctrine where ground troops were inserted via helicopter into areas with heavy enemy presence and by virtue of airborne support and overwhelming firepower were able to inflict tremendous casualties against superior numbers with a relatively small force.

General Westmoreland of the US rallied to turn the tide and stem the losses suffered in the South by making US involvement more open ended. He reasoned that US military strength existed primarily in its offensive capabilities because of the nature of US military schooling. His plan was to “seize the initiative” to destroy guerrilla and organized forces of the North (read: search & destroy). This phase of engagement would require the continued commitment of the US (keep giving us money, soldiers and weapons) and would end when the enemy was thrown on the defensive, exhausted, low on resources and unable to launch insurgent or organized attacks. (Read: go on the offense by seeking out enemy forces within South Vietnam, but don’t actually invade North Vietnam).

Essentially Westmoreland reasoned that US superiority in warfare technology and resources would eliminate more bodies than the North could replace. Part of his attrition strategy did also include recruitment strengthening in the South (primarily to discount another body for the North). American soldiers and technology would advance to wipe out the bulk of the North Vietnamese Army’s (NVA) organized forces and ARVN would be relegated to taking over defensive roles in the South and bolstering recruitment. Attrition was to be supported with heavy firepower and bombing that would in theory suppress enemy safeties and hiding spots.

Here after all that explaining is why Body Count was the favored metric of success. The body count concept affirms Westmoreland’s strategy of attrition and gave tangible “evidence” of winning the war. The lack of fortified positions to take over in the brush of Vietnam and the extremely rugged nature of the terrain made it difficult to really say: “this dense jungle is controlled by us” or “this air force base is now controlled by us”. However, Body Counts almost always sounded favorable to the US and gave the illusion that the US was winning.

Moore, Harold G., US Army Col. (ret.), We Were Soldiers Once… And Young: Ia Drang – The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam

Sheehan, Neil, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

Names On The Wall: A Closer Look At Those Who Died In Vietnam

…’In honor of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States who served in the Vietnam War. The names of those who gave their lives and of those who remain missing are inscribed in the order they were taken from us. Inscription at the beginning of The Wall.

The 58,152 names of those who died in Vietnam are etched onto the two rising black marble slabs of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The slabs meet at a vertex of 125 degrees, 10 feet above ground level to form the Wall. The shining surface is intended to reflect the sun, the ground and those who stand before it. The names are listed chronologically by date of death, the first to last. As one walks the Wall slowly, examining the ineffably American names, one is struck by the same recurring surnames. How many Smiths can there possibly be who died in Vietnam? There were 667 How many Andersons?, 178 Garcias?, 102 Murphys?, 82 Jenkins?, 66 One wants to know more about these Americans. Who were they?


A new Department of Defense (DOD) database computer tape released through the National Archives allows researchers to take a much closer look at our 58,152 Vietnam casualties. From 1964 to 1973, 2,100,000 men and women served in Vietnam, but this was only 8 percent of the 26,000,000 Americans who were eligible for military service.


The vast majority of Americans who were eligible by age but did not serve in the armed forces were exempted by reason of physical, mental, psychiatric, or moral failure or they were given status deferments because they were college students, fathers, clergy, teachers, engineers or conscientious objectors. Others, later in the war, were simply ineligible because of high lottery number. Many others joined the reserves or National Guard, which were not mobilized in any appreciable numbers during the war. A relatively small number refused to register for the draft at all. Some went to Canada or Sweden, but few of those who evaded the draft were actually prosecuted and most were eventually pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1977.


The DOD database shows that of the 2,100,000 men and women who served in Vietnam, 58,152 were killed. The Army suffered the most total casualties, 38,179 or 2.7 percent of its force. The Marine Corps lost 14,836, or 5 percent of its own men.

The Navy fatalities were 2,556 or 2 percent. The Air Force lost 2,580 or l percent. Coast Guard casualties are included in the Navy totals. Of the 8000 Coast guardsmen who served in Vietnam, 3 officers and 4 enlisted men were killed and 59 were wounded.

