Lieutenant General Stanley Robert Larsen
Brigadier General James Lawton Collins, Jr.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 1985
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 74-28217
First Printed 1975-CMH Pub 90-5
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S., Government
Washington DC 20402
The United States Army has met an unusually complex challenge in Southeast Asia. In conjunction with the other services, the Army has fought in support of a national policy of assisting an emerging nation to develop governmental processes of its own choosing, free of outside coercion. In addition to the usual problems of waging armed conflict, the assignment in Southeast Asia has required superimposing the immensely sophisticated tasks of a modern army upon an underdeveloped environment and adapting them to demands covering a wide spectrum. These involved helping to fulfill the basic needs of an agrarian population, dealing with the frustrations of antiguerrilla operations, and conducting conventional campaigns against well-trained and determined regular units.
It is as always necessary for the US Army to continue to prepare for other challenges that may lie ahead. While cognizant that history never repeats itself exactly and that no army ever profited from trying to meet a new challenge in terms of the old one, the Army nevertheless stands to benefit immensely from a study of its experience, its shortcomings no less than its achievements.
Aware that some years must elapse before the official histories will provide a detailed and objective analysis of the experience in Southeast Asia, we have sought a forum whereby some of the more salient aspects of that experience can be made available now. At the request of the Chief of Staff, a representative group of senior officers who served in important posts in Vietnam and who still carry a heavy burden of day-to-day responsibilities has prepared a series of monographs. These studies should be of great value in helping the Army develop future operational concepts while at the same time contributing to the historical record and providing the American public with an interim report on the performance of men and officers who have responded, as others have through our history, to exacting and trying demands.
All monographs in the series are based primarily on official records, with additional material from published and unpublished secondary works, from debriefing reports and interviews with key participants, and from the personal experience of the author. To facilitate security clearance, annotation and detailed
bibliography have been omitted from the published version; a fully documented account with bibliography is fled with the Office of the Chief of Military History.
The reader should be reminded that most of the writing was accomplished while the war in Vietnam was at its peak, and the monographs frequently refer to events of the past as if they were taking place in the present.
Brigadier General James Lawton Collins, Jr., presently the Chief of Military
History, US Army, has the wealth of experience required to tell the story of
allied participation in the Vietnam War. After having served in Korea as the
Assistant Commander, I Corps (Group) Artillery, General Collins had two tours
of duty in Vietnam that involved close liaison with all nations participating
in the allied effort. In 1964 he was assigned as the senior U.S. adviser to
the Vietnamese Regional Forces and Popular Forces, and in May 1965 was named
Special Assistant to the Commander, US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
In the latter capacity General Collins was the personal representative of General
Westmoreland to the Vietnamese Joint General Staff on all matters pertaining
to the co-ordination of U.S., Vietnamese, and allied forces operations. For
his outstanding service in Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam awarded him the
National Order and the Army Distinguished Service Medal, two of its most coveted
|Washington, D. C.
1 May 1974
|VERNE L. BOWERS
Major General, USA
The Adjutant General
More than forty nations provided assistance to the Republic of Vietnam in its struggle against North Vietnam. This aid ranged from economic and technical assistance to educational and humanitarian contributions. Hundreds of Free World civilians worked in Vietnam as doctors, teachers, and technical specialists. Eight nations also provided military assistance. The flags of these Free World countries-the United States, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of China, and Spain-flew alongside the colors of the Republic of Vietnam at the headquarters of the Free World Military Assistance Forces in Saigon. The military contributions of these nations included combat troops, army medical teams, and individual political warfare advisers. The degree of assistance and co-operation among the concerned Free World nations resulted from years of work and involvement. While many nations expressed sympathy for the plight of South Vietnam, aid did not always come easily, quickly, or to the extent desired. Many nations, beset by their own internal economic and political problems, could do little to help; others did nothing. The story of the efforts of the contributing nations and the efforts to enlist their aid is the subject of this monograph.
The members of the Sixth Army Historical Staff, under the guidance of Mr. Herbert Avedon, Sixth Army Historian, gave generous assistance in putting together those elements of the monograph that refer to Korean activities after 1 August 1967. Without their detailed research and helpful suggestions the story of the Koreans in Vietnam would have taken much longer to complete. The revision of the Korean part of the manuscript owes much to the skill of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Focer, Headquarters, U.S. Army, Pacific.
For their efforts in researching and drafting other chapters in this volume thanks are due especially to Dr. Richard A. Hunt, who helped to assemble the monograph in its final form, overseeing its progress through the staff and contributing to the first chapter; Lieutenant Colonel John E. Eshelman, U.S. Army, who helped to launch the volume; and Loretto C. Stevens, who gave skilled editorial assistance. Their work and support made the his
tory of the Allied effort in Vietnam immeasurably less difficult to tell.
|Washington, D. C.
