Vietnam War in the News is an edited review of Vietnam War related news and articles.

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'No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.'
- Richard M. Nixon

Vietnam War - Strange Facts

Hanoi hotel digs up Vietnam War bunker
Construction workers laying the foundation of a new garden bar at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi have discovered a long-buried air raid shelter allegedly created during the Vietnam War.

Study: Vietnam War bombing raids ineffective, drove neutral citizens into the arms of the Viet Cong
A study reveals that the aerial bombing of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. and allied forces was an ineffective strategy that drove citizens into the arms of the Viet Cong. The study combines two sets of data to re-create the Vietnam War late in 1969 to map where bombing occurred and how the Viet Cong's grip of the bombed area improved.

Vietnam War Correspondents travel to Saigon for reunion
Many foreign journalists who covered the Vietnam War are gathering in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, to mark the anniversary of the city's capture by communist North Vietnam's soldiers in 1975. Tim Page liked Vietnam so much that he has travelled back there almost 60 times since the end of the war in April 1975. Page, a photojournalist for Time magazine, comes back to teach the post-war generation of Vietnamese photographers. "I think it was one of the nicest places I ever lived. It was the most exciting story I ever covered. I took some of the best pictures I ever made."

Laos, the most bombed nation per capita, still paying the price of Vietnam war
Imagine growing up in an area where the equivalent of a B52 planeload of cluster bombs was dropped every 8 minutes for 9 years. Then imagine seeing your kids being killed and mutilated by the same bombs - 3 decades after the war is over. Welcome to Laos, the most bombed nation per capita in the world. 1964-1973 the American military delivered 2 million tons of explosive ordnance in Laos. To put this into perspective, this is more bombs than fell on the Nazis during the Second World War. The bombing was aimed at putting down enemy supply lines during the Vietnam war that passed through Laos.

Scottish-born Vietnam war veteran seized by Charlie the monster crocodile
Vietnam War veteran Arthur Booker is feared to have been snatched by a crocodile in Australia. He was on a fishing trip with his wife Doris near Cooktown, known as "Cape Crocodile", when he went missing. The couple had just finished a 2-day camping holiday and packed up their gear. While Doris waited in the car, Arthur returned to the water's edge on foot (something experts warn never to do when crocodiles are abound) to get the crab pots they had left behind. When he failed to return, Doris searched the riverbank and discovered a crab pot with its rope frayed and crocodile skid and claw marks. Booker's new video camera was also left on the bank.

Vice Admiral Jerome H. King Jr., 88; Commander In Vietnam
Vice Admiral Jerome H. King Jr. the commander of U.S. naval forces in Vietnam, died aged 88. His most memorable task was succeeding Vice Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. as commander of naval forces in Vietnam. Reporting to Saigon in 1970, King continued managing the transfer of the Navy's small coastal and river combat boats to the South Vietnamese. This was part of the U.S. "Vietnamization" strategy (the South Vietnamese taking over many military operations). "Vietnamization became frustrating to King because it wasn't the same desire to victory that had existed before," said historian Paul Stillwell.

Homeless Vietnam War veteran reveal a hidden cost of war   (Article no longer available from the original source)
I was walking out of a grocery store when a homeless man approached me and said: "Excuse me sir, I'm trying to buy some food. Can you help me out?" After talking to him for a moment, I found out that he was a Vietnam War vet. I gave him a few dollars recognizing that my modest contribution might help him eat today. But what about tomorrow? As I drove home, I thought about the countless other homeless war veterans who walk American streets looking for a crust of bread and a corner to sleep in. Veterans make up 25% of homeless people in the USA, though they are only 11% of the population.

Museum seeks Navajo Vietnam veteran photos 1961-1975
The Navajo Nation Museum is seeking photographs of Navajo Vietnam veterans who served in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces 1961-1975. Information needed for each photo includes name, rank, military branch, time served and discharge date. The photographs will be featured at the museum along with the "Native Words, Native Warriors" traveling exhibit, which was developed by the Smithsonian`s National Museum of the American Indian, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, celebrates the unique and valuable contributions of Native American soldiers during World Wars I and II.

Veteran groups battle over Vietnam memorial wall replicas
They fought together in Vietnam, but now two veterans groups battled each other over a symbol both respect, the Vietnam wall. Both have built replicas of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. The replicas consist of 2 walls constructed more than a decade ago by a Michigan group, and replica a Florida group unveiled last year. In the past few months, both groups have fired off e-mails over a trademark dispute. The Michigan-based Vietnam Combat Veterans Limited said Florida's group has used its name "The Moving Wall" on a commemorative coin and other literature.

