1974

The US has withdrawn its troops; the war continues.  President Nixon resigns the Presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal.

January 19 The Battle of the Paracel Islands is an engagement fought between the naval forces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the RVN (Republic of Vietnam/South Vietnam) in the Paracel Islands.  The battle is an attempt by the South Vietnamese navy to expel the Chinese navy from the area.  As a result of the battle, the PRC established de facto control over the Paracels. After the reunification of Vietnam in April 1975, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam publicly renewed its claim to the Paracels, and the dispute continues to this day. Hanoi has praised the South Vietnamese forces that took part in the battle.

February 12-May 4 In the battle of Tri Phap, ARVN launches a successful attack on a (PAVN) base at Tri Phap, Dinh Tuong Province.

March 27-May 2 The Battle of Svay Rieng is the last major operation of the war to be mounted by the ARVN against the PAVN. The battle results in over 1,200 PAVN killed and 65 captured for ARVN losses of less than 100 killed.

 

April 1-10 Chí Linh Camp defended by the 215th Regional Force Company is attacked by the PAVN 7th Division, quickly damaging two howitzers and destroying the ammunition dump. On April  5,the PAVN 3rd Battalion, 141st Regiment, with the division’s 28th Sapper and 22d Artillery Battalion supporting, overruns the base. With the elimination of Chí Linh, the PAVN 7th Division enjoys unimpeded movement along Highway 14 between Chơn Thành and Đồng Xoài

April 4 The Provisional Government of National Union (PGNU) is formed in Laos.  

 

May 6 AP photographer Slava “Sal” Veder wins the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his photo Burst of Joy, depicting the homecoming of released POWs at Travis Air Force Base in California.

May 9 Congress begins impeachment proceedings against President Nixon stemming from the Watergate scandal.

May 16-November 20 The Battle of the Iron Triangle begins when the PAVN 9th Division launches an attack on Rach Bap, takes possession of An Dien and pushes south towards Phu Cuong. The ARVN counterattack in mid-November and by 20 November recaptures Rach Bap.

 

June 3 The PAVN hit Biên Hòa Air Base with at least 40 122 mm rockets doing minor damage to runways and destroying 500 Napalm canisters, but without damaging any aircraft.

 

18 July to 4 October 4 The Battle of Duc Duc begins with the PAVN attacking ARVN outposts near Duc Duc, Quảng Nam Province. The ARVN 3rd Division would suffer 4,700 men casualties in the battle.

July 18 to November 3 The Battle of Thượng Ðức begins when a regiment of the PAVN 324th Division overruns the An Hoa Industrial Complex and then attacks the town of Thượng Ðức southwest of Da Nang. The costly battle results in a Pyrrhic ARVN victory.

July 24 Supreme Court rules that Nixon must turn over White House tapes to Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski.

July 30 The House Judiciary Committee recommends impeaching Nixon on 3 counts; count 1: obstruction of justice; count 2 abuse of power; count 3: contempt of Congress.  Omitted is the article introduced by Michigan Congressman, John Conyers charging that Nixon had intentionally concealed from Congress “the facts” and had submitted to Congress “false and misleading statements concerning the existence, scope and nature of American bombing operations in Cambodia” in disregard of Congress’s constitutional power to declare war. Conyers, (number 13 on Nixon’s Enemies List), argued that the president’s desire to cover-up the facts of the bombing campaign was another example of the issue underlying “all of the acts [of presidential wrongdoing] that have been debated thus far.” The article fails to gain widespread support, however, and is defeated 12–26. Nine Democrats, including House Judiciary chair Peter Rodino, along with all 17 Republicans vote against it.   While no one challenged the veracity of the allegations contained in the article, it fails, Conyers later observed, because “condemning the Cambodian bombing would also have required us to indict previous administrations and to admit that the Congress has failed to fully meet its own constitutional obligations.” Those opposed pointed out that key congressional leaders of both political parties had been privy to the information and had neither said anything to the rest of Congress nor done anything about it, contending that the president’s actions had been appropriate uses of his power as Commander-in-chief, noting that this particular Congressional-authority versus Presidential-authority dispute had already been addressed by the War Powers Resolution (passed over Nixon’s veto one year earlier). Another factor working against the proposal was the realization that putting the Cambodia article before the full House would interject the issue of the Vietnam War into the impeachment debate