Eight women were killed in Vietnam, five Army lieutenants, one Army captain, one Army lieutenant colonel and one Air Force captain. All were nurses, all were single and all but one were in their 20s. An estimated 11,000 women served in Vietnam.

In this study we will refer to casualties as the 58,152 who died in Vietnam, but it should be emphasized that there were 153,303 who were wounded seriously enough to be hospitalized. Thus, there were 211,455 killed and wounded, or one in every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam. The Army as a branch had 134,982 killed or wounded (9.5 percent), but the Marines suffered 66,227 killed or wounded (22.5 percent) or almost one of every four Marines who served.


Since the days of Alexander the Great and the Roman Legions, it has always been the young, inexperienced, low-ranking enlisted man who has taken the brunt of combat casualties. The Vietnam War was no different. The DOD percentages reveal that nearly 75 percent of Army enlisted casualties were privates or corporals. The Marine Corps losses were skewed even more to the lower ranks, 91 percent were privates or corporals. If the two branches are combined, then 80 percent of the Army and Marine enlisted casualties were privates or corporals, grades E-1 to E-4.

Although it is a truism that the young die in war, one is still unprepared for the fact that 40 percent of Marine enlisted casualties in Vietnam were teenagers that more than 16 percent of Army enlisted casualties were also teenagers and that nearly a quarter of all enlisted casualties in Vietnam were between the ages of 17- and 19-years old. If the demographic is expanded to 17- to 21- years, then we find there were 83 percent of Marine enlisted casualties, and 65 percent of Army enlisted casualties. Only the Navy, with 50 percent of its enlisted casualties over 21, and the Air Force, with 75 percent over 21, showed an older, more experienced age demographic. No other American war has presented such a young profile in combat. These young men were trained quickly and shipped to Vietnam quickly. They also died quickly, many within a few weeks or months of arriving in Vietnam.

But given the draft policies, the hard-sell recruitment, the severe escalation from month to month and the refusal by President Lyndon Johnson to call up the older reserves and National Guard, it could not have been otherwise. The burden of combat fell on the very available non-college-bound young.


The civilian and military men who formed the policy did not see it necessarily as a disadvantage. The very young were considered by many to be preferred combat material. Despite their inexperience, they were thought to accept discipline readily. They did not, in most cases, carry the burdens of wife or children. They were at their peak physically. Perhaps more important, many of them probably did not yet fully understand their own mortality and were therefore less likely to be hesitant in combat. And, as in every American war, it is the very young who are the most willing to volunteer.


It may come as a surprise to some that 63.3 percent of all Vietnam enlisted casualties were not draftees but volunteers. If officers are added, then almost 70 percent of those who died were volunteers. Of course, the Marine, Navy, and Air Force enlisted casualties were all volunteers, but as it turned out, almost 50 percent of Army enlisted casualties were also volunteers. It should be noted, however, that the draft was specifically designed to trigger volunteer enlistments. The draft policy at the time of the Vietnam War was called the Universal Military Training and Service Act. Since its adoption in 1951, at the time of the Korean War, this policy had been renewed by Congress every four years. It called for the registration of all 18 to 26-year old males, with induction to take place at 18 1/2 if so ordered by the local draft board. The draftee, if found physically and mentally fit, would be inducted for a period of two years, to be followed by another two year period in the active reserves and a subsequent two years in the inactive reserves. The trigger came when the recruiters pointed out that the volunteer could enlist as early as 17 (with parental consent) that he was allowed to select his branch of service that he would receive specialized training if he qualified that he could request a specific overseas assignment and that his three year enlistment followed by three years in the inactive reserves satisfied his military obligation immediately. Sad to say, many of these recruitment promises were fudged in one way or another, and many of these young men found themselves shipped directly to Vietnam after basic training.

