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Vietnam War Facts and Figures

Facts & Statistics

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Here is a list some of the commonly accepted facts and statistics about the Vietnam War.

  • 58,148 Americans were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.59 million who served.

  • The average age of those killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years.

  • 50,274 were enlisted, average age 22.37.

  • The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year, thanks to the mobility of the helicopter.

  • After Vietnam the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand managed to stay free of communism. The Indonesians expelled the Soviets in 1966.

  • During the Vietnam War the national debt increased by $146 billion (1967-1973). Adjusted for inflation, the debt in 1992 dollars was $500 billion.

  • 6,598 were officers, average age 28.43.

  • 91 percent of Vietnam veterans say they are glad they served.

  • 74 percent said they would serve again even knowing the outcome.

  • 1,276 were warrant officers (NCOs), average age 24.73 years.

  • 11,465 were less than 20 years old.

  • From 1957 to 1973 the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 South Vietnamese and abducted 58,499. Death squads focused on leaders that included schoolteachers and minor officials.

  • The number of North Vietnamese killed was approximately 500,000 to 600,000. Casualties: 15 million.

  • One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. Although the percentage who died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled.

  • The Tet '68 offensive was a major defeat for the VC and the NVA.

  • Two-thirds of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers, two-thirds who served in World War II were draftees.

  • 8 nurses died-1 was killed in action.

  • Vietnam Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation.

  • The suicide rate of Vietnam veterans has always been well within the 1.7% norm of the general population.

  • Non-hostile deaths: 10,800

  • Missing in action: 2,338

  • Men under the age of 21 killed: 61%

  • 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 waters).

  • 240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam era.

  • POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity).

  • Wounded in action: 303,704

  • 7,484 American women served in Vietnam. 6,250 were nurses.

  • 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era (Aug.5, 1964-May 7, 1975).

  • Hostile deaths: 47,378

  • Severely disabled: 75,000--23,214 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.

  • Married men killed: 17,539

  • Average age of men killed: 22.8 years.

  • Highest political office attained by a Vietnam veteran to date: Vice President Al Gore.

  • Most successful Vietnam veteran/businessman to date: Frederick Smith of Federal Express.

  • 79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service.

  • Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

  • The oldest man killed was 62 years old.

  • 11,465 KIAs were less than 20 years old.

  • Vietnam Veterans represent 9.7% of their generation

  • 8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug. 5, 1964 – March 28, 1973)

  • 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.

  • Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1969)

  • Total draftees (1965-1973): 1,728,344

  • Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam

  • National Guard: 6,140 served; 101 died

  • Last man drafted: June 30, 1973

  • 97% of Vietnam veterans were honorably discharged

  • 91% of actual Vietnam War era veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country

  • 66% of Vietnam veterans say they would serve again if called upon

Your Complete Resourse for information on the Vietnam war for the Historian, Modeler and Wargammer.