Added to 15 – 19 May

15 May
1967 – The Defense Department announces that a US F-105 Thunderchief may have crashed in Communist China after being hit during a raid on the Kep area in North Vietnam.
1968 – To break an impasse at the Paris talks, the US asks that the meeting be moved into secret session.
1972 – Led by a platoon of 30 Soldiers flown in by helicopter, South Vietnamese troops retake Fire Base Bastogne, a matter of strategic importance, as the recapture should prevent the Communists from moving their heavy artillery to within shelling distance of Hue.
1972 – The US announces the movement of a seventh aircraft carrier, the USS Ticonderoga and six other destroyer type warships to Vietnam.

16 May
1955 – The US signs an agreement with Cambodia to supply direct military aid.
1964Governor Nelson Rockefeller accepts President Johnson’s offer to brief all Republican candidates for the presidency; afterwards, he agrees with a questioner that Americans are not getting the full story of the situation. Senator Barry Goldwater openly charges that US pilots have died because of obsolescent planes.
1969 – 23rd Infantry and 101st Airborne Divisions conduct Operation Lamar Plain southwest of Tamky in Quangtin Province through 13 August.
1975 – Congress appropriates $05 million to fund a refugee aid program and authorizes resettlement of South Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees in the US. Over 140,000 refugees are flown to the United States under the program in the next few months.

17 May
1916 – President Woodrow Wilson announces that the US may have to intervene in the war in Europe and should certainly have a role in any peace-making process.
1962Three thousand US Marines begin landing at Bangkok, Thailand, in response to troop movements near the Thai border by the Soviet-supported Laotian Pathet Lao army. The Marines are flown 350 miles north to Udorn, which is 35 miles form the Laotian capital of Vientiane. This US show of force, ordered by President Kennedy at the request of the Thai government, is out of Thailand by the beginning of August.
1964On the 16th, the Communist Pathet Lao succeeded in driving the neutralist forces lead by Kong-Le from the Plain of Jars, marking the end of any efforts at a coalition government and leaving Souvanna Phouma and his followers in control. When word of this reaches Washington, President Johnson orders the Seventh Fleet in the South China Sea to prepare for a possible military action. Officials begin drawing up a resolution that Johnson might present to Congress to get it to declare that the independence and integrity of Laos are vital to US interests.
1967 – US Marines at Dongha, Giolinh, Camlo, and Camp Carroll are bombarded.
1968 – 1st Air Cavalry’s Operation Jeb Stuart III begins along the border of Quang Tri and Thua Thien provinces. The operation will continue to the first week of November.
1968 – 101st Airborne Division’s Operation Nevada Eagle begins in =central Thua Thien Province. This operation will conclude at the end of February 1969.
1972 – All colleges and universities in South Vietnam are closed to allow for the conscription of students.

18 May
1964 – President Johnson, in a special message to Congress, asks for $125,000,000 more for economic and military aid to Vietnam.
1965 – Following a 5 day suspension of aerial bombing by the US, North Vietnam charges that the halt was only ‘an effort to camouflage American intensification of the war and deceive world opinion.’
1965 – President Johnson releases a memo from Secretary of Defense McNamara showing how the recently appropriated $700 million will be spent on the military. he promises US servicemen a ‘blank check’ for their needs.
1967 – Following three days of bombardment form the North, a force of 5,500 US and South Vietnamese troops invade the southeastern section of the DMZ to smash a Communist buildup in the area and to prevent infiltration into South Vietnam. This operation will continue for the next 4 days.
1967 – The 26th marines begin Operation Prairie IV east of Khesanh to clear the DMZ south of the Ben Hai River. This will last to the end of may.
1968 – 1st Marine Division begins Operation Mameluke Thrust in central Quang Nam province. Operations will continue until late October.

19 May
1918Raoul Lufbery, one of the top-scoring US fighter pilots of the war with 17 victories, is killed during air combat. He had served with other American volunteers in the French Escadrille Lafayette (originally the Escadrille Americaine and credited with 38 air victories) before the United States’ entry into the war. Lufbery was the commander of the famed 94th “Hat in the Ring” Aero Squadron at the time of his death.
1970 – To commemorate Ho Chi Minh’s 80th birthday, Communist forces shell more than 60 allied positions.
1971 – Hanoi initiates three days of heavy rocket and mortar attacks on US positions along the DMZ.

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