March 8, 1965

US Marines arriving at Da Nang on March 8, 1965
US Marines arriving at Da Nang on March 8, 1965

On March 8, 1965 the first US combat troops arrived in Vietnam. These "first" troops that consisted of 3,500 marines that joined the 23,000 "military advisers" that were already in Vietnam. In February, 1965 General Westmoreland had requested that two battalions of US marines be put in Da Nang to protect the American airbase. The South Vietnamese government was informed after the decision was made. 40,000 more troops were requested by March 13 and by the middle of April, the number of troops in Vietnam was increased to over 80,000.

By the end of the year there were more than 180,000 US troops in South Vietnam. The US was getting more involved in Vietnam and it was becoming more clear that the Vietnam War was not going to be won in any short amount of time. The Tet Offensive helped prove that the war would be a hard drawn-out war. President Johnson had used use the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to acquire more money, troops, and munitions for Vietnam.

Works Cited:

Gavin, Philip. "Vietnam War 1965-1968." The History Place. N.p., 1999. Web. 8 Dec 2011. <

Isserman, Maurice. Vietnam War. Updated ed. New York: Facts On File, Inc, 1992. 42-43. Print.

Back to Table of Contents