February 13th, 2012
VIETNAM CONFLICT (1959-75)
The Vietnam War was the longest military conflict in United States history. The hostilities in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. Another 304,000 were wounded. The Vietnam War was a military struggle fought in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975, involving the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front (NLF) in conflict with the United States forces and the South Vietnamese army. From 1946 until 1954, the Vietnamese had struggled for their independence from France during the First Indochina War. At the end of this war, the country was temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam. North Vietnam came under the control of the Vietnamese Communists who had opposed France and who aimed for a unified Vietnam under Communist rule. The South was controlled by Vietnamese who had collaborated with the French. In 1965 the United States sent in troops to prevent the South Vietnamese government from collapsing. Ultimately, however, the United States failed to achieve its goal, and in 1975 Vietnam was reunified under Communist control; in 1976 it officially became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. During the conflict, approximately 3 to 4 million Vietnamese on both sides were killed, in addition to another 1.5 to 2 million Lao and Cambodians who were drawn into the war.
Recruitment practices and the enlistment of men and women into the armed forces had changed by the 1950s, and there were no longer large groups from a particular region or area who mustered into service on the same date or in the same regiment. Because of these changes, it is very difficult to ascertain the names of service men and women from the Watsontown area who served during the most recent conflicts. Therefore, in an attempt to preserve the names of those from the Watsontown vicinity who served in the military during the Vietnam Conflict, the following is only a partial list submitted by those who have served or by their family members.
John W. Balliet Robert B. Barnwell Dale E. Bush
Edward I. Childs
Gerald K. Folk LeRoy Frontz, Jr.
William W. Marshall
Stanley E. Reitmeyer Richard F. Ritter* Charles A. Roth, Jr.
Dale E. Schooley
Robert B. Wertman Frederick C. Wuestner
Last Modified: 01.29.12