fifty years ago July 9, 1969 Archives

From the Archives (July 9, 1969): U.S. troops in Viet Nam begin pull out

The initial pullout of 25,000 American troops from Viet Nam began to-day [July 8] with the departure of a battalion of 814 infantrymen. Garlanded with plastic flowers thrown round their necks by pretty Viet Namese girls, most of the young troops laughed and smiled as they boarded nine giant transport jets. The men had stood to attention in blazing sun at Saigon’s Tan Son Mhut airport for three hours. Girls handed them parcels of gifts – dolls, tapes of Viet Namese music and flags. South Viet Nam President Nugyen Van Thieu flew in by helicopter minutes before the end of the ceremonial farewell parade and told the soldiers: “Your departure bears testimony to the success of the role of the U.S. force in Viet Nam.” The departure of the battalion, the third of the 60th Infantry Regiment, Ninth Infantry Division, for Tacoma, Washington, marked a turning point in the Viet Nam war, which has cost 36,866 American dead. To-day’s vanguard left exactly a month after President Nixon and President Thieu announced on Midway Island that 25,000 Americans would be sent home by the end of August. The pull-out reverses a process that began almost exactly 19 years ago.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 5:49:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/archives/from-the-archives-july-9-1969-us-troops-in-viet-nam-begin-pull-out/article28323176.ece

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