|Vietnam Veterans of America|
January 1: The South Vietnamese command reports 19 enemy violations of the New Year’s truce; one South Vietnamese is reported killed.
January 5: President Nixon tells congressional leaders he is determined to do what he regards as necessary to achieve “a proper kind of settlement.”
January 6: Reps. Robert Steele (R-Conn.) and Morgan Murphy (D-Ill.) report that drug use among U.S. troops in Europe is increasing at an alarming rate.
January 7: Henry Kissinger arrives in Paris for “one more major effort to conclude the negotiations.”
January 10: The U.S. Strategic Air Command says B-52 pilot Capt. Michael Heck faces possible court-martial for refusing to fly a combat mission. In a letter to Sen. Charles Mathias, Jr., (R-Md.), an Air Force pilot and his navigator accuse SAC of contributing to the unnecessary loss of men and aircraft by “laxity in the performance of duty, or by sheer stupidity.”
January 11: Heck explains he refused to go on what would be his 175th mission because “the goals do not justify the mass destruction and killings”; he says he has submitted his resignation.
January 12: The White House and the State and Defense departments — responding to testimony by Deputy Secretary of Defense nominee William Clements, Jr., that he did not rule out the use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam — deny this would ever happen.
January 15: Nixon press secretary Ronald Ziegler announces all bombing, mining, and other actions against the North have been suspended because of the progress in the peace talks. Senate leaders praise the decision.
January 19: Capt. Dwight Evans is the second pilot to be accused of refusing to fly a combat mission over North Vietnam. He and Capt. Heck are assigned to administrative duty pending a court-martial. Army Sgt. Ernest Pounder, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, receives an early discharge based on his pleas for conscientious-objector status.
January 20: In his inauguration speech, Nixon omits the words “Vietnam” and “Indochina” but assures the American people that “America’s longest and most difficult war is ending.”
January 22: Lyndon Johnson, 64, dies of a heart attack. Kissinger arrives in Paris for the last round of peace talks.
January 23: Nixon and Thieu announce a cease-fire will go into effect at 8:00 a.m. Sunday, January 28; that all POWs will be released within 60 days; and that all American forces will be withdrawn. Nixon states there will be “the fullest possible accounting” of Americans missing in action.
January 25: The State Department announces groups of 100 American POWs will be released beginning February 10. Cmdr. Ben Cloud testifies fighting broke out on the Kitty Hawk after Marines, ordered to break up groups of sailors, only dispersed blacks. In five courts-martial, witnesses say whites attacked blacks later that night.
January 26: Communist rockets hit Bien Hoa Air Base, killing one Marine and wounding twenty-one others.
January 27: The ceasefire agreement is signed in Paris. Lon Nol announces a cease-fire for Cambodia will go into effect January 29. The State Department releases a list of civilian prisoners acknowledged by North Vietnam.
January 28: Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, killed 11 hours before the truce, is identified by the Pentagon as the last American to die in the Vietnam War. Sources report the U.S. will continue the bombing in Laos until a cease-fire is established there.
January 29: WO Anthony Dal Pozzo is the first American to die since the cease-fire went into effect. Fighting continues in Cambodia. The International Control Commission meets for the first time in Saigon.
January 30: Pfc. Ronald Ridgeway, listed as KIA following an ambush in 1968, is declared alive after his name is found on the POW list.
February 7: Pentagon sources report the Vietcong will release 27 American POWs on February 11. Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.) calls for a congressional investigation into the origins of U.S. involvement in Vietnam from 1945.
February 8: Capt. Michael Heck and Capt. Dwight Evans are granted other than honorable discharges.
February 9: The Pentagon announces North Vietnamese plans to release 115 American POWs in Hanoi on February 11. South Vietnam announces plans to release 2,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong POWs; Saigon will receive 1,020 of her POWs at the same time the Americans get their 27 men held by the Vietcong.
February 10: The departments of Defense and State make public the names of the first group of American POWs to be released. The Eleventh Combat Aviation Group, the last American fighting unit in South Vietnam, is disbanded.
February 12: The courts-martial of Airman William Boone, the only white sailor charged in the Kitty Hawk racial incident, and of Seaman recruit Robert Coleman, one of 23 black sailors charged, begin. The release of the 27 American POWs by the Vietcong is delayed because of a dispute over an exchange of communist prisoners for government troops.
February 13: The last of four medevac planes, carrying freed POWs, lands at Clark Air Base. Woods and Perkins are the first POWs to arrive in the States.
February 16: An unarmed U.S. CH-47 supply helicopter assigned to the joint commission crashes while returning from An Loc. All five crewmen are injured. The U.S. Army Court of Military Review upholds the murder conviction of First Lt. William Calley, Jr., and approves his sentence of 20 years hard labor.
February 19: The U.S. command announces that the 14,180 troops left in Vietnam is the lowest number in a decade.
February 21: Pathet Lao and Laotian government representatives sign a peace agreement to go into effect February 22. U.S. officials contact the Pathet Lao to find out who they are holding as POWs.
February 23: Sources report Maj. Philip Smith and Lt. Robert Flynn, both taken prisoner when their planes strayed over the North Vietnamese border into China, will soon be released.
February 25: Appearing on NBC, Kissinger states the U.S. will make “a full investigation and will insist on a full accounting” for the 1,300 men still missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.
February 26: The U.S. command reports that the American troop withdrawal is 50 percent complete. Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo, Jr., are acquitted of one espionage count in the Pentagon Papers trial.
February 27: A North Vietnamese spokesman announces Hanoi will not release any more POWs until the U.S. “stops concentrating on POWs while failing to correctly implement the Paris agreement.” The White House and the U.S. delegation to the international conference accuse Hanoi of violating the peace agreement and of “trying to renege on the provisions relating to the release of American prisoners.” Nixon orders Rogers to make the prisoner issue the “highest priority” at the conference.
February 28: The U.S. temporarily suspends mine-sweeping and troop withdrawals until Washington is assured that Hanoi will proceed with the release of POWs without further delay. The White House announces North Vietnam has assured the release of all American POWs within the 60-day period indicated in the peace agreement.
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