 

August 9 Richard M. Nixon resigns the Presidency as result of Watergate. Gerald R. Ford is sworn in as the 38th U.S. President, becoming the 6th President coping with Vietnam.

August 28-December 10 The Battle of Phú Lộc begins as PAVN captures a series of hills in Phú Lộc District and installs artillery that closes Phu Bai Air Base and interdicts Highway 1. The hills were eventually recaptured by the ARVN in costly fighting that depleted its reserve forces.

 

September The U.S. Congress appropriates only $700 million for South Vietnam. This leaves the South Vietnamese Army under-funded and results in a decline of military readiness and morale.

September 8 President Ford pardons Nixon for all federal crimes that he “committed or may have committed.”

September 15 A hijacker takes control of an Air Vietnam Boeing 727 on a flight from Da Nang to Saigon and demands to be flown to Hanoi.

September 16 President Gerald R. Ford announces a clemency program for draft evaders and military deserters. The program runs through March 31, 1975, and requires fugitives to take an oath of allegiance and also perform up to two years of community service. Out of an estimated 124,000 men eligible, about 22,500 take advantage of the offer.

 

October The Politburo in North Vietnam decides to launch an invasion of South Vietnam in 1975.

October 10 Saigon Police attack about 300 Vietnamese journalists and 1,000 supporters protesting against censorship under Press Law 007

October 31 75 civilians and policemen are injured in Saigon in anti-corruption protests led by Reverend Tran Huu Thanh, a Catholic priest.

 

November 19 William Calley is freed after serving 3 1/2 years under house arrest following his conviction for the murder of 22 My Lai civilians.

 

December to January 6, 1975 The 80-man 3rd Company, 314th Regional Force Battalion guarding the radio relay station on the summit of Núi Bà Đen (Black Lady Mountain) begins receiving incoming attacks of increasing intensity and frequency. PAVN assaults on Nui Ba Den continue throughout December 1974. RVNAF efforts to resupply the troops on Nui Ba Den are largely unsuccessful. Helicopters are driven off by heavy fire, and fighter-bombers are forced to excessive altitudes by SA-7 missiles and antiaircraft artillery. One F-5A fighter-bomber is shot down by an SA-7 on 14 December. On 6 January 1975, without food and water and with nearly all ammunition expended, the company withdraws down the mountain.

December 13-January 6, 1975 The DRV attacks Phuoc Long Province in South Vietnam. President Ford responds with diplomatic protests but no military force in compliance with the Congressional ban on all U.S. military activity in Southeast Asia. The Battle of Phước Long took place in Phước Long Province, about 62 miles from Saigon, at present day Phuoc Binh. The campaign against Phước Long reflects the DRV’s change in policy after the strategic raids of 1974, taking full advantage of South Vietnam’s critical military situation.

December 13–April 30, 1975 The Hồ Chí Minh Campaign is the final title applied to a series of increasingly large-scale and ambitious offensive operations by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV)  and the National Liberation Front.

December 14 On or about this date the Pathet Lao execute Charles Dean and Neil Sharman, backpackers who were captured southeast of Vientiane on September 4.

December 18 The DRVs leaders meet in Hanoi to form a plan for final victory.

December 26 The 7th PLA division captures Đồng Xoài.

 

From July 1965 to the end of 1974, some 6,500 officers and generals, as well as more than 4,500 soldiers and sergeants of the Soviet Armed Forces participated in the war.   This compares to the 2,709,918 Americans who served in uniform in Vietnam.

 
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