1 May 1974
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army
JAMES LAWTON COLLINS, JR.
|I. THE BACKGROUND, 1961-1966||1|
|Early Negotiations for Aid to Vietnam||2|
|Free World Troops in Vietnam, 1965-1966||14|
|Beginnings of Thai Assistance||26|
|Last Years of Assistance||48|
|III. THE PHILIPPINES||52|
|History of Philippine Aid||53|
|The Thanh Dien Refuge Resettlement Project||83|
|IV. AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND||88|
|V. THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA||115|
|VI. THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA||120|
|The Korean Commitment||120|
|Operational Control of Korean Troops||131|
|Results of Korean Combat Operations||147|
|Evaluation of Korean Operations||151|
|VII. NONMILITARY AID TO VIETNAM||160|
|APPENDIX A: LEAFLET ADDRESSED TO THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE||171|
|1.||Strength of Free World Military Assistance Forces, 1964-1970||23|
|2.||Location, Strength, and Mission of New Zealand Forces, June 1969||110|
|1.||Organization of Royal Thai Army Volunteer Force, 25 January 1968||39|
|2.||Royal Thai Forces, Vietnam||43|
|3.||Philippine Civic Action Group, Vietnam||63|
|4.||Organization of Philippine Contingent, Vietnam||75|
|5.||Republic of China Military Assistance Group, Vietnam||118|
|1.||Royal Thai Forces, Vietnam, August 1969||45|
|2.||Concept of Ben Cam Operation, Royal Thai Army Volunteer Force, 24 November 4 December 1969||46|
|3.||1st Philippine Civic Action Group, Vietnam, Disposition, 1967||61|
|4.||1st Philippine Civic Action Group, Vietnam, Tay Ninh Province, 1967||84|
|5.||Community Plan, Thanh Dien Resettlement Project||86|
|6.||Australia-New Zealand Area of Responsibility, Phuoc Tuy Province, 1969||102|
|7.||Korean Corps Area of Responsibility, December 1966||132|
|Soldiers of the Queen's Cobras Conduct a Search and Sweep Mission in Phuoc Tho||33|
|Troops of Royal Thai Black Panther Division Dock at Newport, Vietnam||44|
|Royal Thai Flag Is Carried Down Gangplank of USS Okinagon||44|
|Thai Soldiers Board C-130 at Long Thanh for Trip Home||50|
|Lieutenant General William B Rosson Presents Meritorious Unit Citation to Thai Panther Division||50|
|Philippine Security Troops Rebuild a Base Camp Bunker||62|
|Philippine Civic Action Group Member Distributes Medicines||78|
|Philippine Group Clears Debris After Viet Cong Mortar Hit||80|
|Entertainers of Philippine Group Play to Villagers||82|
|Troops of Royal Australian Regiment After Arrival at Tan Son Nhut Airport||91|
|Living Quarters at an Australian Fire Support Base||92|
|Australian Soldier Mans Machine Gun Position||94|
|Members of Australian Civic Action Team Confer With Village Officials||95|
|Soldier of Royal Australian Regiment Pauses During Sweep of Cultivated Area Around a Village||100|
|Members of Royal New Zealand Artillery Carry Out a Fire Mission||104|
|Australian Civil Affairs Team Member Treats Village Boy||107|
|Soldier of Royal New Zealand Army Cooks His Lunch||109|
|Australian Soldier Searches for Enemy in Hoa Long Village||111|
|Soldier of Royal Australian Regiment With M60||112|
|Royal Australian Air Force Civic Action Team Moves Out Past Vietnamese Temples to Mung Due||114|
|Korean Marines Prepare Defensive Positions||137|
|Field Command Headquarters of Republic of Korea Force, Vietnam||139|
|Korean Troops Use Chart to Show Villagers Types of Viet Gong Booby Traps||144|
|Korean Soldiers Search the Jungle Near Qui Nhon for Viet Cong||147|
|Color Guard Displays Flags at Ceremonies||154|
|General Creighton W Abrams Presents Bronze Stars to Soldiers of the Tiger Division||155|
|Medic of Tiger Division Treats Village Boy||157|
|Korean Instructor in Tae-kwon-do Watches Vietnamese Practice After Class||158|
All illustrations are from the Department of Defense files The emblem on the
front and back covers of the soft-back edition symbolizes the Free World Military
Assistance Forces in Vietnam.
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