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Vietnam War Statistical Profile
Cold War Recognition Certificate
A STATISTICAL PROFILE IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY
Vietnam Vets: 9.7% of their generation. 9,087,000 military
personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era
(Aug 5,1964-May 7,1975). 8,744,000 GIs were on active duty
during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March 28, 1973).
3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in
the Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight
crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea
2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam
(Jan 1,1965-March 28, 1973).
Another 50,000 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, 1969).
Hostile deaths: 47,378.
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800.
Total: 58,202 (includes formerly classified as MIA and Mayaquez
casualties), subsequently died of wounds account for the hanging
8 nurses died-1 was KIA.
Married men killed: 17,539.
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.
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 in Korea.
Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4%
compared to 5.7% in WWII.
Missing in Action: 2,338.
POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity).
DRAFTEES VS. VOLUNTEERS
25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees.(66%
of US armed forces members were drafted during WWII).
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in
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 draftee: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND
88.4% of those who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian.
10.6% were black.
1% belonged to other races.
86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian
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 Northwest European descent.
86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action
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 that 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 military age was13.5%
of the total population.
RELIGION OF DEAD
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle and
working class backgrounds.
3/4ths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were
from middle income backgrounds. - Some 23% of Vietnam vets had
fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.
79% who served had a high school education or better. (63% of
Korean War and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high
school upon separation).
DEATHS BY REGION PER 100,000 OF POPULATION:
WINNING AND LOSING
82% of vets 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 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.
66% of Vietnam vets say they would serve again if called upon.
87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
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