March 29, 1973: The U.S. Withdraws From The Vietnam War

By | March 27, 2020

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Army Chief Master Sergeant Max Bielke, Alexandria, Minnesota, was the last U.S. serviceman to leave Vietnam 3/29 as the role of U.S. forces officially ended. He is carrying a scroll presented to him by North Vietnamese Lt. Col. Bui Tin. Source: Bettmann/G

On March 29, 1973, the final troops withdrew from Vietnam, after a years-long attempt to end the war. Richard Nixon had been elected in 1968 on a campaign pledging peace. Prior to his inauguration, Nixon nominated Henry Cabot Lodge, a former ambassador to South Vietnam to be the senior negotiator at the Paris peace talks on January 1, 1969, although he would no longer have the role by the time the talks were finished, being replaced by Henry Kissinger. The peace talks began on January 25. However, the U.S. started another Marine campaign in Vietnam on January 22, right before the peace talks began, Operation Dewey Canyon.

The Action Continued After the Peace Talks Began

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The Viet Cong continued to attack. Source: (Pinterest)

On February 23, 1969, the Viet Cong attacked 110 targets in South Vietnam, including Saigon and two days later, 36 Marines were killed by the NVA in their camp near the demilitarized zone. In March, Nixon then threatened to resume the bombing in North Vietnam in retaliation for the Viet Cong actions. For the first time since 1968, in March, American troops went on the offensive in the demilitarized zone. That same month, the U.S. Army started an investigation into the My Lai massacre and Nixon began Operation Menu, a secret bombing operation in Cambodia to target North Vietnam supplies.