Added to 18-23 April


1965 – US planes hit targets that include barracks at Dongthanh, a ferryboat in the Song Trac River, and highways in the southern section of North Vietnam.
1966 – In a Senate speech, majority leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) declares that the current political crisis in Vietnam makes it urgent that the US engage in direct talks with North Vietnam, Communist China, ‘and such elements in South Vietnam as may be essential to the making and keeping of a peaceful settlement’ of the war. Peking rejects the proposal.
1967 – The US pledges an additional $150 million in economic aid for a total annual amount of $700 million, a new annual record.
1967 – General Westmoreland notifies the Joint Chiefs of additional troop needs. For an ‘optimum force,’ he requests four and two-thirds divisions — 201,250 more troops — to boost the total US strength in Vietnam to 671,616 men.
1971 – South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky denounces US Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern’s stated interest in investigating charges that Ky is implicated in opium smuggling.
1971 – Over the next four days, US jets carry out a 30th raid since 1 January against missile sites and anti-aircraft positions in North Vietnam.
1972 – Secretary of Defense Melvin laird before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says the does not rule out the possibility of blockading and mining Haiphong harbor. Every area of North Vietnam, he says, is subject to bombing for the protection of the 85,000 US troops still in Vietnam.


1915 – Aviation engineers working for Dutch-born Anthony Fokker develop the mechanical interrupter gear, which allows machine gun bullets to be fired through rotating aircraft propeller blades.
1964 – Several Laotian generals attempt a coup, but with the support of the US Ambassador, Souvanna Phouma regains control of the coalition government. The Pathet Lao reject the coalition and go on the offensive.
1965US military and civilian leaders, including Secretary of Defense McNamara, and JCS Chairman Earle Wheeler, meet at Honolulu with General Westmoreland and Ambassador Taylor. They agree to more than double the US military force (from 40,200 to 82,000) and to bring the forces of Australia and South Korea up to 7250 men. Taylor initially opposes the increase, but he is outvoted and apparently won over.
1967 – The US proposes widening the currently 6-mile wide DMZ by an additional 10 miles on each side with troops on both sides withdrawn behind the wider buffer. North Vietnam rejects the proposal as it does not include their primary condition for peace talks–an end to air attacks on North Vietnam.
1968Operation Delaware/Lam Son 216 through the Ashau Valley begins and will run for nearly a month. The 1st Cavalry Division commander describes the Valley as a ‘top logistical support base” for the NVA, ‘as important to him as Camranh bay is to us.’ The intent is to prevent a new attack on Hue.
1969 – The US turns over the first 20 of 60 jet fighter-bombers to the South Vietnamese Air Force.
1972 – US 7th Fleet warships, while bombarding the North Vietnamese coast, are attacked by MiGs and patrol boats as Hanoi begins to challenge US naval presence in The Tonkin Gulf for the first time since 1964. The destroyer USS Higbee is badly damaged.
1973 – Representative Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) and four Air Force officers file suit in Federal Distric Court to halt the ‘secret American bombing of Cambodia.’


1967 – For the first time US planes, 86 planes form the carriers Kitty Hawk and Ticonderoga, bomb Haiphong, attacking two power plants in the city.
1969 – A new political party is formed in Saigon, opposed to both Communism and the administration of President Thieu. The Progressive Nationalist Movement is headed by Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Huy, a member of South Vietnam’s delegation of the Paris peace talks.
1970 – Following reports that Communist forces in Cambodia have more than doubled their are of control, Premier Lon Nol sends a personal appeal to President Nixon for military aid.
1972 – The Communist delegations in Paris formally propose resumption of the peace talks for 27 April, whether or not the US halts its bombing of North Vietnam.


1918 – Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the leading air ace of the war with 80 confirmed kills is shot down and killed. His command is taken by German ace, Hermann Goering.
1964 – Republican leaders of the Senate, Everett Dirksen (IL) and the House, Charles Halleck (IN), hold a joint news conference in Washington DC and charge that the Johnson administration is concealing the extent of US involvement in the war.
1966 – South Vietnam expels a group of six US pacifists for seeking to stage anti-war demonstrations in Saigon.
1968 – An NVA defector reveals enemy plans for a second wave of attacks on Saigon to begin 22 April.


1915 – The Second battle of Ypres begins with the first use of poison chlorine gas on the Western Front. The Germans use 4000 gas cylinders to open their attack. Targeted units had no defense and many panicked and fled leaving 5 mile wide gap in the front line.

1966 – In an air battle over North Vietnam, USAF F-4C Phantom jets shoot down two MiG-17s.

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