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The First and the Last The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.
First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961.
The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.
Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131.
Last pilot casualty occured during the Embassy evacuation in Saigon, William C. Nystal and Michael J. Shea both died on the helicopter on April 30, 1975 approaching the USS Hancock in the China Sea (both are located at 1W, 124).
The youngest Vietnam KIA is believed to be Dan Bullock at 15 years old.
The oldest person on the Wall is believed to be Dwaine McGriff at 63 years old.
At least 5 men killed in Vietnam were 16 years old.
At least 12 men killed in Vietnam were 17 years old.
There are 120 persons who listed foreign countries as their home of record.
At least 25,000 of those killed were 20 years old or younger.
More than 17,000 of those killed were married.
Veterans killed on their first day in Vietnam 997 (unconfirmed)
Veterans killed on their last day in Vietnam 1,448 (unconfirmed)
Number of Chaplains on the Wall -- 16 (2 Medal Of Honor)
Number of Women on the Wall -- 8 (7 Army, 1 USAF - 7,484 served)
There are 226 Native Americans on the Memorial.
There are 22 countries represented on the Memorial.
Most common name on the Memorial "Smith" with 667 veterans.
The most casualties for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 casualties.
The most casualties for a single month was May 1968, 2,415 casualties were incurred.
Thank you for all of that information. Quite alot of the info I was not aware of. My husband is a retired Navy Corpsman who served several tours of duty in Nam & was wounded, he still stayed in the service for 23 years. I know that era was a very misunderstood time & the ones that served during it went through alot but I want all of them to know that I am very proud of them and also very grateful .My father was also in the navy & now my son is serving in the Navy & he will be celebrating his 25th birthfay on 11/26. I am also very proud & grateful to all of our service men & women those past & present. Those who have fought, defended & even died in foreign places helping to preserve our freedom & the freedom of other opressed peoples. I am also grateful to all of our service people who are here in our country keeping our lives safe & secure. War is terrible, it woyld be fantastic if there were never another, but I am afraid there are far more worse times in our future. No matter how hard we wish and pray & talk there are so many who are unwilling to talk , listen,cooperate , treat others with concern or freedom & basic rights& work things out peacefully. It is sometimes scarey to think of what may come knowing the horrord of what has already been. Everyone really needs to thank any service person they see for what they are doing & those that are retired for what they have done & say a prayer for those who have given their lives to protect yours & mine. I am also grateful to all the F.B.I., C.I.A, police, firemen & everyone else who has helped defend our freedom, saved lives or given theirs due to terrorist attacks on our shores or foreign ones. THANK YOU ALL !!!!!