August 6

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Aug 6, 1971:

First U.S. Army troops deployed to Vietnam stand-down for withdrawal

The last remaining troops of the Fourth Battalion, 503rd Infantry of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, (the first U.S. Army ground combat unit to arrive in Vietnam in May 1965), cease combat operations and begin preparations to leave Vietnam.

The first U.S. ground combat unit of any branch to reach Vietnam was the Third Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division, which began arriving on March 8, 1965. The initial U.S. combat forces were followed by a vast array of combat, combat support, and logistics units that together with U.S. Navy and Air Force personnel in-country reached a peak of 543,400 in April 1969. In June 1969, President Richard Nixon gave the order, as part of his "Vietnamization" policy, which began the process of reducing American troop strength; the troop withdrawals began the following fall and continued until the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973.

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