One additional factor, often overlooked, that influenced volunteer enlistment was military tradition — the influence of fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and others who had served in previous 20th century wars. In many of these families it was considered unpatriotic and indeed reprehensible to avoid active duty by requesting a status deferment or seeking out a draft counselor for advice on how to avoid the draft. Often that advice, especially for professional athletes, rock stars, sons of politicians and other celebrities, was to join the never-to-be-called-up reserves or National Guard. All of this was one of the great and abiding agonies of the Vietnam War, causing repercussions within families and on the national political scene to this day.

The training for American officers is thought by most foreign military authorities to be the best in the world. With few exceptions, almost all of the 6,600 commissioned officers who died in Vietnam were graduates of the service academies, college Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), or the Officer Candidate School (OCS) programs. The major service academies and other military colleges provided close to 900 of the Vietnam officer casualties: the U.S. Military Academy, 278 the U.S. Air Force Academy, 205 the U.S. Naval Academy, 130 Texas A & M, 112 The Citadel, 66 Virginia Military Institute, 43 Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 26 Norwich University, 19.


Officer casualties in Vietnam, including warrant officers, numbered 7,874, or 13.5 percent of all casualties. The Army lost the greatest number of officers – 4,635 or 59 percent of all officer casualties. Ninety-one percent of these Army officers were warrant officers, second lieutenants, first lieutenants or captains. This was a reflection of the role of warrant officers as helicopter pilots (of the 1,277 warrant officer casualties, 95 percent were Army helicopter pilots), and of the young lieutenants and captains as combat platoon leaders or company commanders.

The same profile holds true for the Marine Corps, where 87 percent of all officer casualties (821 of 938) were warrant officers, lieutenants or captains. Army and Marine officer casualties were also quite young. Fully 50 percent were in the 17- to 24-year age group, and astonishingly, there were 764 Army officer casualties who were 21 or younger.


Quite a different profile emerges among the Navy and Air force officer corps. The Air Force lost the highest percentage of officers. Of 2,590 total Air Force casualties, 1,674 or 65 percent were officers. Many of them, as experienced pilots, were older (two thirds were thirty or older) and many were high ranking. Almost 50 percent were majors, lieutenant-colonels, colonels and three were generals. The Navy had a similar profile: 55 percent of its 622 officer casualties were 30 years of age or older, and 45 percent were ranked at lieutenant commander or above when they died. It should be emphasized that 55 percent of all Navy and Air Force officer casualties came as a result of reconnaissance and bombing sorties into North Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. As a result, it was mainly the families of Navy and Air Force pilots and crewmen who suffered the great agony of the POW (prisoner of war) and MIA (missing in action) experience that came out of the Vietnam War.

The makeup of U.S. combat forces in Vietnam has long been the subject of controversy among social scientists. The feeling is that the poor, the undereducated and the minorities made up the vast majority of the combat arms during that war. This makeup, they say, was the very antithesis of what we stand for as a democracy — a shameful corruption of our values and our historical sense of fairness and social justice. There is some truth to this, but it is instructive to look at what the DOD database reveals in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, religious preference and casualties by U.S. geographic areas.


Of all enlisted men who died in Vietnam, blacks made up 14.1 percent of the total. This came at a time when blacks made up 11 percent of the male population nationwide. However, if officer casualties are added to the total, then this overrepresentation is reduced to 12.5 percent of all casualties. Of the 7,262 blacks who died, 6,955, or 96 percent, were Army and Marine enlisted men. The combination of the selective service policies with the skills and aptitude testing of both volunteers and draftees (in which blacks scored noticeably lower) conspired to assign blacks in greater numbers to the combat units of the Army and Marine Corps. Early in the war (1965 and 1966) when blacks made up about 11 percent of our Vietnam force, black casualties soared to more than 20 percent of the total. Black leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., protested, and President Johnson ordered black participation in combat units cut back. As a result, the black casualty rate was reduced to 11.5 percent by 1969.