Paratrooper's story inspires hit country song '8th of November'   (Article no longer available from the original source)
As paratrooper-subjects of hit country songs go, Niles Harris is as friendly as you'll find. He inspired the musical duo Big & Rich to write "8th of November," a song chronicling a bloody 1965 battle in the Vietnam War. It became Big & Rich's 10th chart-making single, rising as high as No. 18 on the country charts. A different number is 48, the number of Harris' fellow 173rd Airborne Brigade "sky soldiers" who died that day. "We killed more of them (North Vietnamese) than they did of us. But you know how it went in 'Nam."

Vietnam War legacies
The Vietnam War has inspired memoirs, novels, journalistic dispatches and 1,000-page histories. But in recent years, a new type of narrative has arisen from that war's grave-littered soil - the reckoning of the soldier's offspring. Last year, Danielle Trussoni published her "Falling Through the Earth," which told of growing up in the shadow of her father's war. This year, Tom Bissell has added "The Father of All Things," an anguished attempt to make sense of the war's legacy in his family life four decades later.

One of the last Vietnam-era soldier finally retires   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Chief Warrant Officer Robert Rangel, one of the last Vietnam-era Army draftees, retired 40 years after first donning a uniform. When his draft number came up in 1967, he was trying to "fly below the radar" as a student. But his grades weren't great and then "I got caught." The prospect of being drafted was terrifying after watching friends "coming home in coffins." But he opted to stay well beyond the required 2-year hitch because "I started enjoying my job and the people I worked with." And after deployments to 9 combat zones, including special forces stints in Vietnam and Cambodia, he knows a lot about the Army's air defense systems.

Vietnam vets to return to former war zone   (Article no longer available from the original source)
When they left Vietnam nearly 40 years ago, many of these veterans never thought they'd ever have to return. A group of Vietnam veterans is planning a trip in early March to different parts of Vietnam. For most of them, it will be their first time back. For many, it will be a trip of remembrance. And for some, it will be a time of healing. One of the trip's organizers is Dave Sasai, of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, who served mostly in An Loc, Vietnam, near the Cambodian border, in 1969 in the Army. "For me, this is just to bring closure to a period in my life. It was a very unpopular war..."

Vietnam War -- The War That Could Have Been Won
Mark Moyar's new history is the first of a definitive two-volume work on the Vietnam War. He has done extensive research in newly available primary sources such as North Vietnamese histories. The result is a valuable revisionist study that rejects much of the old wisdom about our early involvement in the conflict. In particular, most of histories of the early part of the war have painted America's proxy leader of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, as an tyrannical reactionary. Moyar's first major contribution is to show that the American decision to help overthrow Diem was the most fatal mistake of the war.

Museum honors black Vietnam vets
In the jungles of Vietnam U.S. Marine sergeant John Clark often served as the point man during patrols. While his squad moved beside a river one day in 1966, he felt one of the Viet Cong's booby traps. "I bent down and went under a broken tree branch that hung over a path. I went down. I felt this pain in my foot." He saw a barbed black punji stake protruding from the front of his right boot. For 20 minutes, he froze and waited while a technician disarmed the attached explosive. The punji stake is among 200 artifacts, photographs and music that re-create this decade in an exhibition "Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era."

74 Sailors Killed after colliding with a aircraft carrier honored
A memorial Friday honored 74 sailors who died in 1969 during the Vietnam War. The men were on the Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans when the ship went down in 1969 after colliding with an Australian aircraft carrier. The sailors weren't in combat at the time, and their names do not appear on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. Many of the survivors of that night also came to honor their comrades.

Vietnam vets won a battle over flying the South Vietnam flag
Vietnam veterans have won a battle with the federal government over flying the South Vietnam flag at their memorials. Australian vets of the Vietnam War in 3 states had been offered funding to help build memorials - on the condition they did not fly the flag. Victorian veterans angrily knocked back their $40,000 offer, with vets in South Australia and Queensland considering their response to similar offers. Australian diggers fought alongside South Vietnamese troops under their flag during the Vietnam war. But after the allied troops lost the war to the communist north, South Vietnam ceased to exist.

Ho Chi Minh Trail had a major role in the Vietnam War
If relentless American bombing didn't get him, it would take a North Vietnamese soldier as long as six months to make the grueling trek down the jungled Ho Chi Minh Trail. The trail, which played an major role in the Vietnam War, has been added to itineraries of the country's tourist industry. Promoters cash in on its history, landmarks and the novelty of being able to motor, bike or even walk down the length of the country in the footsteps of bygone communist guerrillas. The route passes battlefields like Khe Sanh and the Ia Drang Valley.