U.S. Troops Leave Vietnam

Conflict: Vietnam

Marines honor their fallen comrades, Vietnam

On 29 March 1973, the last American combat troops left Vietnam. Their departure was part of the Paris Peace Accords, which the United States had signed with North and South Vietnam two months earlier, on 15 January. The Peace Accords also stipulated a cease-fire between the North and South, the releasing of American prisoners of war, the reunification of the two sides, and a call for elections in Vietnam. But except for the releasing of the POWs, these other terms were violated soon after the United States withdrew.

The Vietnam War was one of the longest and most unpopular wars that the United States fought, with a tab of $111 billion (equivalent to around $686 billion today) and a U.S. death toll of over 58,000 people. The estimates for Vietnamese casualties vary, but South Vietnam probably suffered about 250,000 military deaths, while North Vietnam had an estimated 1.1 million military deaths. In 1995, the Vietnamese government estimated that around 2 million Vietnamese civilians were killed on both sides during the conflict.

Although the last combat troops left in March 1973, several thousand American civilians (as well as a few hundred military personnel) remained behind to continue to aid and advise South Vietnam. Because the war was far from over for the Vietnamese. By early 1974, the war was once again raging full force, and it didn’t stop until April 1975, when communist forces finally captured Saigon.

Look through Fold3’s Vietnam collection for photos, documents, and other information about the war.