March 1

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Mar 1, 1965:

U.S. informs South Vietnam of intent to send Marines

Ambassador Maxwell Taylor informs South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat that the United States is preparing to send 3,500 U.S. Marines to Vietnam to protect the U.S. airbase at Da Nang.

Three days later, a formal request was submitted by the U.S. Embassy, asking the South Vietnamese government to "invite" the United States to send the Marines. Premier Quat, a mere figurehead, had to obtain approval from the real power, Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, chief of the Armed Forces Council. Thieu approved, but asked that the Marines be "brought ashore in the most inconspicuous way feasible." Rumors of the imminent arrival of American troops soon circulated in Saigon, but there was no official word from either government until March 6 when the Johnson administration publicly confirmed that it would be sending the Marines to South Vietnam.

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