During the Vietnam War, the Navy and Air Force became substantially white enclaves – enlisted and officer casualties were 96 percent white. Indeed, officer casualties of all branches were overwhelmingly white. Of the 7,877 officer casualties, 7,595, or 96.4 percent, were white 147, or 1.8 percent, were black 24, or 0.3 percent, were Asian 7, or .08 percent, were Native American 104, or 1.3 percent, were unidentified by race.


The 1970 census which is being used as our Vietnam era population base did not list an Hispanic count but gave an estimate of 4.5 percent of the American population. In a massive sampling of the database, it was established that between 5 and 6 percent of Vietnam dead had identifiable Hispanic surnames. These were Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and other Latino-Americans with ancestries based in Central and South America. They came largely from California and Texas, with lesser numbers from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, New York and a few from many other states across the country. Thus it is safe to say that Hispanic-Americans were over-represented among Vietnam casualties — an estimated 5.5 percent of the dead against 4.5 percent of the 1970 population.


In terms of national origin/ancestries, an extensive sampling of the data-base reveals that Americans of French Canadian, Polish, Italian and other Southern and Eastern European surnames made up about 10 percent of the Vietnam casualties. These casualties came largely from the Northeast and North Central regions of the United States, many from the traditionally patriotic, Catholic working class neighborhoods.

The remaining 70 percent of our Vietnam enlisted casualties were of English/Scottish/Welsh, German, Irish and Scandinavian-American ancestries, more from the South and Midwest than the other regions, many from small towns with a family military tradition. The officer corps has always drawn heavily on English/Scottish/Welsh, German, Irish and Scandinavian-American ancestries from middle-class white collar homes, with other large percentages from ambitious working class blue collar and, of course, career military families. These officer casualties came more from the South and West regions, 4.1 deaths per 100,000, in contrast to 3.5 from the Northeast and Midwest regions.


The DOD database listed precise religious preferences for the 58,152 Vietnam casualties. Protestants were 64.4 percent (37,483), Catholics were 28.9 percent (16,806). Less than 1 percent (0.8) were Jewish, Hindu, Thai, Buddhist or Muslim combined, and 5.7 listed no religion. Blacks were 85 percent Protestant. Officers of all services, by tradition largely Protestant, remained so during the Vietnam war, sustaining casualties in comparison with Catholics by a 5 to 2 ratio.


As a region, the South experienced the greatest numbers of dead, nearly 34 percent of the total, or 31.0 deaths per 100,000 of population. This number of deaths per 100,000 compared strikingly with the 23.5 in the Northeast region, 29.9 in the West and 28.4 in the North Central (Midwest) region.

This uneven impact was caused by a number of factors: (1) While the South was home to some 53 percent of all blacks in the 1970 census, almost 60 percent of black casualties came from the South (2) Although we cannot be as precise, we do know that a considerable majority of Hispanic-American casualties came from the West, (California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado) and the South (Texas) (3) Better employment opportunities in the Northeast reduced the number of volunteers (4) Greater college matriculation in the Northeast increased the number of status deferments for the region’s 17- to 24- year olds (5) More anti-war sentiment in the media and on college campuses in the Northeast.

A correspondingly greater tradition of military service in the other regions had its effect on U.S. regional casualties. It is not surprising, for instance, that West Virginia, Montana, and Oklahoma had a casualty rate almost twice that of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


World War II had been, for the most part, a perfect war, clear of purpose, the forces of democracy and freedom lined up against the forces of fascism and tyranny. Our combat arms were thought to be completely classless. They drew on every segment of American society. We were one giant Hollywood B-17 bomber crew, one perfect socioeconomic platoon storming Omaha Beach or Okinawa. All classes were drafted or volunteered and all served and died equally, although it must be noted that most blacks died separately.


But after World War II a kind of educational apartheid had settled over the United States. Where previously a high school diploma had been an acceptable goal, now it was college and all the benefits it would bring. The popularity of the GI Bill after Vietnam emphasized this yearning. Early on President Johnson, his advisers and especially the Congress, realized that if the draft was to be truly equitable and had included combat assignments in Vietnam for the sons of the educationally advantaged and influential Americans from the professional and managerial classes, then the resulting uproar would have shut down the war.

