Chapter 29 Section 2 U.S. Involvement Grows

Chapter 29 Section 2
U.S. Involvement Grows
“Americanizing” the War
• Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and
General William Westmoreland, Commander
US Forces in South Vietnam believed the US
needed to increase its military presence in
South Vietnam beyond the role of advisors to
the South Vietnamese Armed Forces (ARVN)
• This called for more troops and airstrikes
against targets in North and South Vietnam
General William Westmoreland
Commander US Forces in South Vietnam
Robert McNamara
Secretary of Defense
An American door gunner covering
ARVN troops
A Green Beret on patrol with ARVN troops
US Helicopters prepare to transport ARVN troops into battle, 1965
Rolling Thunder
• In March 1965, following a Vietcong attack on
US troops at Pleiku, President Johnson
ordered the bombing of North Vietnam
• Code named “Operation Rolling Thunder”
• Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps warplanes
attacked strategic targets in North Vietnam
and Vietcong strongpoints in South Vietnam
• Lasted until November 1968
Phillipsburg HS graduate 1st Lieutenant (later Major) Bruce Lawrence, KIA July 5, 1968 over
North Vietnam when his F4 Phantom was hit by a surface-to-air missile (SAM)
F-4 Phantom
North Vietnamese SA-2 SAM
Agent Orange
• Agent Orange is a chemical used by the U.S. Army
in the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971 to remove
forest cover, destroy crops, and disrupt agriculture
food production.
• It is called “Agent Orange” because of the orange
band that identifies the barrel the chemical came
in. There were also Agents Purple, Green, and Pink.
Agent Orange
• The U.S. military dumped some
20 million gallons of Agent
Orange and other herbicides on
about a quarter of former
South Vietnam between 1962
and 1971.
• The defoliant decimated about
5 million acres of forest —
roughly the size of
Massachusetts — and another
500,000 acres of crops, the
report said.
Agent Orange
• The chemical have been shown to
cause serious skin diseases as well as
a vast variety of cancers in the lungs,
larynx, and prostate. Other effects
include cleft palate, mental
disabilities, hernias, and extra fingers
and toes.
• The scariest impact is that the disease
and deformities caused by the
chemical can span across generations.
The Marines Land
• On March 8, 1965, US Marines arrived to
defend the airbase at Da Nang. More troops
soon followed.
• By the end of 1965, there were 184,300 US
troops in Vietnam
• 636 Americans had been killed in the war to
March 8, 1965- The first deployment of U.S. battalion-sized U.S. combat units to Vietnam
Pictured are Marines from 3rd Battalion, 9th Regiment
The 1st and 3rd Battalions soon followed,
bringing the strength of the 9th Marine
Expeditionary Brigade up to 5,000 troops.
The Vietcong
• The Vietcong (VC) were South Vietnamese
communists fighting for unification with North
• They waged guerilla warfare, dressed as civilians
and hid after attacking US troops
• They were supplied by the North Vietnamese by
the Ho Chi Minh Trail that went through Laos and
• The VC were highly motivated and suffered great
The Vietcong and North Vietnamese dug a complex series
of tunnels, from which they mounted surprise attacks.
The U.S. dropped napalm to burn these jungle hideouts.
Mounting Costs
• By the end of 1968,
500,000 US troops
were in country
• Over 30,000
Americans had been
Friend or Foe?
• The VC looked no different from the average
• Women and children were often used to
attack US troops
• The VC used booby traps, mines and human
bombs to kill US troops
Vietcong & NVA Strategy
• The VC and NVA knew they could not match
US firepower
• They relied on hit-and-run tactics to harass
American forces
• Many attacks occurred at night
• The goal was to erode American’s will to fight
through attrition
U.S. Troops Fulfill Their Duty
• Americans served in Vietnam
for a variety of reason
• Many volunteered to serve
their country
• Some fought to stop
• Some fought to protect the
South Vietnamese
• Many were drafted and had
no choice but to serve
Morale Declines
• Morale declined for many
– The majority of troops after
1965 were draftees
– Losses continued to mount
– US Troops felt the South
Vietnamese people were
indifferent to their presence
and should be defending their
own country
– A growing anti-war movement
at home undermined morale
Economic Problems at Home
• Johnson’s Great Society programs were very
• The cost of fighting in Vietnam was also very
• Massive government spending had lowered
the unemployment rate but inflation was very
• These factors led to increased taxes
The Anti-War Movement
• By 1967, opposition to the war was
• Two camps had emerged, Doves and Hawks
• Doves questioned the war. They included
liberal politicians and students who saw the
conflict as a localized civil war.
