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September 2: Hanoi Radio announces that three American POWs — Maj. Edward Elias, Lt. (j.g.) Norris Charles, and Lt. (j.g.) Mark Gartley — will be released in honor of Vietnam’s National Day.

September 3: The U.S. Air Force discloses that F-4 Phantoms have wrecked Phucyen, North Vietnam’s largest airbase.

September 6: The New York Times discloses that on August 22, the Saigon government issued an executive decree which abolished elections for the 10,775 hamlet officials, replacing a democracy with an appointment system.

September 7: South Korea announces all of its combat troops will begin withdrawing from South Vietnam in December.

September 8: NVA troops are reported to have captured Tien Phuoc, 35 miles south of Danang. The U.S. Navy destroyer Warrington, seriously damaged July 17 off the North Vietnamese coast, is reported to be the first casualty of U.S. minefields.

September 9: Twenty refugees and one soldier are reported killed in a VC raid on South Vietnam’s largest refugee camp near Danang. Le Duc Tho arrives in Moscow on the eve of Henry Kissinger’s scheduled arrival.

September 12: CIA and DIA reports contend North Vietnam, despite heavy bombing attacks, can sustain the present level of activity in the South for the next two years.

September 15: Military officials report South Vietnamese troops are “in complete control” of Quang Tri City’s citadel. In Saigon, 14 daily newspapers are closed because they are in violation of the strict press laws, all but silencing the opposition press. In Paris, Kissinger meets with North Vietnamese negotiators for their seventeenth secret meeting.

September 16: Enemy cadres open a new offensive in southern Quang Ngai Province.

September 20: A U.S. Air Force officials discloses coastal rivers and canals in northern Quang Tri Province have been mined.

September 25: The North Vietnamese Foreign Ministry charges the U.S. with destroying the Namdan Dam near Vinh.

September 26: Kissinger meets with North Vietnamese representatives in Paris; the White House says talks will extend to a second day.

September 27: The U.S. command reports that for the second day, more than 300 bombing raids have been carried out over North Vietnam.

September 28: The Saigon government charges enemy troops with “killing hundreds of inhabitants” of the two villages in Quang Ngai Province.

September 29: An American spokesman says U.S. planes struck four North Vietnamese airbases in the heaviest blow against enemy aircraft on the ground, crippling 10 percent of the North’s tactical air force. The Air Force withdraws its last fighter-bomber squadron — the Eighth Special Operations Squadron — from South Vietnam.

October 1: An explosion rips through a gun turret on the Newport News, operating just below the DMZ against NVA positions near Quang Tri City. Nineteen are killed and ten are injured.

October 3: U.S. officials report the American base at Udon, Thailand, has come under its second attack in the past twenty-four hours. Pentagon statistics reveal the bomb tonnage (800,000) dropped through September has already exceeded the amount released in all of 1971.

October 5: In a news conference, Nixon says he has tried to convince Hanoi it is in the communists’ best interest to reach a peace accord before the November presidential election. Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.) contends Nixon, if reelected, will “drag on for years” the war in Vietnam.

October 6: The Senate Armed Forces Committee unanimously confirms Gen. Creighton Abrams as Army chief of staff. Fighting is reported twenty miles from Saigon. The Pentagon reports a four-year record was set last month with over 50,000 signing up to join the military.

October 7: Cambodian troops battle enemy cadres in the heart of Phnom Penh. Fighting moves within nine miles of Saigon.

October 10: McGovern spells out how he would achieve the withdrawal of the U.S. from Vietnam. Steps would include halting the bombing of the North, sending his vice president to Hanoi to negotiate the return of all POWs, and allowing Vietnam to work out its own settlement.

October 11: Kissinger meets with North Vietnamese delegates for a fourth day.

October 12: Kissinger returns to Washington. Neither side will divulge details of the four-day discussion.

October 13: The Pacific Fleet command announces 46 crewmen on the Kitty Hawk, stationed off the North Vietnamese coast, were injured in a racial incident.

October 15: About 400 U.S. planes strike North Vietnam in the second heaviest attack of 1972.

October 16: Abrams is sworn in as Army chief of staff; he then flies to South Vietnam to assess the country’s military capabilities.

October 17: Kissinger flies to Saigon to meet with South Vietnamese officials after another session with Tho. Six villages in the Central Highlands are reported overrun by the enemy.

October 18: In Paris, North Vietnamese spokesman Nguyen Thanh Le charges that the White House’s “position remains erroneous and intransigent.”

October 19: NVA cadres reoccupy two hamlets near Saigon.

October 20: Fighting increases around Saigon.

October 22: After four days of talks with Thieu, Kissinger travels to Phnom Penh to talk to Lon Nol about the peace talks. Pilots at Nakhan Phanom Airbase in Thailand say activity along the Ho Chi Minh Trail has decreased dramatically. A Cambodian official says his government recently held talks with communist guerillas in an effort to end the war.

October 23: Thieu calls his four military region commanders, the 44 province chiefs, and most of the provincial council members to the capital.

October 24: White House sources disclose the administration last week ordered a temporary halt to all bombing raids north of North Vietnam’s twentieth parallel because of concessions Hanoi made. In a broadcast, Thieu tells the nation all proposals discussed by Kissinger and Hanoi so far are unacceptable. Nixon signs legislation to increase GI Bill of Rights benefits for Vietnam veterans. An A-6 Intruder crashes on the deck of the Midway, killing four; twenty-two are wounded and one is missing.

October 25: Describing negotiations as precarious, U.S. officials believe there will be a cease-fire before the November 7 presidential election.

October 26: Declaring “Peace is at hand,” Kissinger says he thinks a final agreement can be worked out at the next session. Nixon insists he is looking for “peace with honor and not peace with surrender.” Hanoi radio announces the U.S. and North Vietnam had agreed on cease-fire terms, but the U.S. has backed off, claiming that it was “having difficulties in Saigon.” In Paris, the delegates for North Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government demand the U.S. sign a cease-fire on October 31. Communist cadres step up attacks in South Vietnam.

October 27: Thieu maintains his “minimum demand” before accepting any cease-fire is the total withdrawal of all NVA troops from the South.

October 28: Enemy soldiers take thirteen hamlets and cut off three major highways within forty miles of Saigon. South Vietnamese foreign minister Tran Van Lam calls the proposed peace accord a “surrender” and “unacceptable.”

October 29: Communist troops escalate the war around Saigon, cutting Route 1 and overrunning seventeen hamlets within forty-five miles of the capital.

October 30: The Saigon command reports the loss of Dakseang base camp in the Central Highlands but says Dak To has been retaken.

October 31: The White House seeks reassurance from Hanoi that many of the 35,000 NVA troops in the South will be withdrawn, although it is not part of the agreement. Sources reveal NVA and VC troops in Cambodia are moving into the South. U.S. military intelligence reports heavy movement of war materiel by the North Vietnamese into the South.




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