In Uniform and In Country 
Casualties 
Draftees vs. Volunteers 
Race and Ethnic Background 
Socio-Economic Status 
Honorable Service 


Statistical information from the following
sources:

National Archives
Department of Defense casualty records
Labor Department
Department of Veterans' Affairs
National Personnel Records

In addition to:

Burkett, B.G., "Stolen Valor" (Verity Press, Inc., Dallas, Texas, 1998)
Sorley, Lewis, "A Better War" (Harcourt Brace & Company, Orlando, Florida, 1999)
Dr. Robert Turner, Deputy Director, Center for National Security Law,
University of Virginia
University of Texas, Vietnam Center - Special Collections, Lubbock, Texas
 
  

Vietnam Veterans represent 9.7% of their generation 

9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era (Aug.5, 1964 - May 7, 1975) 

8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug. 5, 1964 - March 28,1973) 

3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters) 

2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965 - March 28, 1973) 

Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964 

Of the 2.6 million, between 1 - 1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack. 

7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam 

Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1969)

Hostile deaths: 47,378 

Non-hostile deaths: 10,800 

Total: 58,202 (includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties).  Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.) 

8 nurses died - only 1 was KIA. 

Married men killed: 17,539 

Average age of men killed in Vietnam: 22.8 years old 

More 21 year olds were killed than any other age group 

Highest state death rate: West Virginia - 84.1 for every 100,000 (national average 58.9 for every 100,000 males in 1970) 

Wounded: 303,704 - 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured required no hospital care. 

Severely disabled: 23,214 were 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations. 

Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than in Korea.  Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII. 

Missing in Action: 2,338 

POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)

27 million men came of draft age from 1964 to 1972 

Total draftees (1965-1973): 1,728,344 
 
a)  Actually served in Vietnam: 38% 
b)  25% (648,500) of total forces in country                 were draftees  (In WWII, 67% were                          draftees; 33% were volunteers) 
c)  Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of               combat  deaths in Vietnam 

National Guard: 6,140 served; 101 died 

Last man drafted: June 30, 1973

88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian: 10.6% (275,000) were African-American; 1% belonged to other races 

86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics);

12.5% (7,241) were African-American; 1.2% belonged to other races 

170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam: 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there 

70% of enlisted men killed were of Northwest European descent 

86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were African-American; 1.1% belonged to other races

14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among African-Americans 

34% of African-Americans who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms 

Overall, African-Americans suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of African-Americans of military age was 13.5% of the total population

Religion of Dead: Protestant - 64.4%; Catholic - 28.9%; other/none - 6.7%

26% of combat deaths came from the families in the highest third of income levels 

76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from middle/working class backgrounds 

Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds 

Some 23% of Vietnam veterans had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations 

79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered military service. (63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation) 

Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South - 31; West - 29; Midwest - 28.4; Northeast - 23.5   

97% of Vietnam veterans were honorably discharged 

91% of actual Vietnam War era veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country 

66% of Vietnam veterans say they would serve again if called upon 

As of 1985, only 9% of Vietnam veterans had not graduated high school as opposed to 23% of their non-military peers 

As of 1985, a Vietnam veteran was more likely to have gone to college than a man of his age who did not serve: Vietnam veterans - 30%; non-military peer - 24% 

In 1985, 8 of every 10 Vietnam veterans were married to their first spouse and 90% had children 

In every major study of Vietnam veterans where the military records were pulled from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and the veterans were then located, an insignificant number had been found in prison. 

In 1994, the unemployment rate for all males over 18 was 6%; for Vietnam veterans - 3.9% 

In a study conducted by the Labor Department and Department of Veterans' Affairs - more African-American Vietnam veterans work in white-collar, public-sector jobs than do African-American males who never served.