Veteran’s Statistics from the Vietnam Memorial Wall

A Vietnam veteran came up with the idea for the memorial; The wall was designed by a college student; It took less than eight months to build the memorial; The wall is made of black granite from Bangalore, India; No federal funds were needed to create the memorial.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 63 years since the first casualty.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps LCpl Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia. I wonder why so many from one school

8 Women are on the Wall, Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci – They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring
beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci’s mining families, the nine
graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day,
1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale – LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, Husbands, wives, sons and daughters.

There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

12 comments on “Veteran’s Statistics from the Vietnam Memorial Wall

  1. Howard Dudgeon: “One of the Medal of Honor winners lived in Waco, Texas, Robert Lewis Howard. He died December 23, 2009.”

  2. Clara Sue Griffis Arnsdorff: That was really interesting—sure hit home with me—we can’t forget. As a military wife I remember many who didn’t return from that conflict. When we lived in Calif my husband flew transport planes into RVN and often returned with coffins loaded in the plane. We left Calif for Hawaii where his squadron flew 24 hour command post support and frequently flew to RVN to pick up General Westmoreland for a conference on Oahu. Those were early stages of the war.
    In 1972 he went unaccompanied to Taiwan. They flew cargo into RVN and dropped paratroopers and supplies. I often wonder how many of those boys are listed on that wall. I was in Waco during that time, and every time a C130 was shot down I waited for a notification. Fortunately none came. Lots of bullets had to be removed from those transports. I know many other WHS grads have stories of these turbulent times, and most are more relevant than mine. My memories are from a woman’s perspective. We waited and worried just as wives and husbands of those deployed do today.
    We still live in a military community near Offutt AFB, and Memorial Day is always a day to remember those times and the ones we knew who never returned. Our community commemorates the day with ceremonies and flags and tries to help us remember the holiday isn’t about cookouts and vacations but about sacrifices and loss.
    I posted this on Facebook—so many of those soldiers were very young—many went into the service hoping to come home and begin a new life using benefits earned — but so many didn’t return — really hit home today.

  3. Ken Freeman (class of 1961) “Correctly put, too. There are no noble wars, unfortunately and under the surface, they’re all bankers’ wars.”

  4. Jim Maxwell: “Thank you for reminding us of the incredible tragedy of war — especially one that was so especially unnecessary and that so many of us so regretfully blindly bought into. Memorial Day is especially poignant for those who so bravely served in Southeast Asia. HUZZAH to the heroes!

  5. Tim Lasseter Latta: “This really brought tears. I believe that war is immoral even though John was in Vietnam.”

  6. Sissie Blair Shandalow: “Very sad and sobering to think about. I was very lucky – my husband, brother, and cousin all served in Viet Nam and all returned home. A truly rough time in our history and lives.”

  7. I visited the Vietnam memorial while attending a congress of World Confederation for Physical Therapy in DC 1995. Anyone of our generation has a vivid memory of that war so I cried. I have also been to Vietnam and seen what “Agent orange” did to children not yet born. Are there justified wars? I can’t tell coming from Sweden, a country that has not had a war for more than 200 years. Still I am grateful to all allied soldiers who sacrified their lives in WWII so we were spared.

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