Congress and the Johnson administration, therefore, sought to protect our college-bound and educated young men. The Channeling Memo of July 1965, instructed all local draft boards to give status deferments to college undergraduate and post-graduate students. The Selective Service System it said, has the responsibility to deliver manpower to the armed forces in such a manner as to reduce to a minimum any adverse effect upon the national health, safety, interest and progress.

It is forgotten now, but in the beginning Congress and most of the American people were behind our containment effort in Vietnam. The young enlisted volunteer or draftee had not had much time to form any complicated theories about our Vietnam commitment. He accepted the tradition of military service passed on to him by the popular culture and by President John F. Kennedy’s ringing words, Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.

Most of the young American enlisted men who served in Vietnam were not college prospects at the time they entered the service. Those who could have qualified for college probably did not have the funds or motivation. Many of the 17- and 18-year olds were simply late in maturing. They were struggling through or dropping out of high school, or if a high school graduate, had tested poorly for college entrance. (Surprisingly, as it turned out, the percentage of Vietnam veterans who applied for the GI Bill was higher than either World War II or Korea.)


The DOD database provides no civilian or military educational levels for the Vietnam casualties specifically, but it does give us general levels for all enlisted men across all the services during the Vietnam era. The figures show that on average 65 percent of white enlisted men and 60 percent of black enlisted men were high school graduates. Only 5 to 10 percent of enlisted men in the combat units were estimated to have had some college, and less than 1 percent of these enlisted men were college graduates.


The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) was given to all entering enlisted men. The resulting aptitude scores were used to classify entrants into four categories and this would, for the most part, determine their subsequent assignments. On average, 43 percent of white enlisted entrants placed in categories I and II (scoring 65 to 100) and 57 percent in categories III and IV (scoring 10 to 64). For blacks, however, only 7 percent placed in categories I and II and 93 percent placed in categories III and IV. In civilian life, poor aptitude testing can have a tremendous negative impact, whether for college placement or for simple job advancement. In the military it can be somewhat more deadly. John Kennedy, discussing military assignments, said that, life is unfair. True enough, but many of the surviving Vietnam casualty families would reply that the ultimate unfairness is death at an early age, in a land far from home, for reasons not clearly defined.

Adding to the problem was Project 100,000. Lower end category IVs consisting of those who scored below 20 on the AFQT were usually rejected for service. But in 1966, President Johnson and Secretary of Defense McNamara decided to institute Project 100,000 that would allow category IV men to enter the military. This, they felt, would offer these men the opportunity to get remedial training in the service and then be able to compete successfully when they returned to civilian life. Many high-ranking military men (including General William C. Westmoreland, the U.S. commander in Vietnam) opposed the program, feeling that the effectiveness of some units would be reduced and that fellow soldiers would sometimes be put in greater jeopardy by these less mentally capable personnel. Nevertheless, 336,111 men were phased into the service under this plan (mostly the Army) and 2,072 were killed. This amounted to 4.1 percent of all enlisted casualties in Vietnam.

Thus we can see that the channeling philosophy continued within the armed forces. Through the AFQT process, the men scoring in the higher categories were more likely to be channeled into further specialized training and eventually assigned to technical and administrative units.


The widely held notion that the poor served and died in Vietnam while the rich stayed home is way off the mark. A more precise equation would be that the college bound stayed home while the non-college bound served and died. The idea that American enlisted dead were made up largely of society’s poverty stricken misfits is a terrible slander to their memory and to the solid working-class and middle-class families of this country who provided the vast majority of our casualties. Certainly, some who died did come from poor and broken homes in the urban ghettos and barrios, or were from dirt-poor farm homes in the South and Midwest. And more’s the pity, because many of them were trying to escape this background and didn’t make it.

