SOBERING STATISTICS FOR THE VIETNAM
Subject: [Chapter61DisabledRetirees] Fw: Vietnam War Stats.UPDATE]
To all who served and are now serving -- Thank you for your service.
RVN class of 66-67
USMACV Phan Rang
Here are some updated statistics concerning Vietnam era service. I
am surprised at the survivors update at the beginning of the stats.
In case you haven't been paying attention these past few decades after
you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking. The following
are some statistics that are at once depressing yet in a larger sense
should give you a HUGE SENSE OF PRIDE.
"Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, Less than 850,000
are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam
veteran's age approximated to be 54 years old."
So, if you're alive and reading this, how Does it feel to be among the
last 1/3rd of all the U.S. Vets who served in VietNam?!?!? ...don't
know about you guys, but kinda gives me the chills, Considering this
is the kind of information I'm used to reading about WWII and Korean
So the last 14 years we are dying too fast, only the few will survive
by 2015...if any.. If true, 390 VN vets die a day. so in 2190 days...from
today, lucky to be a Vietnam veteran alive..... in only 6 years..
These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The
VFW Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer
- 1st Recon April 12, 1997.
STATISTICS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY VIE TNAM VETERANS:
* 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam
Era (August 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975).
* 8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March
* 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7%
of their generation.
* 3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the broader
Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based
in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
* 2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan.
1,1965 - March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between
1960 and 1964.
* Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in
combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed
to enemy attack.
* 7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
* Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968).
The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with
the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez
casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds acco unt for the
8 nurses died -- 1 was KIA.
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.
11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
Of those killed, 17,539 were married.
Average age of men killed: 23.1 years
Total Deaths: 23.11 years
Enlisted: 50,274 22.37 years
Officers: 6,598 28.43 years
Warrants: 1,276 24.73 years
E1: 525 20.34 years
11B MOS: 18,465 22.55 years
Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
Highest state death rate: West Virginia - 84.1% (national average 58.9%
for every 100,000 males in 1970).
Wounded: 303,704 -- 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring
no hospital care.
Severely disabled: 75,000, -- 23,214: 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs;
1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher
than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea.
Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7%
Missing in Action: 2,338
POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)
As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted
for from the Vietnam War.
DRAFTEES VS. VOLUNTEERS:
25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S.
armed forces members were drafted during WWII).
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
Reservists killed: 5,977
National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.
Total draftees (1965 - 73): 1,728,344.
Actually served in Vietnam: 38% Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.
Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND:
88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6%
(275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics);
12.5% (7,241) were black; 1.2% belonged to other races.
170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.
70% of enlisted men killed were of North-west European descent.
86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were
Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.
34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when
the percentage of blacks of militar y age was 13.5% of the total population.
Religion of Dead: Protestant -- 64.4%; Catholic -- 28.9%; other/none
-- 6.7% SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS:
Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet
Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age
group by more than 18 percent.
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class
Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from
middle income backgrounds.
Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or
79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or
better when they entered the military service. 63% of Korean War vets
and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.
Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South -- 31%, West --29.9%;
Midwest -- 28.4%; Northeast -- 23.5%.
DRUG USAGE & CRIME:
There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam
Veterans of the same age group. (Source: Veterans Administration Study)
Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only one-half of
one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.
85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian li fe.
WINNING & LOSING:
82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost
because of lack of political will.
Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will,
not of arms.
97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat
are proud to have served their country.
74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.
87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
INTERESTING CENSUS STATISTICS & THOSE TO CLAIM TO HAVE "Been
1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August,1995
During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming
to have served in-country was: 9,492,958.
As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S.
Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe,
losing nearly 711,000 between '95 and '00. That's 390 per day.
During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to
have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE
WHO CLAIM TO BE Vietnam vets are not.
The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index of ficially provided
by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S.
military personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations
to this erred index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel
confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the
Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible
Isolated atrocities committed by American Soldiers produced torrents
of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while Communist
atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention
at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on
civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece
of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received
prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations.
From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725
Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on
leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of
the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and school teachers.
- Nixon Presidential Papers.