• Hawks supported Johnson’s war policies. They
were mostly conservatives who believed the
war was crucial to a U.S. Cold War victory.
Phillipsburg’s Roll of Honor
13 of the 58,272 listed on the Wall
attended Phillipsburg High School
Bruce Edward Lawrence
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
557th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Tour of duty began on November 9,1968
July 5, 1968
Surface-to-Air Missile Hit
North Vietnam
PHS Class of 1960
Staff Sergeant
Terrance Edward Smith
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
25th Infantry Division
Tour of duty began on April 23, 1967
March 24, 1968
Enemy Action
Tay Ninh Province
Attended PHS 1962
Silver Star Citation (Posthumous)
For Gallantry in Action, Staff Sergeant Smith distinguished himself by heroic actions on March
24, 1968, while serving as a platoon sergeant with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 14 Infantry on a
combat operation in the Republic of Vietnam. When his unit was pinned down by intense
enemy fire, Sergeant Smith reacted instantly to the situation and led his platoon to protective
cover. He repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy fire to direct his men's fire and when a
group of his men were trapped by the enemy fire he maneuvered to their position. After
maneuvering these men to within 25 meters of the friendly positions, Sergeant Smith was
mortally wounded by the intense enemy fire. His valorous actions saved several lives and were
of immeasurable value to the successful completion of the mission.
Private First Class
James Robert Morris
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment
Tour of duty began on November 28,1967
January 31, 1968
Enemy Action
Quang Nam Province
PHS Class of 1964
Albert Aleya Outwater Jr
Platoon Guide
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
3rd Battalion 3rd Marine Regiment
Tour of duty began on July 17,1967.
July 21, 1967
Enemy Action
Quang Tri Province
PHS Class of 1964
Albert Shiller
(Alpha, NJ)
9th Infantry Division
Tour of duty began on November 12, 1967
April 2, 1968
Wounds received from enemy booby trap
Binh Duong Province
PHS Class of 1964
Specialist 4
Daniel John Myers
(Stewartsville, NJ)
1st infantry Division
Tour of duty began on July 27, 1966
January 30, 1967
Non-Hostile Vehicle Accident
Di An, South Vietnam
PHS Class of 1965
Specialist 4
Dennis Kline
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
25th Infantry Division
Tour of duty began on July 15, 1966
March 21, 1967
Friendly Fire (Air Strike)
Hug Nghia Province
PHS Class of 1965
Robert John Marcantoni
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment
Tour of duty began on April 23, 1967
April 10, 1968
Enemy Action
Quang Nam Province
PHS Class of 1965
Warrant Officer 1st Class
William M. Konyu
Bell UH-1H Helicopter Pilot
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
101st Airborne Division
April 16, 1969
Helicopter Crash-Hostile Fire
Quang Nam Province
PHS Class of 1965
Sergeant James L. Suydam
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
199th Light Infantry Brigade
October 9, 1969
Non Hostile Helicopter Crash
Tay Ninh Province
PHS Class of 1966
Private First Class
Arthur Mortimer Rowe
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
2nd Battalion 1st Marine Regiment
Tour of duty began on April 12, 1968
WIA- May 19, 1968
DOW- June 1, 1968
Enemy Action
Khe Sahn
Attended PHS 1966
Private First Class
Robert Franklin Bacon
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
1st Air Cavalry Division
Tour of duty began on June 3, 1969
July 17, 1969
Enemy Action
Binh Duong Province
Attended PHS 1966
John Edgar Marason
Armored Vehicle Crewman
(Phillipsburg, NJ)
173 Airborne Brigade
Tour of duty began on November 9,1968
December 2, 1968
Enemy Action
Binh Dinh Province
PHS Class of 1967

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