Some recent studies tend to refute what had been the perceived wisdom of social scientists and other commentators that our Vietnam dead came overwhelmingly from the poor communities. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study released in 1992, found that our Vietnam casualties were only marginally greater from the economically lowest 50 percent of our communities (31 deaths per 100,000 of population), when compared with the economically highest 50 percent (26 deaths per 100,000 population). Although valuable, this study was almost certainly misinterpreted by its authors when they said that their data showed that most privileged and influential segments of American society were not insulated from the perils of Vietnam conflict. There is no question that all segments of American society were represented. The officer corps’ casualties alone would satisfy that judgment, but that is not the same as being representative.

What the MIT study almost certainly showed was that members of the so-called working class consisting of carpenters, electricians, plumbers, firemen, policemen, technicians, skilled factory operatives, farmers, etc., were living in middle class communities and were, therefore, part of our burgeoning middle class. Their sons, if not college material, made up a significant part of the volunteers and draftees.

As we have pointed out earlier, more than 80 percent of our casualties were Army and Marine enlisted men with an average age of 19- to 20-years. Only 10 percent of enlisted men had even some college to their credit and only 1 percent were college graduates. By and large, with the exception of the officer corps, most of the college bound and educated skipped the Vietnam War at the urging of, and with the approval of, their own government.


Additionally, many of the names on the wall were other teenagers from the suburban white collar communities with siblings who were in, or would go on to college, but who, as individuals themselves, were slow to mature, struggled through high school and were therefore very available for the Vietnam War. It is instructive to read the literature of the war, the letters written home from those who died, the novels and narrative accounts of those who served in combat and then returned. They often reveal a typically warm American family atmosphere. They refer to older or younger siblings who are either in or on their way to college. And they often show a heartbreakingly wry sense of humor with the same sensibilities as their college-bound peers. It forces us to the conclusion that many of those names on the wall were kids who just couldn’t quite get it together in high school, a little late in maturing intellectually, and didn’t have the resources or the guile to get out of the way when the war came.


What will be the evolving historical judgment for those names on the Wall? With the end of the Cold War, many now believe that at its outset the Vietnam War was a quite honorable extension of our ultimately successful policy of Communist containment that our effort in Vietnam became flawed because of political and strategic failures having nothing to do with those who died there and that these young Americans were asked by three presidents and six Congresses to give up their lives so that freedom would have a better chance in the world. As one stands before the Wall one feels that no other judgment is acceptable to their living memory. As Maya Ling Lin, the architect of the Wall, has said: It was as if the black-brown earth were polished and made into an interface between the sunny world and the quiet dark world beyond that we cannot enter. The names would become the memorial. There was no need to embellish. Postscript: Since 1982, there have been 89 names added to The Wall. In 2004, the total is 58,241 names.

The article was written by Bill Abbott, an independent researcher and writer. He was a Navy enlisted man during World War II and has a degree in Political Science from Duke University. The article was originally published in the June 1993 issue of Vietnam Magazine and updated in November 2004.

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Combat Area Casualties Dataset

This series contains records of U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile or nonhostile occurrence or who were missing in action or prisoners of war in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnam War — including casualties that occurred in Cambodia, China, Laos, North Vietnam, South Vietnam and Thailand. The records derive from information submitted by each of the military services on Department of Defense Form 1300, Individual Report of Casualty. The database has both final and nonfinal records. A data field in each record distinguishes between them. Final records, also referred to as the "last" records, represent the most current official information about a deceased casualty or about repatriated personnel. Nonfinal records, also referred to as "previous" records, are those that precede the final records.

35+ Number Of American Deaths In Vietnam War Pics

35+ Number Of American Deaths In Vietnam War
. But compared to war and disasters that the majority of americans alive today can remember, this pandemic is on pace to set deadly records. Estimates include both civilian and military deaths in north and south vietnam, laos, and cambodia.

Statistics – Cambodian Genocide from

The daily ledger of all combatants who died on. Vietnam war deaths and casualties by month. Military fatal casualties these tables are for informational purposes and do not answer all questions of a statistical nature regarding u.

