August 31

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Aug 31, 1972:

U.S. weekly casualty figures hit new low

U.S. weekly casualty figures of five dead and three wounded are the lowest recorded since record keeping began in January 1965. These numbers reflected the fact that there were less than 40,000 American troops left in South Vietnam by this time and very few of these were involved in actual combat. U.S. troop withdrawals had begun in the fall of 1969 following President Richard Nixon's announcement at the Midway conference on June 8, 1972, that he would begin reducing the number of American troops in Vietnam as the war was turned over to the South Vietnamese as part of his "Vietnamization" policy. Once the troop withdrawals began, they continued on a fairly regular basis, steadily reducing the troop level from the 1969 high of 543,400.

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