This page provides "statistics" of the war in Vietnam. Statistics are only numbers. For the veterans and families of those who served during the Vietnam era, there are memories that will last for a life time. Vietnam was a war that divided the country. Vietnam veterans came back after serving their tour to a country that did not only support the war, but also looked down on those who served. Many veterans of the Vietnam War experienced episodes of being cursed at, spit upon and more, for no other reason than they had served their country. Only in the last few years as our country engaged in foreign wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have the citizens of United States of America come to realize and appreciate the service and sacrifice of the Vietnam Veterans. The Vietnam Veterans of America are committed to the support of every veteran and to the premise that ‘Never again shall one generation of veterans abandon another’
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (5 August 1965-7 May 1975)
8,744,000 personnel were on active duty during the war (5 August 1964-28
3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the SE 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
( I January 1965 - 28 March 1973)
Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964
Of the 2.6 million, between 1 and 1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in
combat, provided close combat support or were at least fairly regularly
exposed to enemy attack.
7,484 women served in Vietnam, of whom 6,250 or 83.5% were nurses.
Peak troop strength in Vietnam was 543,482, on 30 April 1969.
Hostile deaths: 47,359
Non-hostile deaths: 10,797
Total: 58,156 (including men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties).
Highest state death rate: West Virginia--84.1. (The national average death rate for males in 1970 was 58.9 per 100,000).
WIA: 303,704 - 153,329 required hospitalization, 50,375 who did not.
Severely disabled: 75,000, 23,214 were classified 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.
POW: 766, of whom 114 died in captivity.
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 KIA: 5,977
National Guard: 6,140 served; 101 died.
88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian, 10.6% (275,000) were black, 1.0% belonged to other races.
86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (including Hispanics), 12.5% (7,241) were black. 1.2% belonged to other races
170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2%) of whom died there.
86.8% of the men who were KIA were Caucasian
12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were black
34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam when the percentage
of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the population.
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/workingclass backgrounds
75% had family incomes above the poverty level
23% had fathers with professional, managerial, or technical occupations.
79% of the men who served in 'Nam had a high school education or better.
63% of Korean vets had completed high school upon separation from the service)
Winning & Losing:
82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of a lack of political will. Nearly 75% of the general public (in 1993) agrees with that.
Age & Honorable Service:
The average age of the G.I. in 'Nam was 19 (26 for WWII) 97% of Vietnam era vets were honorably discharged.
Pride in Service:
91% of veterans of actual combat and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country. 66% of Viet vets say they would serve again, if called upon. 87% of the public now holds Viet vets in high esteem.
Helicopter crew deaths accounted for 10% of ALL Vietnam deaths. Helicopter losses during Lam Son 719 (a mere two months) accounted for 10% of all helicopter losses from 1961-1975.