The vietnam war was a military campaign between 1959 and 1975.

World war i, korea in total, the records from the va and dod equal 139,936 deaths in action from u.s. Will be double the american death toll from the vietnam war by fall 2020. But compared to war and disasters that the majority of americans alive today can remember, this pandemic is on pace to set deadly records. The vietnam war, also known as the second indochina war or the american war (in vietnam), was fought principally between north vietnamese communist troops and south vietnamese forces supported by american soldiers.


The war in vietnam occurred during the cold war and is generally viewed as an indirect conflict between the united american ground forces were directly involved in the war between 1965 and 1973.

During the next few years, the extended length of the war, the high number of u.s.

Estimates include both civilian and military deaths in north and south vietnam, laos, and cambodia.

Lists and statistics. 24 september 2019.


The vietnam war basically cost lyndon johnson his presidency.


The vietnam war basically cost lyndon johnson his presidency.

American war and military operations casualties:

Civilian deaths in the vietnam war.

The vietnam war was a military campaign between 1959 and 1975.

American planes drop napalm on viet cong positions in 1962.

Estimates of casualties of the vietnam war vary widely.

Casualties of the vietnam war.

Basing on the current dollar value, the vietnam war cost the equivalent of about $1.

It was a direct result of the first civilian deaths during that time period were estimated at 2 million, but the u.s.

Will be double the american death toll from the vietnam war by fall 2020.


However, there were groups in vietnam fighting to when somebody asks about winning or losing vietnam, often they think in terms of battles and deaths.

The number of nva (north vietnamese army) and viet cong (the guerilla force) dead and missing is a bit more difficult to obtain.

The names of the american war dead were listed in numerical order by the date and time of death.

US tanks casualties in Vietnam (1961-1969)

The United States lost interest and left a couple of years before it ended.

Don't know who won but North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos all lost.


A Vietnamese

The United States lost interest and left a couple of years before it ended.

Don't know who won but North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos all lost.


The United States lost interest and left a couple of years before it ended.

Don't know who won but North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos all lost.


My friend, I just asked a question.
with education I tell you, my question did not please, I apologize

we have a dictation in Portuguese » ask not to offend but boredom «
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My friend, I just asked a question.
with education I tell you, my question did not please, I apologize

we have a dictation in Portuguese » ask not to offend but boredom «
______________ » perguntar não ofende ,mas chateia «

Notes [ edit | edit source ]

a. ^ Revolutionary War: All figures from the Revolutionary War are rounded estimates. Commonly cited casualty figures provided by the Department of Defense are 4,435 killed and 6,188 wounded, although the original government report that generated these numbers warned that the totals were incomplete and far too low. ⏤] Nevertheless, the numbers are often repeated without this warning, such as on the United States Department of Veteran Affairs website. ⏥] In 1974, historian Howard Peckham and a team of researchers came up with a total of 6,824 killed in action and 8,445 wounded. Because of incomplete records, Peckham estimated that this new total number of killed in action was still about 1,000 too low. ⏦] Military historian John Shy subsequently estimated the total killed in action at 8,000, and argued that the number of wounded was probably far higher, about 25,000. ⏧] The "other" deaths are primarily from disease, including prisoners who died on British prison ships.

b. ^ Other Actions Against Pirates: Includes actions fought in the West Indies, the Greek Isles, off of Louisiana, China and Vietnam. Other deaths resulted from disease and accidents.

c. ^ Civil War: All Union casualty figures, and Confederate killed in action, from The Oxford Companion to American Military History. ⎡] Estimate of total Confederate dead from James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom (Oxford University Press, 1988), 854.

