Vietnam War Quiz


Here's a little history challenge about the war "in country" still alive in our hearts and minds. Just ask a Rolling Thunder guy!

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Question 1 of 10

The first major operation involving U.S. forces in Vietnam took place in:


... After the French defeat at the hands of the communist Viet Minh in 1954, U.S. policymakers decided to take the lead in opposing communist expansion in Vietnam. The first major action was Operation "Passge to Freedom," the evacuation of civilians who chose to flee communist North Vietnam for the non-communist South. The operation involved 109 U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine ships and amphibious craft that sea-lifted over 300,000 refugees, 88,000 tons of cargo and 8,100 vehicles from Haiphong to Saigon over a nine-month period ending in May 1955.It may well be the largest organzied evacuation in history.


Question 2 of 10

The first majoe clash between U.S. Army and North Vietnamese regulars took place in the la Drang Valley in November 1965. What innovations made this battle a "dress rehearsal" for what lay ahead?

Large forces conveyed directly to the battlefield by helicopters
First major action by American units armed with fully automatic rifles
Effective use of B-52s in tactical ground support role
All of the above

... The Battle of la Drang Valley, recounted by General Harold Moore in his book "We Were Soldiers Once… and Young" and dramatized in a major 2002 film, turned out to be the opening chapter in a new form of airmobile warfare fought by American infantrymen armed with fully automatic M-16s and carried into battle by helicopters. Tactical air support during the battle = and throughout the war - came from an array of aricraft, including high-level B-52 bombers capable of pounding enemy positions with considerable accuracy from 30,000 feet.


Question 3 of 10

Fifteen members of the U.S. Navy were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Which naval service profession received the most of this decoration?

Aviation (pilots and crew)
Medical Corps (Corspmen)
Chaplain Corps
Special Warfare (SEALs)
None of the above

... Of the 15 Navy Medals of Honor awarded in Vietnam, the most (four) went to Navy Corpsmen serving their traditional role as frontline medical personnel with U.S. Marine Corps units. Aviators (including helicopter pilots), SEAL team members and river boat crewmen each received three Medals of Honor. The remaining two medals went to a chaplain and a Seabee.


Question 4 of 10

When did U.S. forces reach their peak strenght in Vietnam?

August of 1967
December of 1968
April of 1969
October of 1970

... By April of 1969 U.S. troop numbers climbed to 543,482.


Question 5 of 10

In May 1969, units of the 101st Airborne took on NVA forces dug in along the high ground in the A Shau Valley. Savage combat - often hand-to-hand - quickly earned this battle which grisly nickname?

Hell's High Acre
Hamburger Hill
Heartbreak Ridge
The Meatgrinder

... The task of taking Hill 937 took 10 attempts in as many days. A month later it was abandonned to the enemy.


Question 6 of 10

On January 26, 1970, Lt. (jg) Everett Alvarez, U.S. Navy, was the first serviceman to achieve a unique milestone in American military history. What was the significance of this date?

He was the first astronaut to return to combat duty
He was the first naval officer to earn the Combat Infantryman Badge.
He was the first Native American to score an aerial victory
He set a new record for the time spent as a POW.

... Lt. (jg) Everett Alvarez was shot down in his A4 Skyhawk on August 5, 1964, and was finally released 8-and-a-half years later in February 1973.


Question 7 of 10

From January 21 to April 8, 1968, U.S. Marines ended a grueling siege atop the exposed combat base at Khe Sanh. What was the approximate ratio of losses, communist versus U.S., during the battle?

10 to 1
20 to 1
30 to 1
60 to 1

... During the battle over 70,000 tons of explosives were dropped over the NVA forces, for losses in excess of 15,000.


Question 8 of 10

True or False: On January 31, 1968, during the communist Tet Offensive, Viet Cong commandos captured and briefly held the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.


... Although they took the embassy security forces by surprise, the VC commandos only made their way to the compund's outer wall.


Question 9 of 10

True of False: American B-52 bombers were shot down by North Vietnamese MIGs.


... It took thousands of surface-to-air missles (SAMs) to eventually shoot down 17 B-52s in total.


Question 10 of 10

First used in Vietnam, "dust-off" is a piece of slang meaning:

Wipe out the enemy with napalm
An aerial defoliation mission
Medical evacuation by helicopter
Patrol with no enemy contact

... A crew of four men would fly an unarmed helicopter to the frontlines to rescue wounded soldiers - needless to say a very dangerous and heroic task.


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