Last US Combat Troops in Vietnam?
I believe there is a mistake in the Jan 2006 issue of Armchair General. The answer to question 6 on the Military Mastermind shows the American Troops leaving Vietnam in 1972. Shouldn’t the answer be B., 1973?
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Thanks for taking the time to ask this!
The question asked when the last US ground combat troops left Vietnam. We gave the correct answer, ie 1972. The last American combat unit was a task force from the 3d Bn, 21st Inf Regt and battery B, 3d Bn, 82d Field Artillery Regt which had been stationed in Danang (I commanded battery C, 3d Bn, 82d FA and B btry was our ‘sister’ battalion). These were the last US ground combat units in Vietnam and I was there when they left in August of 1972. As a matter of fact, when my unit disbanded in June 1972, we sent B Btry about 15 of our guys who stayed with B Btry until it left in August. Of note: these C btry guys took along a US flag that had flown over my firebase and put it up over the B Btry firebase where it flew until the task force departed in Aug 72. Therefore, the last American flag to fly over a US firebase in Vietnam was mine.
Some American troops (no combat troops) were still in Vietnam until they left in 1973.
Thanks again for the question.