Vietnam War

The Vietnam War began following World War II as the Viet Minh, a movement imbued with nationalism and communist philosophy led by Ho Chi Minh, sought to gain the country’s independence from French colonial rule. French involvement in the Vietnam War ended in 1954 following the disastrous defeat at Dien Bien Phu. However, the United States became increasingly embroiled in the effort to prop up the pro-Western government of South Vietnam in its continuing fight with the communist North and its insurgency, the Viet Cong. U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War escalated steadily during the 1960s, but eventually American military personnel were withdrawn in 1973. In April 1975, communist forces occupied the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, unifying the country and ending the Vietnam War.

For both the Marine defenders and their North Vietnamese adversaries, the military base at Khe Sanh was the center of a deadly serious chess match between two determined commanders.

Vietnam War

The Marines and North Vietnamese at Khe Sanh


by John Walker

In early 1967, the thinly populated, rugged, and mountainous Khe Sanh plateau lay in the northwest corner of South Vietnam, bordered by Laos to the west and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and North Vietnam to the north. Read more

Vietnam War

Wild Weasels and the AGM-45 Shrike Missile

By Christopher Miskimon

Captain John E. Donovan, an electronic warfare officer, monitored the equipment in his F-100F Super Sabre fighter. It was December 22, 1965, and his plane was part of a strike mission searching out enemy antiaircraft sites. Read more

Vietnam War

Against the Odds: Jeanette Rankin

By Martin K.A. Morgan

An Associated Press report described “a chorus of hisses and boos” that echoed through the chamber when the Congresswoman from Montana cast her vote. Read more

Vietnam War

The Amazing Voyages of the USS O’Brien

By Eric Niderost

At exactly three o’clock in the afternoon on February 25, 1944, a crowd gathered at the Boston Navy Yard for the commissioning ceremony of the USS O’Brien (DD725), a destroyer of the Sumner class. Read more

Vietnam War

The USO Turns 75: American soldiers’ “Home Away From Home”

By John Provan

Almost every American veteran has fond memories of a Track-Side Free Canteen, or a USO center at some train station or airport situated at locations around the world, or a “USO Camp Show” that provided entertainment close to the front lines, during every conflict since World War II. Read more