Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vietnam War at 50: A lesson for Afghanistan?

These are reporters that did the research and they added in what happened after most reporters leave off. The Mayaquez Incident

• Vietnam War: Judge and McMahon are generally considered the last to die. Lt. Col. William Nolde, a military professor at Central Michigan University who'd volunteered for Vietnam, was killed by artillery fire on Jan. 27, 1973, 11 hours before the United States signed the Paris Peace Accords. He's considered the last U.S. fatality in the war's combat phase.

But the killing didn't end even after the fall of Saigon. Two weeks later, Cambodian communist forces seized the U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez. The United States launched a military rescue operation on an island where the crew was thought to have been held. When the force withdrew, two Marines — Gary Hall and Danny Marshall — were accidentally left behind, and later killed.

Vietnam War at 50: A lesson for Afghanistan?
By Rick Hampson and Carmen Gentile
7:32 AM, July 3, 2012

At center, brothers Jeff Walling, right, and Mike Walling, left, sit as their father Air Force Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling of Phoenix, is buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., just outside Washington, Friday, June 15, 2012. Walling's F-4 Phantom jet crashed during a mission in Vietnam in 1966 but his remains were not recovered until 2010. / AP Photo

By April 29, 1975, America's war in Vietnam had been over for two years. But as he stood post at the gate of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, a city encircled by 16 communist divisions, Sgt. Bill Newell got the news: Two fellow Marine security guards had been killed at the airport.

Charlie McMahon and Darwin Judge were new in country; McMahon had arrived 11 days earlier. They'd never fired their weapons in combat. They'd been assigned to the airport in part because it was safer and would be evacuated sooner.

Instead, because of an enemy rocket, they'd be the last Americans to die in the Vietnam War.

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