October 26, 1966.  While visiting Cam Ranh Bay, LBJ awards service decorations and Purple Hearts, and delivers a speech to the soldiers at the base.

“For the first time—at the last part of his speech, the President’s voice quavered, and most of the party felt he was quite choked up—the scene was such a moving one—the President’s voice began to break a little. The newsmen around said he gave the best speech ever, and they could feel his speaking from his heart—obviously emotionally wound up.”

—-The President’s Daily Diary, 10/26/66. LBJ Presidential Library photos C3601-23, C3602-20, C3599-27, A3395-5, and C3598-22; public domain.  Read all of President Johnson’s remarks at Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam here.


May 1966. Antoine Roy enlists in the U.S. Army. He will eventually serve 3 tours in Vietnam.

"Richard Verrone, interviewer: Why did you want to go to Vietnam? Was it because of what you just said as far as going to war builds men, that kind of thing that you had heard?

Antoine Roy: Yeah. Well, like I said my father and my stepfather were both military men. I was named after a military uncle killed in action and that was always part of it. I’d grown up in a military atmosphere. Before I enlisted, a lot of my friends’ fathers, who were military men, were getting order for Vietnam and the like. Then factor in the fact that a lot of eighteen year old males like to think this proves or developed manhood and maturity and things like that, so put it all together. With the fact that I knew that I’d get drafted because of my grades, I just decided to make the move. The idea of parachute infantry really appealed to my young, male ego. I knew that, I wanted to prove it in combat, so I had them put down they guarantee they’d send me to Vietnam. That’s how it came about.”

(Source: vietnam.ttu.edu)

April 1, 1966. A US Army Captain holds a Chinese Type 56 copy of the AK-47 assault rifle. 
April 1, 1966. A US Army Captain holds a Chinese Type 56 copy of the AK-47 assault rifle. 
December 27, 1965. LBJ collects advice from many advisors, trying to decide whether to continue the bombing pause, or resume normal military operations. 
General Westmoreland records strong objections to the bombing pause. General Taylor also opposes it, but tells LBJ that if they are going to do it, they should do it now. Bill Moyers thinks that since they’ve gone this far, they must make it clear that the pause is an honest effort at peace.
LBJ decides to extend the bombing pause.  He dispatches emissaries around the world to try and broker a deal to end the war: the Vice President speaks with Soviet leader Kosygin;  Ambassador Harriman travels to eastern Europe; and Ambassador Goldberg goes to London, Rome, Paris, and the U.N. According to LBJ, the purpose of the trips is to draw attention to the bombing pause and demonstrate to Hanoi that a response in kind would be “be welcome and would influence our future actions.” (The Vantage Point, pg. 238)
Meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs review the results of the Christmas ceasefire and conclude that “from a military standpoint, no advantages accrued” to the military, and there were considerable disadvantages. For these reasons, the Joint Chiefs oppose a similar cease-fire during the upcoming Tet holiday in January. 
Photo: Gen. William Westmoreland, Gen. Maxwell Taylor and Adm. Grant Sharp, in 1966.

December 27, 1965. LBJ collects advice from many advisors, trying to decide whether to continue the bombing pause, or resume normal military operations. 

General Westmoreland records strong objections to the bombing pause. General Taylor also opposes it, but tells LBJ that if they are going to do it, they should do it now. Bill Moyers thinks that since they’ve gone this far, they must make it clear that the pause is an honest effort at peace.

LBJ decides to extend the bombing pause.  He dispatches emissaries around the world to try and broker a deal to end the war: the Vice President speaks with Soviet leader Kosygin;  Ambassador Harriman travels to eastern Europe; and Ambassador Goldberg goes to London, Rome, Paris, and the U.N. According to LBJ, the purpose of the trips is to draw attention to the bombing pause and demonstrate to Hanoi that a response in kind would be “be welcome and would influence our future actions.” (The Vantage Point, pg. 238)

Meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs review the results of the Christmas ceasefire and conclude that “from a military standpoint, no advantages accrued” to the military, and there were considerable disadvantages. For these reasons, the Joint Chiefs oppose a similar cease-fire during the upcoming Tet holiday in January. 

Photo: Gen. William Westmoreland, Gen. Maxwell Taylor and Adm. Grant Sharp, in 1966.

May 3, 1965. The U.S. Army 173 Airborne begins landing in South Vietnam. In this photo they are leaving Bien Hoa Air Base for deployment. 
By the end of June they will launch a major offensive north of Saigon. 
Photograph VA058717,  May 1965, U.S. Army Aviation Museum Volunteer Archivists Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University.

May 3, 1965. The U.S. Army 173 Airborne begins landing in South Vietnam. In this photo they are leaving Bien Hoa Air Base for deployment. 

By the end of June they will launch a major offensive north of Saigon. 

Photograph VA058717,  May 1965, U.S. Army Aviation Museum Volunteer Archivists Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University.