d. ^ World War I figures include expeditions in North Russia and Siberia. See also World War I casualties

da. ^ World War II Note: as of March 31, 1946 there were an estimated 286,959 dead of whom 246,492 were identified of 40,467 who were unidentified 18,641 were located <10,986 reposed in military cemeteries and 7,655 in isolated graves>and 21,826 were reported not located. As of April 6, 1946 there were 539 American Military Cemeteries which contained 241,500 dead. ⏨] Note the American Battle Monuments Commission database for the World War II reports that that in 18 ABMC Cemeteries total of 93,238 buried and 78,979 missing and that "The World War II database on this web site contains the names of those buried at our cemeteries, or listed as Missing in Action, buried or lost at sea. It does not contain the names of the 233,174 Americans returned to the United States for burial. " Similarly, the ABMC Records do not cover inter-War deaths such as the Port Chicago disaster in which 320 died. As of November 2, 2011 Total of US World War II casualties not recovered is 73,692 total of US World War II Casualties buried at sea are 6,061.

e. ^ Korean War: Note: ⎡] gives Dead as 33,746 and Wounded as 103, 284 and MIA as 8,177. The POW/MIA gives the figures listed here: for example: The total "Battle Dead" of 33,686 is broken down into 23,637 KIA 2,484 DOW: 4,759 MIA 2,806 . 2,830 are given as non-battle deaths wounded 103,284 is given as the Number of incidences of wounded-including individual personnel wounded multiple times likewise 17,730 are listed separately as having died elsewhere Worldwide during Korean War. The American Battle Monuments Commission database for the Korean War reports that "The Department of Defense reports that 54,246 American service men and women lost their lives during the Korean War. This includes all losses world wide. Since the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. honors all U.S. Military who lost their lives during the War, we have tried to obtain the names of those who died in other areas besides Korea during the period June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1954, one year after the Korean Armistice. ". After their retreat in 1950, dead Marines and soldiers were buried at a temporary gravesite near Hungnam, North Korea. During "Operation Glory" which occurred from July to November 1954 the dead of each side were exchanged remains of 4,167 US soldiers/Marines were exchanged for 13,528 North Korean/Chinese dead. ⏪] After "Operation Glory" 416 Korean War "unknowns" were buried in the Punchbowl Cemetery. According to a DPMO white paper ⏫] 1,394 names were also transmitted during "Operation Glory" from the Chinese and North Koreans of the 4,167 returned remains were found to be 4,219 individuals of whom 2,944 were found to be Americans of whom all but 416 were identified by name. Of 239 Korean War unaccounted for: 186 not associated with Punchbowl unknowns <176 were identified and of the remaining 10 cases 4 were non-Americans of Asiatic descent one was British 3 were identified and 2 cases unconfirmed> Of 10 Korean War "Punchbowl Unknowns" 6 were identified. The W.A. Johnson listing of 496 POWs-including 25 Civilians ⏬] -who died in North Korea can be found here- ⏭] and here ⏮]

According to report of June 24, 2008 at ⏯]

  • Number of remains total unaccounted for: 8,055
  • Number of remains repatriated are: 489 of whom 100 are identified

Update on report of July 6, 2010 at 𖏜]

  • Number of remains total unaccounted for: 8,028
  • Number of remains total identified are: 134

Update of report of October 26, 2011 at 𖏝]

  • Number of remains total unaccounted for: 7,983
  • Number of remains either repatriated from North/South Korea China Japan or disinterred from Punchbowl cemetery: 678 of which the number have been identified from 1982 to 2011: 174

Update of report as of December 21, 2011: Listed as MIA: 7,973 at 𖏞]

ea. ^ Cold War – Korea and Vietnam and Middle East-additional US Casualties:

  • North Korea 1959:1968-196919761984 killed 41 Wounded 5 82 captured/released. 𖏟] 1967 killed 34 Wounded 173 by Israeli armed forces prior to 1964-US Casualties were Laos-2 killed in 1954 and Vietnam 1946–1954 2 killed see 𖏠]

g. ^ Afghanistan. Casualties include those that occurred in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen.

h. ^ Civil War April 2, 2012 Doctor David Hacker after extensive research offered new casualty rates higher by 20% his work has been accepted by the academic community and is represented here.

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