Vietnam War Casualties

The Entire Vietnam War Casualty Profiles

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Notes:
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United States Armed Forces Casualties

According to the last update in 2008 from the National Archives, there were 58,220 U.S. military fatal casualties of the Vietnam War. All the names were honored on the Vietnam Veretans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

Death by Casualties Type

Among 58,220 U.S. fatal casualties, there were 47,434 hostile deaths and 10,786 non-hostiles.

CASUALTY TYPENUMBER OF RECORDS
Killed [Hostile]38,505
Died Of Wounds [Hostile]5,242
Died While Missing [Hostile]3,523
Died While Captured [Hostile]116
Died Of Other Causes [Non-Hostile]7,455
Died Of Illness [Non-Hostile]1,990
Died While Missing [Non-Hostile]1,353
Total58178(1)

Death by years

YEAR OF DEATHNUMBER OF RECORDS
1956-196278
1963122
1964216
19651,928
19666,350
196711,363
196816,899
196911,780
19706,173
19712,414
1972759
197369
19741
197562
After 19757
Total58220

The first American soldier died in Vietnam War was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, Jr., a U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant. He was not killed in action, but rather by another U.S. airman on 8 June, 1956. In October 22, 1957, the U.S. forces suffered their first casualties by hostiles. Thirteen Americans were wounded in three terrorist bombings. Since then, number of terrorist incidents rose quickly. In the last quarter of 1957, 75 local officers were assassinated and kidnapped.

The U.S. casualties increased proportional with the increasing of U.S. military intervention. The 1968, when the peak troop strength in Vietnam was around 540,000, was also the most deadly year with 16,899 deaths. The high casualty in 1968 also was caused by the first massive offensive from the North Vietnam, widely known as Tet Offensive. Later years, after President Nixon began to implement the Vietnamization policy, the number of soldiers decreased gradually as well as the number of death.

Charles McMahon and Darwin Lee Judge were the last American soldiers died during the war. The two men, both U.S. Marines, were killed on a rocket attack on April 29, 1975, one day before the Fall of Saigon. After the Vietnam War, there were seven more soldiers were died by the wounded they had got in Vietnam.

Death by Rank

There were 7,878(1) American officers died in Vietnam War, including 1,278 Warrant Officers, 2,981 Lieutenant, 2,045 Captain, 898 Major/Lt Commander, 426 Lt Colonel/Commander, 238 Colonel, and 12 who had reached the rank of general. Major general/Rear Admiral was the highest ranking personnel died in Vietnam. Among five major general’s deaths, there were two served in the United States Army, two in the United States Air Force, and the other one in the United States Marine Corps.

Death by Race

By race, the ratio of men who died was nearly proportional with the ratio of men who served.

RACERATIO OF MEN WHO SEVERED (%)RATIO OF MEN WHO DIED (%)DEATHS
White88.485.649,830
Black10.612.47,243
Other1.02.01,147

Other Facts:

Dan Bullock is believed as the youngest Vietnam KIA at 15 years old.
Dwaine McGriff, the oldest person was honored on the Wall, died at 63 years old.
At least 25,000 soldiers, who died in Vietnam War, were 20 years old or younger.
There were eight women who died in Vietnam, seven of them served in the United States Army and one in the United States Air Force. The oldest woman died was Lt. Colonel Annie Ruth Graham, when she was 52. Annie was also the highest ranking woman died in Vietnam.

  1. statistic numbers as of March 31, 1997.
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